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Repairable Windshield Cracks & Chips

by ActionLocal Mar 30, 2019

Normally, small windshield damage comes in two main forms, which are cracks and chips. A chip is usually windshield damage that happens when a small object, such as a rock, impacts it, resulting in a small damaged mark. This mark can be in many forms, such as star break, bulls-eye, partial bulls-eye, crack chip, pit and much more.


Cracks make a distinct line in the glass and they usually run horizontally in a straight line. Sometimes, long cracks in a windshield are highly repairable. Continue reading this post to know whether windshield cracks and chips are repairable or not.


Can your Windshield Cracks & Chips Be Repaired?

Windshields are made of laminated glass. Back glass and side windows need replacement if they get damage, because they are made of tempered glass, that can't be repaired.

Whether your windshield cracks and chips can be repaired or not, depends on three key factors: size, depth and location.


Deeper and larger cracks in the glass which extend to your windshield edges are more likely to need replacement, compared to small and shallow chips. However, here we are going to discuss in detail the three main factors that decide whether to replace or repair.


1st factor - Size


Windshield repair technology is a quickly advancing industry, and that's why the ability to repair windshield cracks and chips changes frequently. Moreover, it can vary between the companies you choose to hire. Normally, cracks which are up to 3 inches long and chips which are smaller than a quarter can be repaired with ease. Along with size, damage and location also play an essential role in whether it can be repaired or not.


2nd factor - Depth


Apart from the size factor, the depth factor also important to depict whether crack or chip require replacement or repair. A windshield is mainly a glass sandwich – a plastic interlayer, an inside layer of glass and an outer layer of glass. And if the damage goes through the inner and outer layer of glass, then it is a clear indication that damage is too deep. So, it can't be repaired and you have to replace it. Thus, more damage means replace or less damage means you need to repair.


3rd factor - Location


The damage location greatly affects the capabilities to do a windshield repair. In case, if the damage expands to the glass outer edge, then there is a higher chance that windshield structural integrity has been compromised. So, in this situation, it is recommended to replace the old windshield with a new one instead of repairing it. Also, there is another place where you should not perform windshield repair and it is within the driver's line of sight. Generally, repair in this case cause distortion, resulting in impairing a driver's view of the road.

Last, damage in the sensors view, such as automatic braking system, rain sensors, lane departure warning systems, can't be repairable. It is because these sensors need a crystal and clear view. That's why in this case; even a perfect repair can cause malfunctions.


What Type of Windshield Cracks and Chips can be repaired?


Windshield Cracks and Chips come in many different sizes and shapes. Here are basic types of windshield damage and whether it can be repaired or not.


1. Bullseye


It is glass damage which is caused by a rock or other small object. It is circular, usually with a cone on the outer layer of the glass. It can be repaired if the diameter of the damage is smaller than an inch, there is no dirt or debris in the hole, and it is not in the driver's field of vision.


2. Combination Break


If the damage has multiple characteristics, such as a long or short crack or chip. It can be repaired if the diameter of the damage doesn't exceed 2 inches.


3. Crack


If it is a single line of division that begins from a point of impact, it can be repaired if it is 14 inches or less and also if it is not in the driver's field of vision.


4. Half Moon


It is again glass damage caused by a small object and it is similar to a bull's eye, but it is not fully circular. It can also be repaired if the diameter of damage is an inch or smaller.


5. Star Break


This kind of damage comes with a series of legs that stems from the break. It can be repaired if the diameter of the damage does not exceed 3 inches and if it's not in the driver's field of vision.


When it is Time to Replace?


There are a few windshield cracks and chips that can't be repaired. And that's why they will probably need a replacement. 
Here are situations when it's time to replace your windshield:

  • The damage goes through both inside and outside layer of the glass.

  • If the damage has 3 or more long cracks from an impact point.

  • The damage consists of visible impurities that can't be removed via cleaning.

  • There is damage to plastic interlayer.

  • The chip pit-size is greater than 3 to 8 inches.


How Windshield Chips & Cracks are repaired?


The process of repairing chips and cracks is simple and quick. All you have to do is to call windshield repair experts. The windshield repair expert will first inspect whether the damage can be repaired or not. It involves investigating the type of damage, size, and location. There is no doubt that the do-it-yourself option will save you money, but seeking professional help will ensure fast and proper repair.


Make sure that the company you hire is fully licensed and insured, with a good reputation and experience. There are many windshield repair companies that provide free quotes, and you can compare their quotes. This will help you to find, and choose, the right windshield repair company.

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