Before explaining how windshield repair works, it’s a good idea to start by looking at the basics of the glass itself. Look at the glass that’s used in the windows of your home. I’m sure that you would agree that it’s durable enough for the home, and quite affordable. The problem is that when something breaks house glass, it will shatter and throw dangerous shards everywhere. That’s why this type of glass is not used in automobiles.
On the other hand, you might think that plastic is safer. However, plastic scratches too easily and it would create a lot of safety issues if used on a vehicle.
Automotive manufacturers use tempered glass for side windows because it doesn’t produce sharp edges when it shatters. It breaks into cubes so the risk is minimized. However, even tempered glass isn’t a good choice for a windshield because of the fact that a windshield endures a lot of damage in its lifetime. Tiny pebbles and gravel would all cause noticeable damage to tempered glass but windshields are designed to protect against those common factors.
That’s why laminated glass is used for windshields. Glass is fused by two thin layers of rubber, allowing small objects to bounce away harmlessly in most cases. While it certainly doesn’t prevent damage, it does reduce the risk.
If a large enough object impacts the windshield, then it can penetrate the outer layer of rubber. Without that layer of protection, the glass inside of the rubber layer is susceptible to water and dirt – both of which can cause further damage. For example, if it rains on a windshield with a crack or chip, water and dirt will leak through the damaged area and make its way to the vulnerable glass, damaging it further. Eventually, the damage will spread.
That’s where windshield repair comes into play. Windshield repair is designed to patch that rubber seal so that water and dirt are kept away from the vulnerable glass. If the damage isn’t too severe, then adhesive can be applied in an effort to reseal the rubber layer.
The Windshield Repair Process
A professional will start by accessing the damage in order to determine whether or not it can be repaired. In most cases, chips are repairable as long as they are not directly in the driver’s line of sight. Cracks are what cause the most problems. Small cracks (smaller than 5cm) can be repaired but larger cracks (or those in the driver’s line of sight) will require windshield replacement.
If the windshield can be repaired, then a technician will start by making sure that the vehicle is parked in a dry location. They will then dry the damaged area and use some form of heavy cleaner to remove dirt.
They will then apply an adhesive using state-of-the-art tools. That adhesive reseals the rubber layer so that the vulnerable glass is protected. Furthermore, the technician uses another tool to press against the windshield in order to remove all air bubbles from the adhesive.
Once the adhesive has been applied, it takes approximately one hour for it to dry.
Now that you know how windshield repair works, I will say that it’s possible to purchase a repair kit and do it yourself. However, you run the risk of damaging the windshield further. In other words, you could turn a $100 project into a $300 project.
The best way to determine whether or not your windshield can be repaired is contact us for a free assessment. Fill out the quote form or give us a call for a free quote.