Let's Talk Glass: Windshield Repair and Replacement
You’re driving down the highway when suddenly – BANG – a rock smacks into the windshield, chipping the glass. You instantly start thinking about repairing or replacing your windshield. Before having either service performed, you must understand what aftercare is required for your safety and positive long-term results.
If your windshield is chipped, you may be able to repair it rather than replace it. In general, chips smaller than 3/8 inch and cracks less than three inches long qualify for a repair. The damaged area must also not reach the edge of the windshield or land directly in the driver’s line of sight to be eligible.
Why Have Your Windshield Repaired?
- Affordable: If you act fast enough, you may be able to have your chipped windshield repaired, the cost of which is often covered by insurance. This allows you to avoid a more costly windshield replacement.
- Convenient: Windshield repairs typically take under an hour, while replacements can take up to three hours. The aftercare is also less involved if you have a repair performed.
- Environmentally responsible: Extending the life of your windshield with a repair keeps it out of the landfill.
What to Expect After Windshield Repair
- Appearance: Even after a perfect repair job, the area will appear slightly “scarred.” Fortunately, the repair seals the glass and prevents the crack from spreading.
- No aftercare necessary: The resin used to fix a small windshield crack has a minimal curing time. In fact, we wait for it to cure before we polish the repaired area smooth. This means, once you pick up your car following the repair, no specific aftercare is required.
Once a crack starts spreading across your windshield, the option to repair it has passed. Now, it’s time to consider a replacement.
Why Have Your Windshield Replaced?
- Structural safety: If your windshield is cracked and you get into a rollover accident, your life is at greater risk. The windshield comprises up to 60% of your car’s structural integrity, so a crack could cause the roof to collapse, increasing the chance of a fatal accident.
- Improved visibility: A crack right at eye level could distort your vision or reflect the sun into your eyes. A new windshield provides better visibility for safer driving.
- Aesthetics: If you’re proud of your car, you want it to look good. This includes replacing the windshield as soon as possible if it develops a crack.
After Windshield Replacement Care
- Drive away time: It’s critical to wait until the windshield adhesive cures before you drive your car. How long it takes for a windshield to cure depends on the adhesive used. At Glass Doctor®, we use Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC) approved adhesive that cures in just one hour.
- Car wash warning: Don’t go through a car wash after windshield replacement until 24 hours have passed. Rain, moisture, and hand-washing your vehicle is acceptable.
- Air pressure caution: Keep your windows rolled down an inch or two for the first 24 hours to prevent air pressure from causing the adhesive to leak.
- Tape removal: Leave retention tape on for 24 hours after windshield replacement.
- Future rock chip care: If your windshield is chipped or cracked within 12 months of the replacement, Glass Doctor will repair it for free. We will even replace it if the glass is damaged beyond repair.
To schedule windshield repair or replacement, please contact the auto glass specialists at Glass Doctor. The faster you get your car to us, the better chance there is of a successful repair. Of course, if a repair isn’t possible, we can replace your windshield.
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