Your car has a safety kit inside it. The air bags, seatbelts and windshield are a major part of your car’s safety restraint system. When you are in an accident, the air bags keep you from hitting the dash and the seatbelts keep you from flying through the windshield. What you may not realize is the windshield maintains the structure of the vehicle in case your car rolls in an accident. It can possibly keep you from being ejected and it serves as a cushion for the occupants.
A windshield is made of two pieces of glass with a thin layer of polyvinyl butyrate (PVB) in between that keeps the glass together. When a windshield is hit by a rock, the glass flexes and breaks, leaving the shape of a bull’s eye, star or small crack. Rock chips grow due to road conditions and temperature changes. These things will speed up the process going from a rock chip to a full blown crack.
Vehicle owners need to look at windshield repair as preventative maintenance. Simply because the damage is not directly in front of the driver’s view, shouldn’t make it less of a concern. After the rock chip grows into a large crack, the option to repair the windshield may be gone. Windshield replacements can cost from $300 and up, depending on the size of the vehicle and if it has any of the modern features like an antennae, heating elements or sun coating. Usually, the insurance deductible makes it pointless to file an insurance claim.
Once you price a windshield replacement, you can see why a $50 windshield repair doesn’t seem so outrageous. Cost should not be your only concern though. Replacing a factory windshield can bring other problems to surface such as the factory seal. It is pretty much impossible to duplicate that and then there is the possibility of leaks. When a windshield is not replaced properly, it can leak and cause water damage. Worse case, improperly replaced, it may not do its job in case of an accident.
Then there is the environmental impact of replacing a windshield. There are no laws in place requiring windshield recycling; therefore replaced windshields end up in landfills. Each year about 600 million pounds of waste are created from replaced windshields. While there are some companies getting on board with going ‘green’ with replaced windshields, the logistics and difficulties of sorting the glass from the PVB, as well as a lack of facilities keep the process slow, cumbersome, and expensive.
You can find several cheap do it yourself windshield repair kits and they cost around $10.00 and contain ingredients to do one repair. There have been good feedback and not so good feedback on these kits. The only thing that can be guaranteed of a successful repair is that it’s not certain. These DIY kits are inexpensive band-aids and are not a complete repair.
The process of windshield repair starts by removing the air inside the rock chip and substitute it with resin. Removing the air is important so that the pressure inside the rock chip is minimized. Allowing the resin to flow and reach the entire break. The $10 DIY kits are not able remove all of the air and they don’t give the amount of pressure needed to push the resin in the tight places that are broke. So what seems to be a good repair job most likely is just a patch that won’t stop a rock chip from growing into a crack and the crack from spreading.
Taking all these facts into consideration, the better alternative is to call a mobile windshield repair company. There is no need to make an appointment with your dealer or a repair shop. This eliminates having to take off work early, or keep children entertained in the lounge. A mobile windshield repair unit is staffed by professionals that have been trained and certified to repair a windshield the correct way and because they have very little overhead, you won’t have to deal with the insurance claim either!