When most people notice that there windshield has a chip or a crack, they choose to ignore it. Chips and cracks are often not unsightly enough to cause concern. However, they can be a major concern when it comes to safety.
Damage to windshields can result in an accident as they can impair the driver’s vision. They may pop out in a collision and cause harm to the driver or passengers. Windshields are also important for providing structural support to the car’s roof. A damaged windshield can result in the collapse of the roof.
Causes of windshield damage
Windshield damage can result from a wide variety of causes. The most common causes include:
- Flying debris e.g. loose gravel on roads
- Falling objects e.g. dry branches or masonry
To replace or repair
Windshield replacement and repair can be quite costly. However, you may be able to cover the cost of the repair by making a claim with your insurance provider. Most cracks and chips on windshields can be easily repaired. However, the choice to repair or replace the windshield will depend on the following factors:
- Depth and size of the damage
Cracks and chips that are smaller than one inch in diameter and three inches in length can easily be repaired. However, larger cracks may call for replacement of the windshield. Advancements in technology have made it possible to repair larger cracks. This, however, is left up to the discretion of the technician. Some auto shops can repair cracks as large as 18 inches in length.
While Arizona law does not dictate that you use the same OEM windshield, the replacement glass must meet the standards of ‘safety glass’. Be sure to search for a qualified and trained technician to assess the crack and advise on its repair. Technicians and auto glass repair shops should be registered with the Auto Glass Safety Council. The council ensures that technicians are trained to the required standards for auto glass repair and installation.
- Location of the crack or chip
Even advanced techniques for repair of damage will leave a mark behind. This can take the form of discoloration, unevenness or mistiness. Technicians therefore have to consider whether the repair would result in a mark that could reduce visibility or clarity for the driver.
In addition to this, the location of the crack will also affect the degree of support that the windshield can provide for the car’s roof. Cracks occurring on or near the edge of the windshield can compromise the safety of the vehicle’s occupants.
- Type of damage
There are different types of cracks that can occur on windshields. These include bulls-eye cracks (circular cracks), crack chip (usually about the size of a quarter) and star break (has various short radial cracks that emanate from a central point of impact).
Single cracks can be easily repaired in most cases. Multiple cracks would require assessment by a technician to determine whether they can be repaired or not.
Cases for replacement
There are situations that call for replacement of the windshield. These include:
- Cracks on the edge of the windshield
- Damaged rain sensors
- Damage to the internal surface of the windshield
- Multiple cracks
- Cracks in the line of the drivers view
- Cracks longer than 18 inches.
Whether you need repair or replacement, ensure that you search for AZ Windshield Deals to save on windshield repair.