Benefits of repair vs. replace:
A quality windshield repair will restore the structural integrity of the windshield, help prevent the damage from spreading, and make the blemish much less noticeable, without removing and replacing the glass.
- Repairs save money
- Prevents replacements
- Glass is never removed so the original factory seal is maintained
How do you know if you need your windshield repaired or replaced?
First of all, it’s helpful to understand the difference between windshield replacement and windshield repair—they are two completely different processes.
Auto glass repair can only be performed on a windshield crack or chip that is very small—the rule of thumb is, smaller than a quarter. A windshield repair doesn’t require removing the windshield, can take 15 – 30 minutes, and costs about $60. Your auto insurance company may pick up the charge for this, as they’d prefer you repair rather than replace your auto glass. Check with your individual insurance company to see if you’re insured for this service.
During an auto glass repair, the technician may drill into the windshield chip to allow for easier flow of resin. Then the technician vacuums the air out of the break and injects resin into it to seal the crack and keep moisture and debris out. Often the windshield chip or crack becomes nearly invisible after an auto glass repair. Some form of scaring will be left behind but the amount depends on the damage.
A windshield replacement involves the removal of the current windshield and the fitting of a new windshield. Usually the removal of the old windshield requires enough force to break it.
After the auto glass installer removes the damaged windshield, he’ll clean and prepare the vehicle frame, and then apply a bead of urethane on the frame to bond the new windshield to the vehicle. You’ll have to wait 1 hour before driving your vehicle to let the urethane cure. A windshield replacement takes 45 – 60 minutes and costs $150 and up.
So if you get a chip or a crack in your windshield, don’t ignore it. It won’t go away, and if you act quickly you can often have it repaired before the crack spreads. If you don’t do anything about the crack or chip, you may need an entirely new windshield. Replacement becomes your only option once a crack or chip grows larger than a quarter. This is because a windshield is a sandwich made up of two layers of glass with a vinyl layer between them. If moisture gets into the windshield through the crack, it can damage the vinyl, weaken the windshield, and compromise its safety.
If you’re still not sure whether to repair or replace your windshield call us and we will be honest with you on what you need to do.