When Is It Time To Replace Your Windshield?
Your windshield does more than keep wind and precipitation out of your car. It also provides a clear view of the road and helps to protect you from projectiles. If cracks start in your windshield, they can interfere with your ability to watch the road and can undermine the structural integrity of your windshield. For the sake of your safety, you should repair your windshield as soon as you are aware of damage. Although sometimes this will require replacing the windshield, you can often get away with getting cracks filled.
What Cracks Need to Be Filled?
Cracks will usually start as nothing more than a pinprick. Jarring movements and/or a cycle of heating and cooling can cause cracks to spread. Thus, if you have visible cracks between the size of a pinprick and a writing pencil, you should take your car to a windshield repair shop to have the glass repaired. Technicians will use a special resin to fill the crack, which they then cure with a UV light. The process will take between fifteen minutes and an hour depending on the size and number of cracks in your windshield. Once the technicians are done, you should barely be able to see cracks if you can see them at all. What's more, the cured resin will preserve the structural integrity of your window.
Not All Cracks Can Be Filled
Once cracks get larger than the size of a pencil, you can no longer have them filled. The problem is that equipment used to fill cracks will not cover the larger cracks. To have the cracks repaired, you will have to replace your windshield. This is not necessarily a bad thing because projectiles that are not large enough to crack your windshield can still create divots, which can distort the view through your windshield. A new windshield can make such a difference that you feel like you are not even looking at the road through glass at all. While it is much more costly to replace a windshield, many insurance policies will cover or at least help pay for windshield replacement. Replacing a windshield should not take much longer than it does to repair a few cracks in your windshield.
While you might be tempted to simply deal with a crack in your windshield, you are usually better served to have your windshield replaced. The last thing you need is a crack snaking across your line of vision and making it hard to see the road. To restore the view through your windshield, you should have qualified technicians quickly and permanently fix cracks in your windshield.