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Windshield Damage – Repair or Replace?

Windshield Damage – Repair or Replace?

 

WHACK! A rock just bounced off your windshield, leaving a dime-sized chip right in front of your nose. Not only does it obstruct your view, but if it’s like other rock chips you’ve received, it’ll soon sprout cracks that spread like wildfire.

There was a time when a chip or crack in your windshield meant certain replacement. That’s no longer the case. Modern technology makes it possible to repair windshields that would have previously been scrapped. Not only does this save your windshield, it also saves you money.

But be aware that even the most advanced glass repair techniques have their limits. So if your windshield is severely damaged, new glass may still be in your future.

Do I have to replace my windshield or can it be repaired?

Windshield repair or replacement depends on the size, location and severity of the damage. The majority of windshield repair shops can repair quarter-sized rock chips and cracks up to three inches long. Anything bigger and most places will recommend replacement.

However, some facilities use a special technique that allows them to repair cracks up to 12 inches long. So it pays to check around before committing to a new windshield.

Location of the damage also plays an important role in determining your windshield’s fate. Cracks at the edge of the windshield tend to spread very quickly and can compromise the structural integrity of the glass. If they’re caught in time, they can be repaired. But in most cases, it’s usually advisable to replace the windshield.

Also be aware that some facilities may not repair a chip that appears directly in the driver’s line of vision. Because the repair process leaves minor distortions in the glass, some shops prefer to replace the windshield rather than compromise the driver’s vision.

Regardless of the size and location of a chip or crack, it’s always advisable to have it repaired quickly. If you wait some time to repair it, dirt can work its way into the damaged area, affecting the effectiveness and clarity of the repair.

Finally, bear in mind that if your windshield took a big enough hit, it may simply be beyond saving. Major impacts (BIG objects) or accident damage go beyond what any repair facility can fix. In these severe cases, replacement is a must.

 

Is this covered by my insurance?

Windshields are covered by all of our automotive insurance companies. But because the cost to replace a windshield is so much higher than repairing it (four to ten times higher), coverage is handled differently for replacement vs. repair.

If you’re replacing a windshield, your insurance company will ask you to pay your deductible and they’ll pay for the complete replacement.

However, if you’re repairing the windshield, the deal could be a little sweeter. Having recognized that it’s more economical to repair a windshield than replace it, our insurance companies may waive your deductible and pay for the entire repair.

This arrangement encourages customers to repair their windshields rather than replace them every time they’re chipped. It also represents a substantial savings to both you and your insurance company over the lifetime of your policy.

On the other hand, if your windshield is in genuine need of replacement we don’t skimp, and replace it. A heavily damaged windshield is not only difficult to look through, it’s also unsafe. The structural integrity may have been compromised and could weaken further if it isn’t replaced quickly.

Have a qualified glass specialist carefully examine your windshield to determine whether a repair will suffice or if it should indeed be replaced. Also remember to check with us to confirm the terms of your coverage before committing to any windshield work.

How does windshield repair work?

Windshield repair involves injection of a special resin into the damaged area using a tool that attaches directly to the glass. Once injected, this resin is then cured and polished to restore the clarity and strength to the glass.

When a chip or crack occurs, it often spreads into the windshield’s inner layer of plastic, which is sandwiched between two layers of glass. In some instances, a drill is used to make a clean passageway to the plastic, where the resin is injected to repair the damage.

Think of a windshield repair as first-aid that prevents the damage from getting worse. In some cases, it may look nearly perfect, while in others, it could still appear slightly blemished. But in either case, a proper repair prevents the damage from spreading.

And since every chip is unique, some will respond more effectively to repair than others.

Need more info on auto insurance? BHC Insurance can help. Call us today at 479-452-4000 or email us at contact@nullbhca.com.