Everyday you take your car out on the road presents another risk for windshield damage. When a passing car flings a piece of gravel at your windshield, your first thought is to look for damage. If all you see is a small chip, you might think that you are out of danger and simply move on. Unfortunately, a small chip can be the beginning of the end for your windshield. In general, you can save yourself some money by making repairs while the damage is small instead of waiting until the damage is so bad that you have no choice but to replace it.
How Cracks Grow
Cracks can grow in at least three ways:
- Water can work down into the crack, freeze, and then expand. As the water freezes, it can act as a wedge to widen cracks and make them grow.
- Quickly heating a windshield after it has been subjected to extreme cold all night or day can cause the grass to rapidly expand, and as it does, cracks grow.
- Once a crack has started, the jolt from hitting a windshield can make a crack grow from a few inches to a crack that extends from one side of your windshield to the other.
When repairing a crack in a windshield, workers place a special cup over the windshield, which they can then use to force resin down into a crack. These cups generally have a diameter that is about the size of a number two pencil. Making a repair will cost less than replacing a windshield, and it will restore your windshield's structural integrity. Recognizing that windshield repairs will save them money, insurance companies will often help cover the cost of repairs, so it makes sense to hustle down to a repair shop as soon as you can to make repairs before they grow.
While a repair will make your windshield look nearly like new, there is nothing quite like a new windshield. If your windshield is too damaged to make repairs, insurance companies will also help to cover the cost of a new windshield since driving with a damage windshield is not safe.
While you can buy home repair kits for windshields, you get a better promise of quality by taking your car to a professional. Just make sure your insurance policy covers windshield repairs before you take your car to a repair shop to make sure you get help covering the cost.
For more information, talk to a professional like A.C. Glass.