A Basic Guide To Windshield Chip Repair
The loud crack of a rock hitting your window often means that there is now glass damage to deal with. Fortunately, chip repair is a relatively simple and successful option.
Chips come in a variety of shapes and in a range of severity. Bullseye and starburst chips, which have a divot in the center and then radiating rings or arms, are likely the most common. You can also get half moon chips, which are shaped as the name implies, or combination breaks, which is a chip with a crack coming out of it.
No matter the type of chip, it is repairable as long as it isn't too large. Generally, any chip that is smaller than a half dollar and any crack less than a couple of inches in length can be repaired using the same basic patching process.
You shouldn't delay chip replacement, even if the chip is very small and shallow. Moisture can get into a chip. If the weather is cold and variable, then expanding and contracting water may make the crack larger. Cracks can also get bigger from the pressure and movement caused when you drive, What starts as a small, nearly invisible rock chip can quickly grow to severe damage.
Another way chips can become worse is by causing delamination. Windshield glass is made of a couple of layers adhered together. A deep chip may penetrate the top layer and possibly even damage the inside layer. As moisture works its way into the chip, it reaches the lamination layer and then begins to leak between the two layers of glass, separating them and destroying the window.
Repair is relatively straightforward and quick. Your technician first thoroughly cleans the windshield to minimize the chances of any dirt becoming trapped in the patch. They may also use a heat gun or air dryer to ensure there is no trapped moisture.
Finally, they stick a special patching syringe against the glass. This syringe is filled with patching acrylic and it has a large suction base. When attached over the chip, it forms a vacuum. This vacuum forces any air trapped deep in the chip out as the acrylic is injected deep into the crack. Once patched, the tech will quickly cure the acrylic with a UV light. They will then sand and polish it until the repair blends into the rest of the windshield.
Contact a windshield chip repair service if you are ready to have your windshield fixed.