Windshield damage can be one of two types – a chip or a crack. The type and shape of the damage, along with its location will determine whether to go for windshield repair or windshield replacement. A windshield chip occurs when a rock, gravel or debris hits the glass at a high speed, resulting in a small damaged spot where the glass has ‘flaked off’. An exposed chip becomes a home for dirt accumulation, makes the glass susceptible to pressure damage, and becomes harder to repair with the passage of time.
Let us look at some common types of car glass chips, and what factors to consider when charting the course of action to repair crack in windshield.
- Chip Pit
A chip pit occurs when a foreign object hits the car glass and leaves the top layer of the glass flakes off from a spot. In other words, it is a pit that looks like a small pothole where the glass is missing. In most cases, it is easy to repair this type of damage, given it does not impair your line of vision severely. Caution is advised because in some cases, the pit penetrates to deeper layers and a windshield replacement is the only solution.
- Bull’s eye Chip
This type of a chip is caused by an impact from an object like a rock, resulting in a dark circular outer layer and an impact point in the middle. It is larger than a chip pit but carries the same shape and form, in which an outer layer of glass has flaked off. It can be repaired, given that its diameter is less than an inch, it does not have an accumulation of debris in its form and it is not in the line of vision of the driver.
- Half-moon Chip
Another type of bull’s eye is called a ‘half-moon’ which is smaller, and not completely circular, but carries the same fundamental features of a bull’s eye. Similar to a bulls-eye, if the diameter is an inch or smaller, and vision of the driver is not compromised, it can be repaired.
- Combination Break
This is a combination of a chip with a stream of short or long cracks coming out of it. This type of chip is the trickiest to repair, as it involves cracks which could lengthen over time due to multiple causes. Usually, if the diameter of the damage (including both the flaked pit and the crack legs) is less than 2 inches, it could be salvaged by an expert.
Different Methods of Windshield Repair
Depending upon how severe the damage is, you have different methods to fix a windshield chip. The most common of these is to use a windshield patch, often preferred by car owners who want a home-fix for the damage. It involves putting an adhesive patch on the affected area after cutting it down to size. Upon smoothening, this patch hardens after some time (called curing), strengthening the damaged area. The downside of this method is that it only holds the area together, preventing it from flaking any further; it does not strengthen the glass.
Another method used for repairing windshields, trusted by most professionals, is the use of windshield resin. In this method, the resin is injected into the chip/crack, and a source of heat is applied to it. The application of heat expands the resin to fill up all the broken pits created within the glass. Upon drying completely, the resin strengthens the glass from within and, also prevents the chip/crack from spreading.
The windshield is an important structural component of your vehicle that serves numerous safety purposes. It protects the driver from high-speed wind and impurities, assists the airbags in deploying, prevents the roof from crashing over, etc. Damage to this windshield in the form of a chip or a crack left unattended can leave long-term negative impacts on the glass. Timely detection of the crack, evaluating the extent of damage and choosing the appropriate method to fix it is the only way to save the car glass. Not every crack is the same; letting a professional determine and implement the right course of action is the correct approach to repair crack in windshield.
At AIS Windshield Experts, we offer the best-in-class windshield repair and replacement services, following international standards and practices. Get in touch with one of our 90+ service centres near you and experience our quality service yourself!