How Big of a Crack on a Windshield is Unfixable?

Windshield is Unfixable
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Your car’s windshield is much more than just a window; it represents a crucial part of your vehicle’s structural integrity and its safety. If it’s damaged, one’s first impulse would be to repair it right away. Not all cracks are created equal, though—, some can be repaired, and some cannot. So, just how bad can a crack in your windshield really get before it’s irreparable?

Understanding Windshield Damage

Although the nature of a crack must be assessed by a professional before determining if it’s repairable, most windshield damage falls into one of four categories. Chips, bullseyes, stars, and cracks are the most common types of damage. Chips are small damages that normally result from flying road debris, while cracks are lines that may spread across the glass. Bullseyes and stars are circular damages with radiating lines.

Repairable Windshield Damage

In general, chips up to one inch in diameter and cracks up to three inches long can usually be repaired. Nowadays, repairing such minor damages doesn’t risk the structural integrity of a windshield. The process typically involves injecting some special kind of resin into the damaged area, which restores the clarity and strength to a remarkable degree after being cured and polished.

Windshield Damage That Can’t Be Repaired

Now, when it comes to damage that can’t be fixed, the criteria are size and location. Here are the major variables that decide whether a crack in your windshield is irreparable or not:

  1. Length of the Crack: Cracks longer than three inches are generally beyond repair. The longer the crack, the harder it is to repair it without risking further spreading, which could compromise the strength of the windshield.
  2. Depth of the Crack: If the crack extends to the inner and outer layers of glass, in most cases, this means laminated safety glass is irreconcilable. Either way, windshields have laminated glass, composed of two glass layers with a plastic layer sandwiched in between them. Cracks that penetrate fully through all the layers need a full replacement.
  3. Position of the Crack: Cracks, no matter in size, which are in the line of sight of the driver, cannot be repaired. This is because the process of repair can easily leave minor distortions in the glass that will impair the vision of the driver and thus in most cases become a safety hazard. Besides, cracks at the edges of the windshield tend to spread faster and are difficult to effectively repair.
  4. Complexity of the Damage: If it has multiple branches or spreads out in a spider pattern, then most likely, a crack is not repairable. Complex cracks plug extensive damage that compromises a windshield’s integrity.

Conclusion

How long, deep, located, or complicated a crack is may ultimately decide whether it can be repaired or not. Cracks longer than three inches, those that have penetrated all layers of the glass, or cracks in critical areas of your windshield—such as in the line-of-vision area of the driver or along the edges—generally cannot be repaired and will mandate replacement of your windshield. Always consult with a professional to assess the damage and determine the best course of action for your safety and peace of mind.

This post was written by a professional at At Home Auto Glass. At Home Auto Glass is your prime destination for auto glass services, catering to a diverse array of vehicles and needs. We work with insurance companies to get your new windshield today! Specializing in windshield repair and replacement, we ensure clarity and safety for every drive. Our expertise doesn’t end there; we also offer back glass replacement, side window replacement, and cater to specific needs for RV glass, commercial vehicles, luxury vehicles, and classic cars, ensuring that every vehicle type is serviced with precision and care. Proudly serving Florida, our reach extends across Sarasota, Tampa, Orlando, Fort Myers, Tallahassee, Ocala, Gainesville, and Jacksonville. Call us now to get your quote for your mobile windshield replacement Sarasota FL.

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