To understand how you can repair your windshield, we must first take a look at the material it is made of. Finding the perfect type of glass for windshields was no easy feat. Housing glass was inexpensive, but too brittle when broken, making it quite dangerous. Tempered glass couldn’t hold up to all the normal wear and tear. And, plastic wouldn’t remain clear enough long-term. So, the solution to windshield creation landed on laminated glass.
Windshields are made of and repaired with laminated glass. Essentially laminated glass is two sheets of tempered glass that are fused to an inner rubber layer. The rubber of course acts like a sponge of shock absorption for any hard particles that might hit your windshield and cause damage. That is why one rock hitting your windshield might cause a small break in the glass, but it shouldn’t shatter it. The two independent glass pieces also help to create a built-in safety net. Small scratches and breaks are the result of the flying particles only creating damage to the outer layer of glass, not the whole windshield. This is the type of break that can be solved through easy windshield repair services that won’t require you to replace the whole thing.
Luckily, because there are three different layers, if a large item hits your windshield and shatters both glass layers, the rubber layer will help ensure the whole windshield won’t just fall into your lap! So, now that we've discussed how breaks and chips happen, let’s tackle how to solve them.
The windshield repair method is going to be different from side window repair because your side windows are simply made out of tempered glass. This is a built-in safety feature, because in the event that the car is submerged in water, you would need to be able to break the glass easily. However, some auto repair shops will replace your tempered window glass with laminated glass to make it more difficult for thieves to break in, or for you to be ejected from the vehicle in the event of an accident. Be sure to specify if you are getting yours replaced.
When should you replace instead of repair?
If the chip is larger than a quarter
If the crack is larger than a dollar
If the crack or chip in any way disturbs the vision of the driver (you can be ticketed for this!)
If there is more than one chip or crack
A chip can easily be repaired, usually with resin. However, if the repair is not considered a chip or a crack and is a pit it can not be repaired because there is essentially a hole in which the resin cannot adhere to. Be mindful of the type of repair that needs to be done if you are submitting a claim for your insurance. Most insurance companies will recommend a place that is approved by DOT standards, so consult your insurance company if you are unsure.