Did you know that tiny chip in your windshield can make your glass up to 70% weaker than an undamaged windshield?
A few years ago, safety would demand you replace the glass. That little chip would grow to a giant crack, and then you would be stuck with a huge bill for replacement. Luckily, car windshield repair technology has advanced in the past few years, so that no longer holds true. Now you can repair your windshield almost invisibly, with a resin that is stronger than glass.
Not all repairs are equal though. Read on to learn more about key safety issues when fixing glass chips and cracks.
It’s All About the Damage
Auto safety glass is made of two strong layers of glass held in place by a layer of vinyl. The vinyl is vital to your safety in a rollover or impact accident that deploys airbags. And it helps keep you inside the car while keeping dangerous debris out.
Any damage to the layers that does not penetrate all the way through is potentially repairable. In general:
- Most repair technicians claim that rock chips are easily and invisibly fixable when fresh. Otherwise, the starburst of micro-cracks around the tiny chip expands under the smallest stresses.
- Insurance company claims teams recommend repairs over replacement.
- Cracks up to 6 inches long can be repaired, as long as the crack intercepts no more than one edge of the glass. Likewise, as long as you have no more than three chips and the repair area isn’t in front of a camera or sensor, your repair is good to go.
Car Windshield Repair Process
The sooner you can get a glass chip repaired, the better the repair will be. That’s because over time, dust and dirt become embedded in the chip. That debris makes it difficult for the polymer resin to adhere.
First, the technician will assess the damage, then clean the surface with an alcohol or acetone-based solvent. Then, a strong polymer is injected into the crack or chip. A small suction cup is then applied to the area to create a gentle vacuum while the polymer cures.
Once the resin is cured, the area is polished smooth. Most of the time the imperfection is barely noticeable. The resin is optically clear and stronger than the glass itself.
Remember to check the qualifications of the technician making the assessment and repair. There are plenty of car windshield repair shops in New Berlin, but choose the wrong one and you could regret it. While small scratches are often repairable yourself, an amateur job on a larger crack can make the glass worse, not better.
But Is It Safe?
There are certain factors which make auto windshield replacement a better choice. For instance:
- If there are more than three chips in the glass or the damage is in the driver’s direct line of vision, the repairs may interfere with visibility.
- You must consider the weatherproof seal around the windshield. Damage to the seal weakens the structural integrity of the vehicle and can affect collision safety. This is important because windshields play a critical role in airbag deployment.
For the best qualified and trained car windshield repair and replacement technicians in the New Berlin area, contact our experts today. We can help you determine if repair or replacement is necessary for your windshield damage.