A cracked windshield can be caused by several factors including physical factors such as rocks and other hard objects that fly at the windshield. This can occur when loose stones are on the road or debris falls from a vehicle ahead of you while driving on the road.
Other factors are; manufacturing or installation defects, which make the glass prone and sensitive to damage and cracks. Weather factors, alternating temperatures, accidents, and so on, are also included.
However, can a cracked windshield be repaired?
A cracked windshield can be prepared depending on the level of damage on the windshield. If the damage is too large or too deep, it will be hard to repair, but if it’s minimal damage, it can be repaired.
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What Is A Cracked Windshield?
A windshield is made of laminated glass. The laminated glass consists of two glass sheets separated by laminated plastic. This plastic feature is what makes the glass laminated and in turn, the reason it is called laminated glass.
On exposure to hits from hard objects, the laminated glass does not break but cracks or chips are formed on the glass.
A windshield does not shatter when it is hit by hard and heavy objects or rocks and even in critical situations like accidents, but forms large or small cracks and chips depending on the amount of damage done to the windshield.
The windshield holds together on breakage into small, granular pieces and does not shatter into large and dangerous pieces.
Can a Cracked Windshield Be Repaired?
A cracked windshield can be repaired but only if the damage is minimal. If the crack is too large or too deep, replacement is required. But in the event of small and shallow cracks, a repair can be done.
You can also consider repair if there are only about one or two chips on the windshield. The spot of the windshield is also a contributing factor. Minor crack damages are often repairable.
Also, a cracked windshield should be repaired or replaced because it is not safe to drive with a cracked windshield. Moreover, you may be pulled over because of the cracked windshield. So the earlier, the better.
How to Repair a Cracked Windshield
To prevent further spreading of cracks on your windshield, an immediate repair is advised.
A cracked windshield is repairable when;
- There is a hole
- Has an air gap
- The crack is not up to a bill
- The chip fits under a quarter
There are several things to consider when considering the repair of a crack. They include the size of the crack, the location of the crack, and DIY repair kits.
These repair kits have features to look out for when purchasing them. They are; uses (crack or chip size), curing steps, expiration date, and cost.
When a cracked windshield can get repaired, the process usually includes injecting a clear resin into the area affected. The resin is then cured and polished, which leaves a smooth and transparent finish and prevents the crack from spreading further.
If the damage can be repaired, it is best to do it as soon as possible. The best windshield repair kit that can be used successfully to repair your windshield can be found on Amazon from the links below.
- zeBrush Windshield Repair Kit. This is one of the best windshield repair kits because it has a strength that can exceed 20 P—A, making it possible for the place repaired not to shatter, should in case another crack occur.
- Rain-X 600001 Windshield Repair Kit. What makes this product better than the rest is the result you will get after using it. Moreover, it is very easy to use. You do not need to be an expert to use Rain-X 600001 Windshield Repair Kit to repair your damaged windshield.
Here are some ‘Do It Yourself’ step-by-step guides to repairing the cracks or chips on your windshield:
Step One: Clean The Area Of The Crack
One of the first steps to fixing a windshield chip or crack is to clean the glass around the area. Using a safety pin, get rid of broken glass inside the chip or crack.
And then use an alcohol wipe (provided in the repair kit) to clean the area of the crack or chip to have a good bonding surface for the adhesive disc (patch).
Please, it’s important if you don’t lean on or rest your body weight on the windshield while carrying out this process. This is to prevent the crack from spreading further.
Step Two: Apply The Adhesive Patch And Pedestal
After cleaning the area, remove one side of the adhesive patch, and center the patch over the crack and paste. Press on tightly to make sure it is stuck properly.
Peel off the other side of the patch and attach the pedestal, also press on tightly to make certain it is stuck.
Step Three: Use The Included Resin
Apply the resin to the pedestal. Before applying, you can paste a tape below and fold it. This is useful if the resin spills. Proceed to insert the syringe into the pedestal.
Step Four: Wait For The Air Bubbles To Escape
Extract the air from the pedestal using the syringe. The syringe can only get the air from the cracked area and not extract the resin itself.
After doing this, you would have to wait for about an hour under a shade for the air bubbles to escape. You can wait for about 5-10 minutes if the step or the process is done in the sun or using a UV light torch.
Don’t remove the syringe until you no longer see air bubbles in the crack.
Step Five: Remove The Syringe And Pedestal
After there are no more air bubbles, you may use the syringe further down the pedestal until it stops, this should force the remaining resin into the crack.
Once the time has passed and the resin has cured the crack, go ahead to remove the syringe and the pedestal carefully.
Take note, that while using the razor to peel off the adhesive, use as less pressure as possible. Also, go from corners until it is taken off.
Step Six: Use The Curing Strip
Paste the curing strip on the crack to avoid air bubbles. Hold it in place and get rid of any remaining air bubbles. Let the strip rest for the set time and proceed to scrape it off with a razor blade for a clean finish.
Do this carefully and don’t rush this step.
Step Seven: Remove Excess Resin
Scrape off the remaining resin with the razor blade. Also, do this carefully to avoid fingerprints or damage to the windshield.
After this process, you should have a windshield looking the way it was before the crack.
Pros of Repairing a Cracked Windshield
There are benefits to repairing a cracked windshield, they are:
1. Increased Windshield Life
Repairing the cracks and chips on your windshield not only fixes the damage but also helps strengthen the damaged area and its surroundings. This maintains the integrity of the glass structurally and prevents further damage caused by minor effects.
Repairing the windshield makes it lasts longer and it also saves you quality time, money, effort, and stress required to replace the windshield in the future.
Repairing your windshield costs less than replacing the entire glass. It is easier to repair a windshield, it is also faster and quicker.
3. Less Time Consuming
Repairing is a time-saving process when compared to windshield replacement. The process of replacing a windshield glass takes more time as a glass professional has to remove the cracked windshield glass carefully without damaging the body of the car.
In the same careful manner, the professional has to install the new windshield in place securely, making sure it does not move or get damaged when the vehicle is being driven.
4. It Protects The Windshield From Further Damage
If cracks in the windshield are not attended to or repaired as quickly as possible, they spread. When this happens, the windshield glass weakens and causes the windshield to become dangerous.
If the cracks aren’t repaired, the windshield could collapse and this is something that should be prevented.
5. Convenient And Quick Process
For windshield replacement, you will need to make an appointment to get the process done. In some situations, the replacement shop might not have the required or matching glass for your car. This could cause a setback.
You could even have to further your search for a windshield repair shop that would have the matching glass for your vehicle.
Cons of Repairing a Cracked Windshield
- Lack Of Proper Damage Identifications: Not following the size of cracks considered repairable could make the DIY repair go the opposite way you would want it to.
- It Will Not Turn Out Well: A repair will not turn out well when you are trying to repair large cracks with DIY techniques and not getting a repair from trained technicians in a windshield repair shop.
- Quality Of The Resin: Purchasing a non-guaranteed Resin quality in a repair kit is one of the disadvantages of repairing a cracked windshield. Using a bad quality resin could cause some serious damage to the windshield glass.
- Repair May Be Temporary: The possibility that the crack is going to return cannot be overruled. If the repair process is not carried out properly, there is a high chance that the problem will return in the future.
Getting your cracked windshield repaired early enough is best. If need be, don’t hesitate to proceed to a repair shop. A cracked windshield is a crucial safety feature of a vehicle and provides structural integrity to the vehicle, therefore, cracks should be fixed as soon as possible.