One of the main things protecting drivers from the outside elements is the windshield of their vehicle. Everything from bugs, to rain and hail, to debris tossed by passing motorists, can be thrown into a windshield that, without a windshield, would be thrown into the driver and passengers. These items can also pose a potential risk of causing a cracked windshield and or creating chips across the surface. In a situation where you notice a crack on your windshield it is important that you have it repaired quickly in order to avoid further damage to you or your vehicle.

What is a cracked windshield?

Even the most careful drivers can experience a windshield crack and they are almost impossible to avoid altogether. At times, these cracks may appear out of nowhere, even after the driver notices no signs of distress.

The most common reason causing a windshield to crack is gravel that is thrown from passing vehicles. These may initially be shown as small chips or cracks known as spider-webbing. Usually, these are repairable if they are caught quickly and do not start majorly spreading.

Some cracks are caused by a natural weakness in the structure of your windshield. Sometimes during production, a windshield could develop a weak spot, which can lead to cracks later down the road.

Extreme cold and other weather conditions, such as hail, have also been known to cause windshield cracks. Variations of the inside temperature and the outside temperature of the windshield also create an opportunity for a crack to form. If possible, you can avoid hail by keeping your vehicle covered during storms.

Why it is important to repair a cracked windshield and risks involved

As mentioned above, a windshield protects drivers and passengers from the elements as they travel to their destination. However, many people do not realize that a windshield can help protect you in a vehicle crash as well. Windshields help add stability to the roof of the vehicle, and in the instance of a rollover accident may even prevent the roof from collapsing.

Cracks in your windshield lead to a weakened state of your windshield and will therefore not protect you fully in the event of an accident. You should also take into consideration that your vehicle’s airbag also relies on the windshield to work properly. In the event of an accident, the airbag essentially pushes off from the windshield causing it to push outwards towards the passenger. If the windshield was not intact, it could potentially push upwards instead, in turn leaving you with no airbag.

It is never recommended to drive with a crack in your windshield. Small scratches, cracks, and chips can be easily fixed by a repair shop at little to no cost for you. The small amount of time and money that you will have to pay is worth the safety you will be gaining instead.

How to choose a reliable repair service

When choosing someone to repair or replace your cracked windshield, you should choose a company that has specific experience with your vehicle type. Ask your friends and neighbors for suggestions and make sure that the shop always uses top rated materials and supplies when completing their work. It is important to have your windshield installed properly because many of the same risks that are caused by a windshield cracking, also apply to an improperly repaired or replaced windshield.

You should also understand the laws that apply to you in your state in regards to windshield repair. Many states have regulations in place regarding the driver’s line of vision and some cracks are not repairable due to these regulations. It is always a good idea to have a professional look at your windshield before you attempt any at home repairs. Having a crack fixed right the first time will help eliminate any dangers in the future.

Windshield repair kits

It is possible to purchase windshield repair kits that you can use to repair your own windshield, but it carries some risks. However, most windshield repair technicians are trained in the latest methods that are best to use for windshield repairs.

If you do decide to repair your windshield on your own there are a few steps that you should follow:

1.      Clean the area thoroughly with an alcohol pad.

2.      Make sure that the crack is free of any loose shards of glass and debris by using a push pin to clean out the area.

3.      After the area is cleaned and prepped, you will need to closely follow the instructions provided by the product that you have chosen to use.

Some quality repair kits can be purchased for as little as $12-$15, but those who are inexperienced with glass repairs may find it difficult to make the repairs on their own.

The average cost of repairing a cracking windshield

The cost of repairing a cracked windshield can vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle. However, many insurance policies will pay for repairs and replacements with little to no cost to the vehicle’s owner. Many policies even offer a small glass deductible that you will need to pay when replacing your windshield. Typical repairs can cost somewhere between $20 and $325 depending on the size of the crack or chip.

Windshields can be very important to the overall safety of a vehicle’s driver and passengers. Repairs should be made as quickly as possible in order to avoid further damage to the vehicle and to properly ensure the safety of everyone in the vehicle. While you may be tempted to make some repairs on your own, it is important that the repair is made properly and in compliance with the laws and regulations of your state.

Repairing or replacing a cracked windshield typically costs very little money in relation to the safety that it provides. When choosing a specialist, you should always get multiple quotes and always use someone that you can trust. Just remember that your windshield is the one thing that protects you from the outside world and it is important that it has the ability to operate at its maximum capacity.

DISCLAIMER: This article is for guidance only. Always consult with a Specialist on everything.