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Published On: Wed, Nov 29th, 2017

Repair or Replace Your Windshield: Questions to Help You Decide

Smack!

You’ve just been hit by a decent sized pebble and now you’ve got a penny sized chip in right in front of your face.

It’s happened to most of us and we can ignore it, but it is likely to spread its spindly fingers throughout your whole windshield if you don’t fix it soon. Not to mention that it’s a safety hazard in at least two ways.

One, it can become discolored and obstruct your view even more. And two, it can weaken the structure that holds your roof in place if, heaven forbid, you were to get into a rollover accident. Your roof could collapse completely. So it’s important to either repair or replace your windshield when you become one of the statistics.

Insurance companies are beginning to fight back about having states require them to pay for cracked windshields, so it’s important to decide if your windshield requires repair or replacement.

photo/ Judy Alkema

Here are a few tips to help you decide whether to repair or replace your windshield.

What’s the size of the damage?

Do you have a dime sized shallow divot? You can repair a chipped windshield on your own up to one inch and an auto repair shop can fix any shallow crack up to three inches. These use easily applied adhesives that harden to crystal clear so that you will hardly see the blemish, if it’s done correctly. The key is to have patience when you do it yourself.

While most shops may tell you to replace the windshield for anything bigger than three inches, some specialty shops will fix cracks up to 12 inches long. They have techniques that help them repair the longer cracks.

What is the location of the crack?

If you get a crack or chip in the middle of your windshield, you are more likely to be able to repair it easily. If the crack is close to the edge of the windshield, not only is it likely to spread quickly, the ability to completely seal it is iffy at best and a disaster at its worst. Because auto manufacturers use the windshield as part of the A-line structure for the roof, the danger of these types of cracks affects how the car behaves with it’s in a rollover. It could crush easily with the windshield integrity compromised. It’s best to replace a windshield if the crack is close to or touching any edge.The danger is just too high of a risk to take.

How severe is the damage?

Sometimes, when BIG rocks smash into your window, it’s obvious that you’ll need to replace it. Also, if you’ve been in an accident that does extensive damage to your windshield and it looks like a spiders nest, you’ll want to replace it. But there are times when you’re just not sure. That’s when it’s best to closely inspect the damage and see if it’s deeper than the first layer of thin glass. If you can stick a toothpick through your window and poke yourself with the point, then you’ll probably want to replace your windshield, The damage has reached through three layers of protective material and no amount of adhesive resin will be able to truly and safely fix this. So it’s best to replace the windshield.

When you’ve decided, it’s best to search for reputable auto glass repair places like www.autoglassguru.com to give you a decent quote on replacement. They’ll be happy to help you with chip repair also.

If you decide you’d like to repair it yourself, they’ll be able to help you find the best repair kits and assist you with your do it yourself project. Their expert knowledge will help to make sure your repair is perfect.

You can also find reputable repair shops in your area by searching for them online. Be sure to do your research and know they are reputable. Ask as many questions as you need until you are satisfied. If you decide to self repair, you can also find repair kits at Walmart and Sears for relatively cheap..

Whichever way you decide to go, it’s best to do it quickly before the damage becomes more extensive and dangerous.

Author: Clarissa Caouette

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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