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Can You Fix A Cracked Windshield Without Replacing It?

Defining Cracked Windshield

The term “cracked windshield” refers to cracks in the glass itself rather than the film adhered to it. Cracks in the glass are usually caused by road debris striking the vehicle, such as rocks or gravel. While most people don’t notice small cracks in the glass, larger ones are much easier to see. They may even cause the entire windshield to shatter, putting you at risk of injury.

While there is no set rule about whether to repair or replace a broken windshield, here are some factors to consider when making that decision:

How long has the crack existed?

Crack detection technology has improved over the years, allowing us to identify cracks that used to go undetected. However, cracks that start small may grow over time, especially if the car is involved in an accident. In addition, cracks that form due to the accumulation of moisture inside the glass could become a bigger problem if left unattended.

What type of damage does the crack represent?

If the crack represents a small chip, it might not require replacement. But if the crack runs across the surface of the glass, it may indicate a more serious issue. For example, if water gets into the crack, it could lead to mold growth, which could make the windshield unsafe to use.

Chipped Windshield

A windshield chip is a tiny hole in the surface of a car window. They are usually caused by debris hitting the glass. If the damage is minor, it may just cause a scratch. But if the piece of debris is large enough or hits the glass hard enough, it could break off a piece glass.

This type of chip is pretty standard. Most people don’t even know about them because they aren’t big enough to see without a magnifying lens. And since most cars have a warranty for parts like this, many owners never notice them.

But once a crack starts growing, those little chips can become more significant. Over time, they can become larger and larger. Eventually, they might grow to the size where they start breaking up the sealant between the layers of the window. At this point, the crack grows deeper and wider. When that happens, it becomes much harder to repair.

Cracked Windshield

Cracks are one of those things that we just don’t think about much until something goes wrong. But even if you aren’t driving around with a broken windshield, there are still some essential things you should know about cracking. Cracking happens because the glass expands and contracts depending on what conditions it’s subjected to. This expansion and contraction are caused by heat and cold, respectively. So if your windshield gets too warm, it will expand, and if it gets too cold, it will shrink.

While cracks usually occur in the center of the windshield, they can also develop near the edges.  You can tell how far along the crack is by looking at the color of the glass itself. A crack close to the edge will look black, while one farther away will be brownish or greenish.

The most common cause of windshield cracks is exposure to sunlight. When the sun shines directly onto the window, the heat causes the glass to expand, which can lead to cracks forming. If you have been driving around during the day without noticing any cracks, you likely weren’t driving under direct sunlight. Instead, you were probably driving through clouds or fog, which blocks the sun’s rays.

Another cause of windshield cracks is simply being hit by flying debris. Glass breaks easily if damaged. Dirt and dust can enter cracks and cause them to spread, making them bigger and harder to repair.

Finally, someone else may have already noticed if you have a crack in a part of your windshield that isn’t visible. If you have recently changed insurance companies or had your vehicle inspected, you may ask your current insurer whether they have seen anything suspicious.

Repairing A Chipped or Cracked windshield

As you can probably guess, repairing a cracked windshield isn’t always easy. Many variables are involved, including the type of chip or break, the size, the location, and how deep the crack goes. In some cases, it might make sense to replace the entire windshield rather than trying to fix it yourself. But, sometimes, it makes more sense to try to repair a broken windshield. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to attempt repairs or buy a new one.

Is it worth fixing?

The first question to ask yourself is whether or not the crack is causing problems. For example, if a chip has been there for months without being noticed, it’s unlikely to do much harm. However, if the crack is large, deep, or located near the edge of the window, it could cause serious issues down the road. 

How big is the crack?

If the crack is very small, you might be able to patch it yourself. Smaller cracks don’t tend to be too problematic, but larger ones can pose significant problems. A crack that’s less than half an inch wide can usually be fixed, while anything bigger than that requires professional help. If you need your windshield replaced, contact Complete Auto Glass in Thornton, CO!

