When your windshield gets damaged, do you get it fixed or replaced? The good news is that if there is only minor damage like an small crack or chip, you can have the windshield repaired instead of replaced. Depending on the severity of the damage, the method of repair should be determined by a glass specialist.

Below are the different types of damage that can occur to a windshield and tips on how to assess the damage.

Chipped or stone break. One of the most common types of windshield damage is chip or stone break. These are typically caused by debris or rocks that strike your windshield while you’re driving. Tiny pieces of glass are chipped away from the windshield. This minor damage can be easily fixed by chip repair. However, chips should be addressed as soon as possible, otherwise, the chip will turn into a crack and will eventually grow making replacement the only option.

Bull’s eye. Bull’s eye is also caused by larger debris. A bull’s eye is typically circular in shape and is more obvious than a ding or chip. This damage can be repaired if the size isn’t too big.If a big chunk of glass is missing from the windshield, you may need to replace it.

Small Crack. A small crack, about the size of a quarter, can be repaired in most cases. Any vibrations or bumps in the road may cause the crack to grow and eventually require replacement of the windshield.

Combination break. This is the windshield damage that creates several kinds of breaks like cracks, dings and chips. If the breaks are only a few and are not too deep, a repair by an auto repair shop could be enough to fix the windshield. But if the cracks are deeper than the surface, a replacement may be needed.

Floater crack. This is the type of damage that originates right in the middle of your windshield. This one is something you will have to examine because the decision of whether it can be repaired or will have to be replaced will depend on the depth and length of the crack.

Edge crack. This crack starts at the edge of your windshield and moves toward the middle. This is usually 10 to 12 inches long forms immediately. This damage would require you to replace your windshield.

Stress crack. A stress crack can form due to your windshield getting weaker over time. The hot and cold weather also contribute to the formation of cracks. For instance, if you park your car under the sun for long hours every day without any cover, then turn the air condition on as soon as you get in, this can stress your windshield and create a crack. Some stress cracks can be addressed by repairs, but others require replacement in an auto shop. You will need a replacement if your entire windshield has weakened or is stressed.  

Pitting. This is when some tiny pieces of glass have chipped away over the entire windshield. This can be repaired but a replacement is recommended.

Star break. A star break has an impact point with short cracks that extend from it forming a star shape. This damage requires immediate attention because the cracks can spread across the windshield quickly.

Any windshield damage is something that should not be ignored. If you have a cracked or broken windshield, bring it to the experts at our Sparks auto body repair shop.

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