Fixing a Rock Chip: The Importance of Windshield Repair

Imagine you’re driving along your favorite country road when your unsuspecting windshield is assaulted by a stray pebble.  Your windshield is left with a pesky stone chip etched in its glass. This scenario is a common one, with an often-simple solution, windshield repair.  Depending on the type of damage and the extent of the damage incurred, windshield repair may be a cost saving solution to total repair.

Understanding Damage Types

There are generally two types of damage created by debris on the road, rock chips or cracks.  Rock chips are generally small shatters created by the impact of various types of road debris.  A crack in the windshield is a different kind of damage consisting of a prominent line of separation.  This generally stems from the point of impact.

Understanding the Specifics of Rock Chips

Rock chips can be categorized into four separate categories based upon the manifestation of the shatter.  Rock chips dubbed the bulls eye or partial bulls eye is characterized by a damaged area surrounded by a separate circular layer of glass.  It gives the appearance of a bulls eye as the outer area is darker surrounded by the middle point of impact.  This is the type of rock chip most frequently seen by service centers.  It can be easily repaired providing the chip does not exceed a diameter larger than one inch.  Another type of chip is the star chip which manifests as multiple legs coming out from the center of the point of impact.  This chip can be repaired if the entirety of the damage is no more than 3 inches.  Other possible chips include the combination chip which derives its name from its multiple characteristics.  These chips can include a star within a bulls eye, short crack, or long cracks stemming from the point of impact.  These are also eligible for repair providing the totality of the damage is not more than 2 inches.  Lastly, it is possible to obtain a surface pit in your windshield.  This is merely a small nick that appears in your windshield due to normal wear and tear.  This damage will not damage the inner, plastic layer and can be repaired if the area is at least 1/8 inch in diameter.

Understanding Windshield Cracks

A windshield crack measuring 6 inches or less is referred to as a short crack, whereas a long crack is more than 6 inches in length.  Any crack reaching to the edge of the windshield is dubbed an edge crack, while a crack that does not reach the edge is called a floater crack.  The final type of windshield crack, a stress crack, is developed from an edge with no recognizable point of impact.  Typically, all five types are eligible for repair if they do not exceed 12 inches.  This excludes stress or edge cracks that crossover more than one edge.

Don’t Let a Small Problem Become a Nightmare

It is easy to procrastinate on a repair but waiting could cause the crack to become worse.  Simple conditions such as a hot summer or cold winter day could exacerbate the crack.  Don’t put off or overlook this necessary repair or you could end up costing yourself extra money for a total windshield replacement when a simple windshield repair would’ve sufficed had it not been left go.

While not all chips and cracks will be eligible for repair, a large majority will.  It is possible to improve the appearance of the crack between 60 and 99 percent.  Appearance aside, a job done correctly will restore 100% of the strength of your windshield after completion.  Speak to a skilled windshield repair specialist to answer any questions or concerns regarding your windshield damage!

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