Windscreen chips or cracks can happen for a variety of reasons. Gravel, sand or flying pebbles might be flicked up by trucks on a highway and hit your windscreen. You might encounter debris on the road, or you may run into a bird or a large bug. Whatever the cause, driving with a chipped or cracked windscreen is risky, as that small bit of damage can soon turn into a bigger problem. Not only is a damaged windscreen unsightly, but it can also be a safety issue.
What could happen if you don’t repair a windscreen?
If you don’t repair a crack or a chip, it could soon spread into a larger one. A small crack can spread if you hit a pothole or drive on an unfinished road. Similarly, a chip can spread into a crack if it’s exposed to extreme heat or cold, or any sort of impact. Larger cracks can reflect glare from the sun, reducing visibility for the driver. If you delay repairing a crack, dirt or moisture might work its way into the space and affect the structural integrity of the glass. Studies show that you’re more likely to have an accident if you drive with a damaged windscreen, because your visibility may be reduced.
Should you repair or replace a windscreen?
There are some circumstances where you should always consider replacing the windscreen, rather than repairing it. If the chip or crack is in the driver’s line of sight, sometimes it’s not advisable to repair it, as it’s impossible to restore the full clarity to the glass. The only way to recover full optical clarity is to replace the windscreen. This will improve your visibility, making it easier to see the road while you’re driving.
If the crack or chip is positioned on the edge of the windscreen, this is also a situation where replacement might be better than repair. This is because cracks at the edge of a windscreen can spread very quickly and compromise the structural integrity of the windscreen.
You should also replace, rather than repair, a windscreen if there are multiple cracks or chips, or if the windscreen is particularly old. If you’re not sure whether your windscreen needs to be replaced, it’s best to ask for an expert opinion.
Why it’s dangerous to delay
The windscreen is a structural part of your vehicle and it contributes towards the overall strength of your car. In the event of an accident, the windscreen helps protect the car’s passengers, especially if the car rolls over. Most windscreens are made from two pieces of transparent glass, glued to a vinyl resin in the middle. The vinyl is what holds the glass in place during a collision, preventing small pieces of glass from flying everywhere. If this middle vinyl resin layer gets cracked or chipped, the windscreen may not be able to adequately protect the driver and passengers. If a crack compromises the structural integrity of your windscreen and you have a collision, the windscreen might pop out.
Chips or cracks can be repaired relatively cheaply. But if the chip is too big to repair, you should get the windscreen replaced by a qualified professional. This is a quick job once you find the right person with the expertise and tools to do it. Get any chips or cracks in your windscreen fixed before they grow and become irreparable.
Autoscreens is a family-run business in Perth that offers high quality windscreen repairs and windscreen replacement services. Autoscreens owner, Jason Squire, has over 25 years automotive experience, and he holds the highest qualification in the industry. To get a free quote on a windscreen replacement job, call Autoscreens on 0400 200 086