How is Auto Glass Repair?
If you own a car, you’re bound to experience a windshield issue at some point in time. Rocks, pebbles, and debris can crack, chip, and shatter a windshield, or your car may be targeted by vandals. In either case, there are many methods that you can use to repair the glass, but there are cases when you’ll have no choice but to replace it. Let’s take a look at the different ways auto glass can be repaired and whether your case is salvageable.
How is Auto Glass Repair?
Windshield patches are sold in most department and hardware stores and are one of the few DIY auto glass repair methods that you can use. Most glass repair shops will not use a patch because it is not the most professional or effective way to repair a cracked windshield. However, it could be a good choice if you don’t have much money to spend and the issue is not critical.
The way a windshield patch works is pretty simple. All you have to do is cut the patch to fit exactly over the crack, install it, smooth it out, and let it cure. After a while, the patch will solidify. Note that the patch will not penetrate the windshield but simply hold it together, which is why it’s not considered the best repair option.
If you want to get a crack repaired by a professional, the most common method that they’re going to use is applying windshield resin. It is a very efficient way to strengthen a damaged area and restore a windshield. The auto glass repair specialist will start by injecting the resin directly into the crack or chip. They will then apply direct heat to the area. This will cause the resin to expand and harden and become one with the glass. The glass will look good as new if the repair is performed properly. The area treated will be just as strong as any other part of the glass too.
There are some cases, however, where you’ll have no choice but to have the windshield replaced. In most cases, you won’t be able to repair a crack that is wider than a quarter in diameter. And, if a crack is longer than a dollar bill, it can’t be repaired either.
If a crack or chip has first been repaired but then reappears, the windshield should not be repaired either. This will only cause repeated issues and the glass might shatter at some point, so it’s not a good idea. There are also cases when a crack or chip is not entirely “clean”, meaning that cracks may spread from it in different directions. This is also a case where the windshield might have to be replaced.
One thing you could do to limit the cost of replacement would be to get a used windshield. You could find one online or at a scrapyard. Speak with a professional to see how much they would charge if you were to bring your own windshield versus them getting one.
Now that you know a bit more about how auto glass repair works, you can start looking at different options. If you can fix the issue yourself, go ahead, but it’s always better to go with a professional if you want long-lasting and professional-looking results.