It's vital that the front windshield on your car is kept in good condition. Chips, cracks, and scratches can all inhibit visibility, making your vehicle less safe to operate. Some damage, like cracks, can even compromise the structural integrity of the vehicle. The following are three issues that can affect your window along with what you need to do to fix the problem.
Issue: Rock Chips
Small chips, usually those smaller than a quarter, can often be repaired. These are usually caused by rocks flying up and hitting the window as you drive, so there is no easy way to avoid them other than staying off dirt roads. Following closely behind other vehicles also increases the chances of a rock chip.
Repair is relatively simple. The repair tech will clean the chip and ensure there is no moisture in it. They will then inject a clear resin into the chip, sealing it so it can't grow. This resin cures quickly, then it is lightly sanded so it is flush to the window and polished so it blends in with the glass. Many rock chip repair techs are mobile, so they will come to you. The procedure also only takes a short period of time, so it isn't too much of a hassle. It is well worth it since it can prevent the need for a replacement window.
Issue: Cracked window
Window cracks are more concerning, since they can affect the safety of your windshield. It especially important to have the problem fixed if the crack is in the driver's line of sight or it it reaches to the edge of the window, since this effects structural integrity. Any type of trauma can lead to a crack, including a chip that hasn't been repaired. Temperature fluctuations, such as running the hot defrost on a freezing day, can also make cracks grow larger more quickly.
Repair of a crack requires a full windshield replacement. This process usually takes less than a day, although you may be given special care instructions for the first few days to ensure the glues and adhesives have set. There are mobile windshield replacement firms that will come to you if you don't have time to take your car in for a replacement.
Issue: Window scratches
The most common cause of a scratched windshield is probably the windshield wipers. Old, damaged wipers can etch the window. Dirt caught under wipe blades is also a culprit. Replace the blades regularly and avoid using the wipers on a dry window. You may also want to wipe down the blades periodically to make sure no dirt is trapped beneath.
Scratches aren't the end of a windshield, though. A repair tech can polish the glass with a gentle abrasive, which will remove the scratches and bring back the clarity and shine. You will need to have the windshield inspected to make sure the scratches aren't too deep, though, since polishing only works on shallow scratches.
For auto glass repair, contact a company such as Premiere Glass And Mirror.