Rock chip repair is one of the most common repairs that Americans make to their vehicles. In some states it is also required by law and most states require repair if the driver's vision is obscured. Most people feel that they are unsightly, but they are also a danger to people in the vehicle as well.
Learning more about rock chips and how to proceed if you happen to find one, is an important task for any vehicle owner. By learning the specifics of rock chip repair, you will not only be a safer driver, but may be able to save some money on repairs as well.
Rock chip repair versus replacement is also better for the environment. Windshields tend to take up quite a bit of space in landfills and the materials used to make them are not environmentally friendly. Repairs rather than replacement help car owners to stay green and to protect the environment.
What is a Rock Chip and What Causes It?
A rock chip is a small break in the glass of a vehicle window. If not repaired, they can cause cracks that have the potential of ruining an entire windshield. Cracks can spread from certain types of chips or when there is a drastic change in temperature. Usually, once a windshield begins to crack, it will be unable to be repaired.
They are most commonly caused when flying rocks or debris are thrown from a passing vehicle and strike your windshield. According to the US National Windshield Repair Association, windshields can be repaired if they meet certain criteria.
Whether a windshield can be repaired depends on four major factors
- Size and Depth
◦ Cracks must be under 24 inches
◦ Circular bull-eyes, linear cracks, crack chips, dings, pits and star-shaped breaks are all repairable
◦ Must not be in the driver's line of vision
The first thing any repair shop will look at is the type of chip on your windshield. This is important because different types of chips require different types of repairs. While some chips are easily repaired, others may require a bit more work and others may not be repairable at all. It is important to discuss your options with your repair shop before you decide on a course of action.
There are four major types of rock chips that can be repaired:
- Partial Bulls-eye
◦ Resembles a crescent moon or half a bulls-eye break and is one of the easiest to repair
◦ Resembles a spider web with a small impact in the center. This is the most common and is a quick and easy fix
- Star Break
◦ Typically this is on the outer layer of the glass and is identifiable by small cracks that originate from the center of the break
- Combo Break
◦ This break has multiple characteristics and looks like a mixture of a bulls-eye chip and a star break
When to Get It Repaired
Chips can quickly spread into cracks if they are not repaired, so it is important that you repair any chips as quickly as possible. Chips can also cause your windshield to become weak and more susceptible to breaking during a collision. You will also have a much larger chance of roof collapse in the instance of a rollover accident.
Although seat belts are intended to protect riders from ejection, a windshield is the last line of defense in the case of faulty seat belts or for riders who are not wearing a seat belt. Rock chips compromise the strength of the windshield, making it more likely for a windshield to fail in the event of an accident.
Repair usually takes only 15 minutes and the resin used to repair the windshield will help reestablish the security of the glass. Although it is impossible to completely remove all traces of a the chip, repairing one will greatly improve the driver's vision.
Average Cost of Rock Chip Repair
Typically, insurance companies will cover the cost of a chip repair, but you will need to check your particular policy to be sure of the details. In these instances, you will more than likely pay only your glass repair deductible.
Prices for repairs can vary and depends on the type of chip that is present. Average repair costs run anywhere between $20 and $325. Some repairs may be completed by yourself, but it is always best to seek professional help with any repairs.
Originally, most companies would only replace windshields in vehicles, but with the advancements in glass making, repair is becoming more popular. Many companies now focus on repair only and regulations are now making it easier for them to repair windshields rather than replace them at great expense.
Best Repair Places
Windshield repair companies are very easy to find no matter which state you live in. It is a good idea to check for references when selecting a company to repair your windshield and get a few quotes before settling on a particular company. Most repairs can be completed very quickly, but be sure that your shop has the credentials and experience to do a good job.
Below are a few top rated businesses around the nation:
- Safelite Auto Glass
◦ Address: 2231 Schrock Road, Columbus, OH 43229
◦ Phone Number: 1-877-664-8931
◦ Website: www.safelite.com
- Glass Today
◦ Address: 2597 Cleveland Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113
◦ Phone Number: 651-633-8300
◦ Website: www.glasstoday.com
- All Star Glass
◦ Address: 1845 Morena Blvd., San Diego, CA 92110
◦ Phone Number: 800-225-4184
◦ Website: www.allstarglass.net
Rocks on roadways can become more prevalent in winter, due to the many sand and repair trucks on the roads during this time. Also, with the changes in weather, it may be easier for your windshield to develop a crack if a chip does occur. It is very important to have all chips addressed immediately in order to stay safe while driving and to save on cost as well.
Be certain that your windshield repair shop is certified and has excellent references available. Improper rock chip repair can lead to rust, wind noise and leaking windows. Always allow professionals to complete repairs so that the repair is completed correctly and coincides with the law. By following the standards set by the US National Windshield Repair Association you will be able to repair your windshield and remain safe in your vehicle.
DISCLAIMER: This article is for guidance only. Always consult with a Specialist on everything.
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