Can A Chip In A Windshield Be Repaired?

October 29, 2020

Can A Chip In A Windshield Be Repaired?

In most cases, a chip in your windshield can be repaired. That being said, not all rock chips are the same. They come in many different shapes and sizes. It is essential to assess the type of windshield damage incurred to see if your windshield chip can be repaired or not. Size and location are two important factors when it comes to deciding whether you need a windshield repair or a replacement. You will save a lot of money by getting your windshield repaired instead of replaced.

Inspect The Rock Chip

First thing to do is to look at the chip on your windshield. How big is it? Are there any cracks extending from the impact point? Does it look like a bulls eye or does it look like a star? These are all important questions when it comes to windshield chip repairs. Another important factor is where the chip is located. If the damage from the chip extends to the outer edge of the windshield, in most cases you will need to replace the windshield. In some countries, it is recommended to replace your windshield if the chip is in the Driver’s Line of Sight because there will still be a small amount of distortion left over from the scar of the repaired chip, which can be a distraction while driving.  

Types of Windshield Damage

There are many types of windshield damage that you may incur during your vehicle’s lifetime. The most common types of damage you’ll often hear about is a “chip” or a “crack”. A chip is typically small damage on the windshield. A crack is referred to as a distinct line that will run across the windshield. There are six basic types of windshield damage.

Bulls-eye Break

This is probably the most common type of rock chip damage. It usually looks like a small dark spot with a ring around it and an impact point. 

Can it be repaired?

As long as the chip is less than 2 inches in diameter, in most cases it can be repaired. It is best to repair these chips as soon as possible especially before any dirt or moisture enters inside the glass.

Combination Break

A combination chip is a combo of multiple rock chips in one. It could be a star within a bulls-eye or a short or long crack extending from the impact point. The ability for these types of chips to be repaired depends on the size and the location of the damage. 

Can it be repaired?

As long as the legs or cracks do not extend past 2 inches, they can be repaired. It is best to repair these chips right away, as the crack(s) could spread out at any time.

Half-Moon Break 

A half-moon break usually looks like a partial bulls-eye break. It will typically appear with a half circle around the impact point. Depending on the angle the rock hit the windshield, it can be more difficult to repair.

Can it be repaired?

Usually, as long as the diameter is less than 2 inches.

Star Break

A star break chip will typically look like a star. It will have several cracks protruding from the impact point.

Can it be repaired?

Yes, as long as the legs extending from the middle do not exceed 2 inches. The scar from the repair may leave a slight distortion in the windshield.

Windshield Crack

A windshield crack is usually a single line that starts from an impact point somewhere on the glass. Most windshield cracks are caused from a rock chip or a faulty replacement. Cracks have a tendency to spread out when a rock hits the glass, rapid changes in temperature or drastic changes in cabin air pressure. Interested in learning more about how you can stop a windshield crack from spreading? Click here.

Can it be repaired?

Sometimes, if the crack is 16 inches or less and is not in the driver’s field of vision. It is best to repair a crack as soon as possible.

Surface Pit

A small nick in the glass. This comes from regular driving and is a minor issue. The nick did not penetrate the glass hard enough to cause a chip or a crack.

Can it be repaired?

If the damage is smaller than 1 inch, then it can be repaired. If the pit is larger than 1 inch, it will leave a scar from the impact point. Over time, this scar can distort and be visually unappealing.

Is It Time For A Replacement?

There are some times when a chip just can’t be repaired and you will need to replace your windshield. Here are some examples:

  • Damage that has penetrated both the outside and the inside layer of the laminated glass
  • If the chip has three or more long cracks longer than 6 inches extending from a single point of impact
  • The chip is on the inside of the glass and not the outside of the windshield
  • The damage is too old and there is dirt and moisture stuck in the chip that cannot be removed through cleaning
  • Discoloration to the plastic interlayer
  • The chip has a pit size larger than 1 inch
  • The chip is in the driver’s field of vision and has a diameter larger than 2 inches

Please note: A trained windshield repair technician will be able to advise you whether you should repair or replace your windshield.

Can An Old Windshield Chip Repair Be Fixed Again?

We are often asked this question at Dynamo Windshield Repair. Unfortunately, most chips and cracks that have already been injected with resin cannot be repaired again. In some cases, we have been successful in repairing an old chip but we cannot offer a lifetime warranty on the repair. There is always a risk that the repair will fail. 

If your old repair has a new crack coming out of it, we can drill into the crack and fill it with resin before it spreads out across your windshield. If you are just unhappy with the visual appearance of the chip, it is better to leave it alone. If you are still not satisfied with the appearance of the old windshield repair, it might be time to replace the windshield.

If your vehicle has suffered some type of windshield damage, we recommend repairing it before it’s too late! The faster you can get it repaired, the less of a chance you will need a replacement. If you’re in need of a rock chip repair and you are located in Edmonton and the surrounding area, feel free to give us a call or schedule an appointment online.

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