A damaged windshield isn’t just an inconvenience. It can be a safety risk for you and your passengers. To help you learn whether your windshield will need a repair or be replaced completely, Simbol Auto Glass in Michigan has created this guide.
What’s the Difference Between a Cracked and a Chipped Windshield?
Windshields are made of two pieces that have a laminated plastic layer in between them. This design is meant to help prevent the windshield from shattering if an object makes an impact. So, depending on how deep the impact is, or how long the crack on your windshield is, you may be able to repair your windshield without needing to replace the entire glass.
Different objects impact your windshield in unique ways. For example, small rocks or tree limbs often create a less serious issue for your windshield compared to wooden plank. Of course, the speed your car is moving or the speed of a falling object can also affect how much your windshield is damaged.
In general, a chip is a term used to describe small damage on a windshield, whereas a crack is a very noticeable line that runs across your windshield.
A chip is a small mark that’s created when an object impacts your windshield and glass breaks off. You might be able to identify a chip by its crater-like “bullseye” appearance.
Chips that are small and shallow can often be repaired easily, and cheaply. However, chips that are deep and penetrate the plastic layer inside your windshield may require a complete replacement.
And, while small windshield chips may not create an immediate problem, they can easily turn into larger issues in the future. In fact, cracks can grow from chips over time.
Windshield cracks are lines where a one piece of glass has started to completely separate. Even though windshield cracks may start small, they can quickly grow and spread.
Temperature changes, dust particles that get inside the crack, and stress from driving over speed bumps or rough roads can cause the crack to get larger faster, and make the issue more urgent. Although small cracks on a windshield can be repaired, depending on its size and location, you may need to replace the windshield.
When Can Your Windshield Be Repaired?
Repairing a windshield is usually cheaper than a total replacement. Unfortunately, not all cracks or chips can be repaired. And if your windshield has multiple cracks or chips, replacing the glass is likely best.
Generally, cracks that can fit beneath a dollar bill can be repaired. Once a crack extends more than 6 inches, it becomes more difficult to do so. Though, it may be possible to repair cracks up to 18 inches depending on their location.
For example, if a crack extends across your entire windshield, the integrity of the glass is likely compromised and will need replacing to maintain safety. Additionally, cracks that are near the edges or corners of the frame will often require a replacement because cracks can grow much faster in these positions.
Chips, on the other hand, can usually be repaired if the chip is small enough (under 2 inches) and shallow enough (under ⅜ of an inch). Chips can create cracks over time, however. Should this happen, you may not be able to repair the damage.
Simbol Auto Glass: High-quality, Affordable Windshield Repair in Michigan
A cracked or chipped windshield should never be taken lightly. Both types of damage can quickly become worse and more costly. And, should a car accident occur when you have a cracked windshield, the glass may shatter altogether.
For a free quote on your windshield repair or replacement, give us a call today at: 888-411-4527.