What to Do if Something Hits Your Windshield


 

Updated 7/11/22

A windshield guards a vehicle’s occupants and interior against dust, debris, wind, stones, rain, bugs, and other external elements you come across on the roads. The windshield is said to be five times stronger than steel but can still get chipped by a small stone throw. That explains the prevalent windshield replacement services, ensuring your car gets its desired windshield.

When your car’s windshield breaks or cracks after getting hit by an object, you can choose to repair or replace it immediately, depending on the extent of the damage. Hire the best car windshield replacement companies to do the replacement to avoid getting into trouble with the authorities. However, some windshield cracks are small, requiring the services of windshield chip repair companies to repair the damaged part only.

Knowing when to repair and when to replace your windshield is a key distinction. Knowing this can keep you from making unnecessary repairs. When you do need to make repairs, however, be sure to look online if there is an excellent “auto glass replacement near my location” to ensure your car returns to its perfect shape by professionally replacing a damaged windscreen.

A crack in your windshield can be more than just an irritating thing that ruins your commute home. It can actually pose a danger if it isn’t handled in the right way. When you need a windshield replacement, there are several compelling reasons to take action. But the kind of action you need to take completely depends on the situation. As it turns out, you may not even need a window replacement at all. Each situation is different, so let’s have a look at what may happen and how you should handle it if it does.

Situation 1: A Small Stone Puts a Chip in Your Windshield

If you’re driving down the road and a small rock or pebble hops up off the road and takes a nose dive into your windshield, you may not need a windshield replacement. If you’ve ever seen a BB or a bullet hole through a pane of glass, you may have noticed that the damage is localized; it doesn’t always cause the glass to crack around the area where the object penetrated. The reason is that only this one area received the stress from the blow. The area around the point of impact was largely unaffected. This is because there’s a small shock wave that gets sent through the glass at the moment of impact. This causes the glass to flex. During the flexing, some of the glass cannot maintain its bond with the rest of the glass, and it pops off, leaving a small crater. An auto glass shop can take a close look at your windshield. They may recommend a windshield replacement, but you should know that you have another option if this happens.

You can fix the windshield by simply addressing the chip. If this is done soon enough, it won’t become a crack at all. The science behind this is simple. A chip compromises the strength of the glass. It is, as discussed above, located in a specific area and it only affects this area—at least until stress is added to the surrounding areas. If there’s no stress, the chip will remain a mere chip forever. However, unlike window panes, windshields are constantly under stress. Even the wind hitting the windshield puts pressure on it, not to mention the movement and flexion of the car, it’s frame, and the components directly adjacent to the windshield. All of these factors will put stress on the chipped area, and eventually, you will need a window replacement. However, if you are able to repair the chip right away, you may very well be able to skip getting a window replacement altogether. Cracked windshield repair is only necessary if the chip morphs into a crack. This is likely because the spot that is chipped is a weak point, and a crack is probably going to branch off from it. But if you get it filled right away, you will be strengthening this spot and could be preventing a crack from happening. That’s why many choose to get auto glass service that involves chip repair.

Situation 2: Your Windshield Gets Cracked

If your windshield suffers a crack, you have to take action. It may seem like the crack is not likely to get worse, but that is typically not the case. A crack is a weak point in the glass, and when the glass absorbs additional forces from the driving process, they will be channeled into that weak area, causing it to extend. Also, if the crack is allowed to grow, the integrity of your windshield will be further compromised and you will need a windshield replacement. There are distinct disadvantages to a cracked windshield, particularly because it is unsafe. For instance, if a bird or other animal were to run into a cracked windshield, the windshield may not have the strength to properly deflect the object. It could come straight into your car. The same can be said for a stone or other projectile.

If You Need Auto Glass Replacement

If you find you need an auto glass shop, go with one that has the right expertise and experience. Ask them what your options are, and heed what they say. A good one will be able to explain what you need and why.

 

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