It takes just a second for a rock to fly up off of the road and make a chip in your windshield. If it's not directly in your line of sight, it's easy to forget that it's there. Over time, a crack can start at that point of impact and make its way across the entire windshield. Save yourself the hassle of getting a windshield replacement by getting that rock chip repaired soon. Here is how a simple rock chip can ruin an entire windshield and how those chips are repaired.
Safety Glass Delays the Cracks
Original windshield designs were simple panes of glass that shattered into sharp fragments when broken. Safety glass was developed to protect the driver and passengers from being hurt should the windshield be broken. This glass is made by sandwiching two pieces of glass together with a plastic film in between. If the glass breaks, the film holds the pieces together.
When a rock hits your windshield and breaks the exterior layer of glass, it places stress on that point of the windshield. Driving causes the windshield to vibrate. Temperature differences between inside and outside of the car make the windshield expand and contract. This creates additional stress on the glass and can cause a crack to begin at the rock chip. Once a crack begins, it can move across the entire windshield quickly. You can park the car in the driveway at night and wake up to a long crack in the windshield.
A Simple Repair to Save a Windshield
Patching a rock chip is a simple process and can be done while you wait. Most windshield repair services offer rock chip repairs. Your insurance company may even cover the cost of the repair for you so they won't have to pay for an expensive windshield replacement later.
When done by a professional glass technician, the following repair can be completed so it is barely noticeable.
- Dirt and pieces of glass are cleaned out of the chip.
- The chip is filled with a clear resin.
- The resin is smoothed out so it is level with the glass around it.
- After it dries, the resin is polished so it is as clear as the surrounding glass.
The process only takes a few minutes. You can get this done on your way to or from work so you won't have the risk of coming out to a car with a cracked windshield. For more information, check with companies like A.C. Glass.