The Difference Between Windshield Repair And Windshield Replacement

27 Mar

What is commonly known as windshield repair or auto glass repair is an evolution compared to the long history of vehicle glass. The development of multiple layers of toughened glass (safety glass) in vehicles relates to the invention of multiple layers of thick, multi-layered, multi-faceted glass that can protect drivers and passengers from crushing, flying debris, wind and dust. This material also reduces glare and heat penetration through the windshield while also improving vehicle safety. Windshield repair has changed over the years as well with the inclusion of newer and stronger technologies to deal with today's threats. Learn more by continuing reading this article.

For example, the replacement of safety glass with toughened glass is becoming more commonplace with windshield repair. While windshield repair and replacement were commonly done at the factory or by a glass specialist, today most repairs can be done at an off-site shop under a general contractor package. This saves on time and expense and allows for more creative designs and customization of these repairs.

Many older windshields can suffer quite a bit of damage over the years. Chips, cracks, and breaks are standard. What is uncommon, are the cases where the glass has been cracked or chipped but is still intact and functioning properly. Typically this damage will have deeper cracks and possibly even split or broken glass. When this occurs, the condition of the windshield repair may be different than that of cracked or chipped glass. In this instance, the windshield repair will be more extensive as it addresses the full thickness of the chip or crack and possible replacement if necessary.

When a chip or crack appears on a part of a windshield that does not affect the structural integrity of the glass, the repair can be less extensive and costly. Repairing smaller chips is typically less expensive and time consuming. Therefore, a small chip might not warrant a structural integrity replacement. If you have a large chip or crack that affects the structural integrity of the glass, it is likely that a structural integrity replacement will be needed.

One important difference between repairing small chips versus larger ones is that a chip that is less than 2mm typically can be repaired without the need for structural repairs. Typically, when larger chips occur they will require structural repairs to ensure the safety and efficiency of your vehicle. The most common structural repairs are either a resin repair, which is very inexpensive, or an epoxy resin repair. Both of these repairs will seal the edges of the chip so that it does not continue to spread and compromise the integrity of your windshield.

When a chip spreads into the outer layer of glass, usually referred to as the "inner" layer, and then into the "outer" layer of clear resin, called "resin paint", this is referred to as a crack. A crack in any of these layers will need to be sealed, and in many instances a complete replacement of the windshield will be required. Windshield repairs for cracks are more expensive than the replacement, but typically provide significantly better value overall and a safer vehicle. As always, it is always best to consult with an number one windshield repair shop when you encounter a crack or other windshield damage.

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