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Windshield Repair versus Replacement

Jan 3, 2008
Ah, the bane of most vehicle owners existence is the windshield - it seems like no matter how hard you try, you will inevitably get a chip or crack in a nice fresh windshield. Everyone has heard of repairing windshields, but when is that a viable option and when is it necessary to replace the windshield instead of simply having it repaired?

Windshield repair is done by thoroughly cleaning the damaged area of all dirt and moisture. Then, a strong resin is injected into the damaged area of the windshield.

The resin bonds with the windshield glass and halts the damage from getting any worse. In most cases, the damage is not completely invisible, but rather a slight scarring can be seen in the glass and if you focus on the area, there will be a slight distortion. The key to having a repair done is to have it done quickly, soon after the chip or crack occurs in your windshield.

Failure to fix your windshield crack or chip promptly will likely result in the chip or crack extending across the entire windshield or filling with dirt and moisture, making it too difficult to repair and thusly requiring a replacement.

If you notice a small chip or crack in your windshield that looks like a bull's-eye, or a small crack and it is not located directly in the field of the driver's vision, then it's likely possible to have the chip repaired instead of replacing your whole windshield.

Most insurance companies will waive the deductible on your auto glass insurance coverage to have the windshield repaired instead of replacing it. A quality auto glass repair shop will ask you a variety of questions about the chip or crack to determine if it can be repaired or not.

It's important to remember that windshield repair is structurally sound, and is an environmentally safe process; however it will not return your windshield to its former pre-chipped condition. There will be some slight scarring and distortion where the windshield repair was done, so if the chip or break is in your field of vision, it is not recommended to repair it, but rather replace the windshield.

Thus, only some types of breaks and chips can be repaired - long, spidery cracks in your windshield can not be repaired and you will have to replace the windshield. However, small chips and some small cracks can be repaired, which is why it is so important to have your windshield crack or chip repaired as soon as possible, to avoid spreading of the damage and resulting in the need for windshield replacement.

If you need to have your windshield replaced, find a quality auto glass replacement shop in Houston to do the work. You are not required to use the glass replacement shop that your insurance company prefers in most places.

When your windshield has been replaced, find out how long your vehicle needs to remain stationary to allow the adhesive to cure properly - this can be as short as one hour or as long as eight, depending on the humidity, temperature and weather conditions.

Most auto glass repair and replacement shops offer both in house and mobile services, however if the weather is poor, common sense says that in house replacement or repair is best.

Most auto glass insurance policies will cover windshield repair with no deductible being required by you. This helps to offset the cost to the insurance company of paying for a windshield to be replaced.

Breaks in a windshield can often be repaired because they are made with laminated glass, to prevent shattering. However, most side windows are not made with laminated glass and should be replaced if damaged instead of repaired.

Catching a break or chip in your windshield quickly is important - if you don't have it replaced soon, the crack or chip will grow and extend across your entire windshield, rendering it impossible to fix and replacement becomes necessary.

Check with your insurance company to see if repairs are covered for your windshield and how much it will cost you to replace your windshield (your deductible amount).

Compare the cost of the deductible plus your premiums to determine if replacing your windshield through your insurance policy is worth the rise in premiums or not. Some windshields can cost thousands of dollars to replace, while others are only a couple of hundred.
About the Author
David Warren is owner of Apple Glass Company, a glass repair and replacement firm that serves the Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas markets. Contact David Warren at 281-440-1292 or visit http://www.appleglasscompany.com to schedule a service appointment.
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