Where does the crack go?

A crack that runs along the bottom of the windshield is usually easier to repair than those that run across the middle. This is because it doesn’t affect visibility, and the material around the edges is still intact. Cracks that run across the center of the windshield are harder to deal with because they’re visible and affect visibility. They also require more work since the surrounding area needs to be removed.windshield free of chips or cracks

Reasons To Have Your Windshield Repaired or Replaced

Here are a few reasons you might want to think about having a windshield repaired or replaced sooner rather than later.

You’re driving over rough roads.

Cracks and chips in a windshield can occur due to road conditions like potholes and gravel. If you find yourself driving over uneven surfaces often, it could be worth considering repairing or replacing your windshield sooner rather than later. A chip or crack in your windshield won’t necessarily affect your ability to see out of your vehicle, but it can make traveling over bumpy terrain a little less comfortable.

Your windshield is showing signs of wear and tear. 

While most windshields are designed to handle everyday use, they don’t last forever. Windshields tend to become brittle and break down over time. This makes it essential to check how well your windshield is holding up regularly. If you notice that your windshield is starting to show signs of cracking and fading, it might be time to consider whether you need to have it replaced.

Windshields Are Extremely Important

Windshields may seem insignificant to vehicle maintenance, but they are extremely important. They protect drivers from flying debris, such as bugs, bird droppings, and gravel. But cracks and chips in a windshield can cause significant problems, including loss of visibility and the inability to pass inspections.

A damaged windshield loses its ability and strength to withstand the impacts of flying objects and can become a significant visual obstruction. If left untreated, a chip or crack can spread and weaken the glass over time, making it increasingly vulnerable to additional breakage.

While a small chip or crack might not initially seem like a big problem, they rarely stay small. As cracks and chips grow and spread, the glass weakens, making it more likely that it will eventually fail and become a natural driving hazard.

Driving With A Damaged Windshield in Colorado

In most cases, driving with a chipped windshield in Colorado is legal. There are exceptions, however, that include instances where a vehicle owner fails to repair a crack in their windshield. A person could face fines if they do not correctly take care of their windshield.

The law requires drivers to maintain a windshield free from obstructions. This includes stickers, tags, and anything else that might interfere with visibility. The law further stipulates that windshield wipers must be kept clean and in good working order. If you notice that your wiper blades are worn down or damaged, it is best to replace them immediately.

Cracks and chips in the glass do not necessarily constitute an obstruction. They can still allow adequate vision while driving. Cracks and chips may become an issue if they affect how well your windshield clears water off.

If you see something that looks out of place, such as a crack or chip, make sure to bring it to the attention of the professionals at Complete Autoglass.

Common Causes Of A Cracked Windshield

The most common cause of a windshield crack is impact damage, usually caused by flying debris hitting the glass. In many cases, the cracks occur near the bottom edge of the glass, where the frame meets the car’s body. This crack type is called a “bottom corner break.” Other cracks include those along the edges of the glass, called “edge breaks,” and those that run across the middle, known as “center-to-center breaks.”

To determine whether the crack is located in one of these areas, look for evidence of impact damage around the area of the crack. Cracks that form due to normal wear and tear often show no impact damage. For example, some older cars have developed small cracks over time. These cracks tend to start small and grow larger over time. However, these cracks don’t typically affect visibility.

If you find visible marks on the surface of the glass indicating that the crack occurred due to impact damage, you’ll want to use a windshield repair kit. A kit consists of several components, including adhesive tape, rubber cement, a squeegee, and paper towels. You can find these kits at your local automotive shop.

Schedule Windshield Repair or Replacement

Complete Auto Glass offers fast, convenient windshield repair and replacement services in Thornton, Colorado, to keep drivers safe on the roads. Whether a small chip or a large crack, we provide quality glass services for all makes and models. We are committed to providing customers with high-quality workmanship and customer service.