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Should I Repair or Replace a Damaged Windshield?

If your windshield has been damaged, you may be asking yourself: Will I need a full replacement, or can I just get it repaired? Many car owners wonder this after windshield damage strikes, and the answer isn’t always clear-cut. It will come down to the specifics of the damage itself, as well as your personal circumstances. 

In this article, we’ll go over the main factors determining whether you’ll need windshield repairs or a full windshield replacement in Denver. Keep in mind that whichever route you take, the auto glass service provider will make a big difference in the quality and longevity of your new auto glass. So, be sure to choose a trusted name in Denver auto glass repair

Types of Windshield Damage

Windshield damage can take many forms. Below, you’ll find the main types of cracks and chips that affect car windshields. 

Chips 

Chips in your windshield may be caused by hard debris on the road, typically a rock or pebble, getting kicked up by your tires and colliding with your windshield. This causes a chip that may also be called a “ding”, “pit”, or “stone break”. Chips can range in size based on the size of the debris, and cracks may or may not extend out from the chip. 

If the debris didn’t cause any cracks extending out from the chip, and the chip isn’t too deep, you can likely just have it repaired. In this case, your auto glass technician can just fill the chip. 

Cracks

Cracks show up as lines on your windshield, (either one line or many lines extending from the original line) and they’ll often grow over time as the damage gets worse. This is why it’s so important to enlist the help of Denver windshield repair specialists ASAP. 

The main types of cracks that can appear on your windshield include:

  • Edge cracks

This type of crack appears two inches or less from the edge of the windshield. The crack protrudes out to the very edges of the windshield, usually measuring ten to twelve inches in total. 

  • Stress cracks

Stress cracks are typically the result of extreme changes in temperature – not damage from debris. Here in Denver, where sporadic weather is normal, the risk of stress windshield cracks is significant. 

  • Crack chips

Crack chips are comparatively small, with a point of impact measuring below a ¼ of an inch. 

  • Floater cracks

A floater crack begins in the center of the windshield, over two inches from its edge. This type of crack can be any length. 

Repairing or Replacing Your Windshield

If your windshield is damaged, you have the option of repairs or a full replacement. But, which option is right for you? Here are a few factors that can help you determine the answer: 

Size 

The size of the crack is, predictably, a major factor in whether or not you’ll need a full windshield replacement. Chips and cracks that are on the smaller side, about twelve inches long or less, can typically be professionally repaired at an affordable cost. 

If the crack or chip is larger than twelve inches, your Denver windshield repair team can help you choose the right course of action. 

Positioning

The position of the crack or chip is also crucial in determining whether repairs or a replacement is best. Mainly, the position of the damage in relation to the driver’s line of sight is important. If the damage is directly in the way of the driver’s line of sight, a replacement will most likely be needed. This is for safety reasons; the driver needs a clear, uninhibited view of the road to drive safely. If a crack has been filled directly in the way of that line of sight, it will be a distraction. 

Conversely, if the crack or chip is positioned near the edge of the windshield, it can likely just be repaired. The outer areas of the windshield are less crucial to driver safety and may therefore be filled without creating a distraction. 

Outer Layer vs. Inner Layer Damage

A car’s windshield has an outer and inner layer. Damage may impact just the outer layer, or it may penetrate deeper and reach the inner layer. As an easy rule of thumb, a crack or chip that only affected the outer layer can likely be repaired. If it reaches the inner layer, however, the windshield will likely need to be replaced. 

For windshield repair or replacement in Denver, call Complete Auto Glass today.