Smack! A loud noise, sounding like a bullet, just hit your car. Once your nerves recover, you realize, you have been hit by a stone and the damage is evident.
Now what? Many people have never even heard of a windshield repair. They assume they have to live with the damage or pay the high price of getting a replacement.
The problem with ignoring the damage is that it will grow worse with time. Replacements have their downsides as well. Besides spending up to $350, you lose the original manufacture seal. Many replacements are done incorrectly and can leak and crack. What is the alternative?
A windshield repair, when done correctly, is the safe choice. But not all damage is repairable. For as many types of debris that exist to damage your windshield, there are as many types of chips and cracks that can result. Some of the most common types of chips have been named.
Looking for these common types of chips and following some other guidelines are a good place to start in evaluating if the damage is repairable. Always consult a Certified Windshield Repair technician to evaluate the damage. There are guidelines to follow but there are times when experience is invaluable.
There are five types of stone chips that are so common that they have been named. The two most common are the Star Break and the Bullseye Break. The Bullseye Break can be identified by a dark colored circle on its impact point. The Star Break displays a series of short radial cracks or legs coming off of the impact point, resembling a star. Another type of stone chip has been named the Half Moon. You can identify this type of chip by the half circle separation around the impact point. A Daisy break is a series of radial bullseyes around an impact point. Lastly, a Combination Break is a break that includes multiple types of the other kinds of breaks. An example would be a series of radial bullseyes around an impact point.
Any of these stone chips can be repaired. Beyond looking for these types of common chips, it is important to take into consideration the size of the damage. If the damage cannot be covered by a half dollar, the chip is too large to be repaired. Another important piece of information to consider is the acute area. The acute area is the area of the windshield directly in the drivers line of vision. It is the same size as a piece of paper being held horizontally in front of the driver. In this area, the National Glass Association does not recommend a repair being done unless it is no greater than .95 of an inch. An easier way to imagine this is that a quarter should be able to cover the entire area of damage in the acute area.
Cracks are a single line of separation in the outer or inner layer of the windshield. A crack that originates in the inner layer of the windshield can never be repaired. A crack that breaks into more than one crack can also never be repaired. A single crack that originates from the outer layer is repairable based on where the crack is located on the windshield and how long it is. Most insurance companies will only pay for a crack up to six inches long. Many technicians, based on their experience and type of tools, will fix cracks that are longer than 6 inches. Some technicians will repair a crack as long as 24 inches. It is recommended to get a repair done as soon as possible from the date of damage. The longer you wait, the more the area will become contaminated with dirt and debris. The cleaner the area of damage can stay, the better the visual outcome for the windshield.
Not all chips and cracks can be repaired when windshield damage occurs. It is definitely worth the time to have any damage evaluated by a professional to avoid further cracking and damage and eventual replacement.