Windshield Repair Versus Replacement
Windshield damage can seem disastrous to the untrained eye. Most drivers hurry to have their windshield replaced anytime it is damaged in any way. The fact is, it is far more expensive to replace a windshield than it is to repair it, even when your insurance covers it. You should understand when you need windshield repairs and when auto glass replacement is necessary. The following factors will help you decide whether to repair or replace your windshield:
The location of damage highly determines whether you need to repair or replace the windshield. If the damage is on the edges of the windshield, then you need to replace it. The windshield is vital in keeping the vehicle's structure in place in case of a rollover. Any damage to its edges compromises this putting you at risk.
Even when the crack along the edge seems minimal, it can spread right across the windshield due to vibrations when the car is in motion. As a rule of thumb, any damage to the windshield edges should always call for auto glass replacement. However, cracks that are not along the edges of your windshield can be easily repaired and save you more money than if you were to replace the entire windshield.
The crack size determines whether the damage requires replacement or repair. Most small cracks only a few inches long can be easily repaired by auto glass repair experts without requiring the windshield to be replaced.
The size of the crack goes hand in hand with the depth. The windshield has three layers: the glass layer, a plastic layer, and a final inner glass layer. If the damage goes beyond the plastic layer, then you need to consider replacing the windshield. Anything that is not deeper than the plastic layer can be repaired.
Type of Windshield
The type of glass on the windshield determines whether repairing it is an option. The two types of glass used to make windshields are tempered glass and laminated glass. Although both have three layers of material infused into one, their endurance levels vary.
Tempered glass is strong and can withstand some level of tension. Laminated glass, on the other hand, is stronger. As such, if the windshield is made of tempered glass (though this is rare), it cannot withstand repair once damaged. However, since most vehicles have laminated glass, auto glass repair is an option one should consider before replacing the windshield.