Your windshield is one of the most important parts of your car, but it's also one of the most vulnerable. The same bits of debris that your windshield protects you from can seriously damage the glass protecting you. Here's a little information about what to do when you notice a chip or crack in your windshield, so you'll know whether you need to replace it or repair it.
Chips in your windshield
You've probably experienced a chipped windshield before, as they are very common. Most chips are caused by debris such as gravel flying up into the windshield of your car and hitting the glass. Smaller bits of dirt and gravel simply bounce off of the strong glass, but occasionally these objects can chip your windshield.
While a chip in your windshield may be annoying, they can also be dangerous, as they can lead to cracks in the glass that reduce the stability of your windshield. Fortunately, chips in the glass are easy to repair, and can be done quickly. A glass repair company can repair chips for you, or you may be able to repair them yourself with a DIY kit from an auto supply store. Not every type of chip can be repaired using these kits, however, so be sure to read the instructions carefully before attempting it.
How a chip becomes a crack
If a chip is left untreated, it can turn into a much larger crack in the windshield which could cause the entire piece of glass to break or shatter. Moisture makes its way into the chip, and expands and contracts as the temperature changes. This puts force on the chip, and the pressure causes the glass to move and crack further. A cracked windshield could break completely as pressure from the air pushes on the glass while you drive. It also reduces your visibility, since the crack may run across a large portion of the windshield glass.
Small cracks that are only a few inches long may be able to be repaired without a complete windshield replacement, so it's important to have an auto glass specialist from a place like M S Glass Outlet take a look at your windscreen before the crack gets bigger. If the crack is too large to be repaired, you'll need to have your windshield replaced to prevent it from shattering while you are driving.
If your windshield shatters
If you can't get to the repair shop before your windshield shatters, you may need to call a tow truck to take your car to the shop to have it replaced, since it's not advisable to try driving with no windshield. In fact, in most states your car must have a windshield intact for your car to be considered "street legal."
If you are driving and something hits your windshield, causing it to shatter, pull over as soon as you can. Don't try driving with a shattered windshield. Although the glass in your windshield is designed to shatter into pieces that won't cut you, if you are driving, they can harm you by flying into your eyes and scratching your faces. As soon as you come to a safe stop, call a tow truck to take your car to the auto glass repair shop for a replacement windshield.
If you get a crack or chip in your windshield, don't put off having it repaired. Repairs are much less expensive than a complete windshield replacement, and they take less time, too. If you are worried about the cost, check with your auto insurance company. Many insurers provide coverage for windshield replacement and repairs, since a damaged windshield increases the chances you'll get into an accident.
Don't let a chip in your windshield turn into a shattered windshield while you're driving; get the necessary repairs or replacement as soon as possible, so you'll stay safe on the road.