Windshield Chip Repairs: How They Work
Cruising along the highway, my windshield was suddenly hit by a tiny bit of rock that flew up from seemingly nowhere. Within a split second, I had a chip in the middle of the windscreen glass- just out of the line of my vision, but very distracting all the same.
I had the choice- get a new windshield or get the chip repaired? I wasn't too sure about the consequences of a so-called chip repair, so set out to find out more. My car was fairly new and I wanted the best alternative. I couldn't really ignore the chip as it was drawing my attention every once in a while and that's surely not a good thing when you're driving!
What I found was that a new windshield would set me back by a tidy packet, and if the glass wasn't perfectly fitted it would be prone to leaks. Crack repair services promised to repair the nick with a resin that arrests the crack from widening, and makes it almost invisible. Claims varied from 1" to 5" most commonly, and some even promised windscreen chip repairs of upto 10" long. My chip was just a little around 1" at the most, so I decided to get it repaired.
I was told after inspection by the technician that my windscreen chip was very suitable for repair. It was what he called a single line and not a multiple crack. He warned me, however, that it would not be completely blemish free after repair. After cleaning the glass both inside and out, he very carefully injected a high-quality resin into the crack. He removed the excess with a small tool that looked like a blade, and cured the resin using some UV light. After this the surface was polished to restore clarity and strength to the repaired windscreen glass. He made sure the inside of the vehicle was cleaned as well so that no dust could settle on the resin before it dried.
From start to finish the whole process must have taken around an hour. Afterwards, it was actually not easy to find out where the windshield stone chip had been. It looked like a small blemish and wasn't really visible unless you looked very closely. My chipped windshield repair, I was glad to find, was covered under my insurance policy. I was given a warranty for as long as I owned the vehicle; that was a good thing too!
From my experience, here are some things I learnt:
- If the chip is not repaired soon, the damage can spread and can potentially cause the auto glass of the windshield to crack.
- Depending on the location, sometimes windshield replacements may be the only option.
- As soon as a crack occurs on the windscreen, if you can cover it with some plaster or duct tape, dust will not settle inside and the crack will not deepen.
- The resin should dry out well before you drive the vehicle again.
Not only is a chipped windshield annoying and distracting while driving, it can be potentially very unsafe. Do get the rock chip repair attended to without delay!