After a long, difficult day at work, you’re finally on your way home to relax and unwind. You hear a loud crack. You discover that the truck in front of you has just kicked a rock up onto your windshield! Now you have a ding in your windshield. We all have days like that, but take heart because repairing auto glass is fairly inexpensive.
It’s important that you don’t put off a windshield repair. We don’t think much about our windshields. As a matter of fact, who even notices until it needs cleaning? Your windshield is one of the most important safety features in your vehicle. It is made of 2 sheets of glass with a thin layer of vinyl sandwiched in between. The vinyl gives the glass extra strength and also assures that glass shards will hang together and not cut you, should you be involved in an accident. This extra strength is also designed to keep you in the car and objects out of the car. The strength of this glass is also important for maintaining the structure of your vehicle; keeping the roof from caving in on you in the event of an accident.
Most often, windshield damage is caused by a foreign object thrown from the road as you’re driving. The glass will either form a chip or a crack. A windshield can usually be repaired is the damage is a chip or a small crack. Anything larger will require replacing the windshield. Cracks that appear at the edges of the windshield threaten the structure of the window and will usually require replacement also.
Auto Glass Repair Kits
Although there are auto glass repair kits on the market, the job is more exacting than you may realize. If any one of the steps is not done properly, it may result in a weakened windshield, leaving yourself and your passengers at greater risk should an accident occur. This is a repair better left to the pros.
Auto Glass Repair Shops
Many auto glass shops have mobile repair units that will travel to your home or workplace and perform the repair on site. The job should take about an hour to complete. The first part of the repair must be done out of direct sunlight or the resin may dry too quickly. The technician will first clean the damaged area of any remaining glass particles and dirt that may have accumulated.
Any loose particles will interfere with the bonding process and result in a weak repair. He will then attach an apparatus to the windshield that creates a vacuum around the damaged area, sealing out air and moisture. Next a resin is squeezed into the area to fill it back up. Once the chip is full of resin, it is exposed to an ultraviolet light for a few minutes to harden. Depending upon the resin used, the repair will need to cure for as little as an hour, up to 24 hours. If the damage is a shallow crack or scratch, the technician may use a glass polish and wax to accomplish the repair.
If you get a crack, ding, or chip have it repaired as soon as you can. If you must delay the repair for a short time, place a piece of clear tape over it to keep out dust and debris as much as possible. Waiting too long may cause the damage to spread, further weakening the windshield to the point where you may no longer have the option to repair it. Replacing the windshield is considerably more expensive than the repair. Your windshield is such an important part of your vehicle’s safety. Any damage to it, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem, is a potential safety hazard.