Research shows that 5 to 10 percent of the vehicle owners replace their windscreens every year while a further 5 percent drives with damaged windscreens that badly need a repair or replacement. Flying objects and debris, accidental collisions, and other elements can cause damage to the windscreen. Unrepaired or damaged windscreen is often the cause of vehicular accidents worldwide.
Windscreens are an important safety feature of your vehicle. They add considerable strength to the vehicle’s roof and can help to prevent its occupants from being ejected out. You can think of windscreens as the topmost safety restraint of your vehicle. In addition, they provide comfort while driving since they protect vehicle occupants from the wind, sun rays, and rain.
Windscreen damage varies from minor cracks and chips to serious smashing of the entire fabricated glass. Regardless of the damage, the most important thing is that the windscreen repair or replacement must be handled by professional personnel. They can provide a high-quality fix to restore the strength and integrity of the windscreen that provides both security and safety to vehicle occupants.
It is not advisable and sometimes it is nearly impossible to drive with a broken windscreen. The only way to get back safely on the road is either through windscreen replacement or repair.
Read more: Vehicle Standard Information – Windscreens and Window Tinting
When to Replace or Repair Your Windscreen?
Windscreen replacement and repair will depend mainly on the size of the damage, the location, as well as the overall condition. Obviously, heavily smashed windscreens and those with huge cracks will require complete replacement. However, challenges come in when dealing with cracks and chips.
A chip is a dent in the windscreen glass that is usually of 3 main types – star, half-moon, and bull’s eye. A crack is usually a line-like damage that runs a few inches long across the windscreen. Only a professional repairman can decide what to do with the damaged windscreen. To make the right decision, the repairer needs to consider the location where the minor damage has occurred. The following are some important facts to consider for windscreen replacement or repair:
- In cases where the crack is on the windscreen’s edge, a full replacement is highly recommended. Such cracks can extend quite fast thereby threatening the integrity and structure of the entire glass.
- For cracks that are larger than 3 inches, a full windscreen replacement is advisable. Even though some repairers do claim to repair cracks up to 12 inches long, it still depends on the technique they use as well as the amount of distortion to the glass.
- Windscreen replacement is highly advisable for those chips located directly in front of the driver, blocking the line of vision. When you get such damages repaired, you will notice a slight unevenness and distortion that can affect the clarity of the glass. Thus, it reduces the visibility for the driver. Windscreen replacement is, therefore, more commendable than repair in this regard.
- Cracks and chips outside the driver’s line of vision are repairable so long as they do not reduce the structural integrity or cause significant damage to the windscreen.
On a final note, when you take your vehicle for windscreen replacement and repair, make sure that only the right professional should make the proper assessment and provide the best solution to your problem. It is never advisable to risk your personal safety or even your life for a quick fix.
Additionally, it’s prudent to ensure that the finished job must never leave any sign of dirt or debris on your windscreen. The professional repair specialists are an expert of this. They have all the necessary equipment to do the repair or replacement properly so that any evidence of such should be unnoticeable. You should also pay attention to the size and location of the cracks or chips. Never trust the windscreen specialist to recommend repairs when it is rather clear that windscreen replacement is the best solution and vice versa.