The lure of the open road has long been associated with freedom and opportunity in American culture, but it's also fraught with a number of challenges and potential sources of stress. Anyone who has ever been the victim of road debris striking their windshield and causing damage to the glass knows that you may find yourself trying to decide on the best course of repair action.
Here is a guide to deciding between repairing and replacing your windshield after damage. Keeping this information in mind will allow you to make the right choice for your finances and restore your car to a condition that will allow you to enjoy the road once more.
Most commercial window patch epoxies rely on the strength of the surrounding glass in order to create stability for the damaged area. As such, cracks that are located near the edges of your windshield may be harder to patch, as there's less surface area available to provide that assistance.
It's also important to remember that windshield repair involves layering a great deal of material in order to create a surface with the strength of auto glass, and this layering can cause some small limitations on visibility. As a result, any damage in the line of sight of the driver will likely require a full replacement.
The most common type of damage to a windshield is caused by debris on the road striking your vehicle while you're driving. This means that, rather than cracks, you're likely to be faced with small chips of varying depth and severity.
As mentioned above, glass repair techniques rely on layering and can cause some distortion. Therefore, chips that penetrate the full depth of your windshield or are very close to punching through are typically not able to be repaired, as the limit on visibility will be far too great.
In the event that you do suffer a long, thin crack to your windshield, it will likely be easier to repair than other kinds of damage. The length of the crack doesn't often affect the stability of the repair as long as it isn't located too near an edge or isn't too deep. Still, you may want to consider a replacement after a long crack, as it can be difficult to detect the potential damage that was caused to the stability of the rest of your glass by such trauma. For help determining whether a windshield replacement is needed, talk to a professional.