You’re driving down the road, abiding by the speed limit, avoiding distractions and following the rules of the road. The radio is softly humming your favorite tune and it’s a beautiful day for a drive. Then, TINK! Out of nowhere, a pebble smacks your windshield, leaving a jagged “bulls-eye,” “bee’s-wing,” or “star break” right in your line of vision. Windshield damage is the most frequently reported insurance claim. The biggest cause—debris kicked up from the road.
Follow these steps when your windshield is damaged:
-Don’t hold off. The longer you wait to repair your windshield, the more likely it won’t turn out as well cosmetically or structurally. See if your insurance carrier has preferred repair shops to work with and call a glass or windshield repair company right away. Many insurance companies will even waive your comprehensive deductible and pay the entire cost for a stone chip repair.
-Use a temporary fix. Until you can get the crack repaired by a professional, temporarily seal the break with tape at the point of impact. This will help prevent moisture from seeping into the break, but won’t prevent the crack from expanding.
-Keep it clean and dry. Moisture can make a windshield crack expand, so it’s important to keep the damaged area as clean and dry as possible.
Repair or replace?
Temperature change and stress can make a small break become larger, which could mean the difference between windshield repair or windshield replacement. Technically, most cracks can be filled, but depending on the size and location of the crack, the repair option may not be the best choice.
For damage larger than a 50 cent piece, repairing the windshield may make the crack less visible, but it may not be as structurally sound after the repair. The repair process isn’t usually recommended for damage that is located in your line of vision because even after it’s repaired, the crack may not disappear completely.
When thinking about repairing or replacing a windshield, most people don’t take into consideration the effect it may have on the structural integrity of their vehicle. An improper glass repair or replacement could put the safety of you and your family in jeopardy. In the event of an accident, a windshield should:
-Support the roof of the vehicle - A windshield provides support to the roof in a rollover accident if properly bonded to the frame with urethane sealant.
-Act as a back-stop for the passenger side airbag – The passenger-side airbag deploys off the windshield first and then expands to the passenger.
-Keep you safe inside the vehicle - If a passenger is thrown up against the glass, the lamination acts like an elastic band and snaps the person back into the vehicle rather than being thrown through it.
In any of these situations, the windshield will not properly perform as the manufacturer intended if the structure is weakened by improper repair or replacement. Look for an experienced glass repair company that will work with your insurance carrier to get you back on the road safely. Ask about safe drive-away time and the experience level of the technician.
Published with permission from RISMedia.