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Do You Really Need To Replace Your Windshield? Here Are 4 Times When Repairing It May Be The Better Option

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Windshield damage can be frustrating — a tree branch may have fallen on your car, or a hard object may have come out of nowhere to hit your windshield while you were driving. The resulting chip or crack is not only unsightly, but it also makes your entire windshield weaker and more likely to break entirely if you're ever in a collision. Since windshield damage is a safety concern, it's important to fix it as soon as you can.

Fixing your windshield requires either repairing the crack by filling it with a strong resin or replacing your windshield entirely. Repairing a chip or crack is less expensive than having your windshield replaced, so it's a preferable option. To help you save some money when you have your windshield fixed, here are four times when you can have it repaired rather than having the entire windshield replaced.

1. The Damage Happened Recently

When you drive around with a chip or crack in your windshield, it will rapidly collect dust and dirt. The presence of dust and dirt makes the windshield more difficult to repair since the resin doesn't bind as well to a dusty service. When you have your windshield professionally repaired, the chip or crack will be meticulously cleaned to remove as much dust and dirt as possible. However, you'll typically see better results from your windshield repair when you have it repaired as soon as possible after the chip or crack forms, preventing dust and dirt from ever accumulating there.

2. The Chip or Crack Is Small and Hasn't Spread

Chips in your windshield that have cracks radiating from them, chips larger than the size of a quarter or very long cracks may be difficult to repair. Thankfully, a car's windshield is typically strong enough that chips and cracks are not large when they first appear, allowing them to be easily fixed by filling them with a clear resin. If you wait too long before you have your windshield repaired, the damage can begin to spread. Eventually, you'll have to opt for an entire replacement rather than repair. Scheduling an appointment with an auto glass repair company as soon as possible after the damage occurs will prevent the damage from spreading and increase the chance that the damage can be repaired.

3. The Crack Doesn't Extend Underneath Your Windshield Molding 

A crack that extends to the edge of your windshield may not be a good candidate for repair. Unfortunately, you're unable to see the extent of the damage when the crack is underneath your car's windshield molding. An extensive crack at the edge of your windshield can weaken the urethane bond between the windshield and the body of your car, increasing the risk that your windshield will forcibly pop out during a collision.

4. The Damage Doesn't Obstruct Your View

If the chip or crack in your windshield obstructs your view while you are driving, you should have it repaired as soon as possible — the chip or crack can make it more difficult for you to accurately judge distances and may slow your reaction times, which makes it a major safety issue. Seek the advice of an auto glass repair technician when having your window repaired. While the resin used to repair chips and cracks in auto glass does a great job of restoring the strength and durability of the windshield, the damage is often still slightly visible. A large chip or crack obscuring the view from the driver's side may require you to replace your windshield instead of repairing it. An auto glass technician will tell you if repairing your windshield is a safe route or if a replacement would be the better option.

Overall, your best option is to make an appointment with an auto glass company to have your windshield inspected by a professional. With the experience of numerous windshield repair jobs behind them, they will be able to tell you if your windshield can be successfully repaired or if it needs to be fully replaced. Remember that taking your vehicle to an auto glass repair shop as soon as possible (before dust can accumulate in the damaged area or the damage begins to spread) will increase your chances of being able to repair your windshield instead of having to replace it.