What to Do If Your Windshield Cracks
Most drivers will at some time experience the shock of a small rock or other debris hitting their windshield and leaving a chip or crack in the glass. It’s an inconvenience and an expense to get it fixed, and, if the damage is not in your line of vision, you might be tempted to ignore it. However, it’s important to take action quickly because even the smallest chips and cracks can spread and present a number of risks.
Dangers of Driving With a Cracked Windshield
Extreme temperature changes can make a cracked windshield worse. The glass expands in the heat and contracts in the cold, and a crack or chip presents a weak spot which can spread. Additionally, if moisture gets into a chip and freezes, it will expand and spread the damage.
You can get a ticket for a damaged windshield in some states. If a police officer considers that a crack is interfering with your field of vision, they could deem the vehicle unsafe and give you a ticket.
A cracked windshield can put you and your passengers at greater risk in a car accident. In modern cars, the windshield contributes to the structural integrity of the vehicle. If you’re involved in a frontal collision, the cracked glass is more likely to shatter, and in a rollover accident, the roof is more likely to cave in.
Depending on the size, position, and severity of the damage, you may be able to get your windshield damage repaired. It’s a quicker and more cost-effective solution than having the glass replaced. Generally, if a crack is less than 3 inches long or a chip is smaller than a quarter, the damage can be repaired.
DIY auto glass repair kits are available, but they can be time-consuming and difficult if you’re not confident in using them. You could actually end up making the damage worse. It’s always better to get a quality windshield repair carried out by a professional auto glass company. You’ll need to act fast to get a windshield repair, as driving with cracked or chipped glass can make the damage spread.
For an expert, the repair is a simple procedure that usually takes less than an hour. The technician will use a small vacuum cleaner to suck any dirt or moisture from the chip or crack. Then they’ll inject resin to fill the damaged area. When done professionally, the repair should be a safe long-term solution to a damaged windshield.
A windshield repair is not always possible, even for small damage. If a chip is directly in your line of vision, a repair can still leave a distortion in the glass. A crack right at the edge of the windshield could spread quickly and undermine the structural integrity of the glass. In these cases, a windshield replacement is the best and safest option.
Windshield repair or replacement may be covered under your car insurance policy, although you might have to pay a deductible. When windshield damage happens, contact your local auto glass repairer immediately for advice on the best course of action.