Car windscreens are tougher than they look! That thin-looking plate of glass that separates you and your driving anthems from the world at large has to endure an awful lot – gravel, weather and the dreaded bird-dung attack. To me and you, it’s probably nothing more than a window on the front of your beloved four-wheeled friend – but it’s really important that you offer it the care that it needs. After all, it’s your car’s front line of defence!
It’s very tempting to ignore a chip in your windscreen. After all, what harm could it do? The fact is, regardless of whether or not a blemish or chip in your windscreen is in your field of vision or not, it is always important to report them as soon as you spot them. A tiny chip today could be an impressive crack in a week’s time, and the progression from there doesn’t bear thinking about! Cracks can steadily grow from the tiniest of chips thanks to intervention from weather, dirt and even moisture. If you want to avoid losing your windscreen, always report a chip - even if you have to squint to see it!
It’s worth bearing in mind that chips are quicker and far cheaper to fix than a series of cracks – depending on the size and location of a crack, it may even be necessary to replace the windscreen altogether. It’s always worth tackling a problem before it gets out of control, and when it comes to windscreens, there’s no better advice - both your conscience (and your bank balance!) will thank you for it. Don’t forget that you are far more likely to pass any upcoming MOTs with a sturdy, chip-free windscreen, too. You wouldn’t attend a job interview with a dirty tie!
The good news is chip repair is fast and painless. It will firstly be cleaned of any tiny fragments remaining before making way for a clear, liquid resin to be poured into the crevice. This compound is set to retain the strength of the original glass, if not stronger to prevent repeat chipping in the same location. This process generally takes minutes to complete and you’ll soon be away with a windscreen that looks to have never even had a problem. If it can be fixed up with a splash of resin, it most certainly will be!
It is also handy to remember that chip repair can often be covered in its entirety by motor insurance, dependent on your carrier. Therefore, you may even be able to patch things up without even needing to shell out. It is also worth considering that the majority of auto insurers will not consider repairs or even replacements to go against your no claims bonus – though it is always safest to check beforehand!
There are circumstances, however, when a windscreen replacement is simply necessary. This is, as mentioned, based on a number of key factors – how big is the crack? Where is it located? Will a repair only be of short-term benefit to you? As safety is the biggest concern when it comes to windshields, it is always in your best interest to have the glass switched over if there is any risk of shattering after a basic repair. This will be assessed for you before any work is carried out.
For example, a crack well out of both driver and passenger fields of vision will be far more likely to be repaired than one of a similar size that is directly within a person’s eye line. This carries a far bigger risk to personal safety, and therefore, it’s often far safer to replace the entire screen than risk any chance of you or your passengers getting hurt.
Replacing the entire windscreen may take slightly longer, but it is most certainly worth the wait. If a full replacement is judged to be beneficial, your existing screen will be carefully cut out and the car analysed for any remaining debris or fragments. This is to ensure that the new screen can be set into place safely and securely. Once the car has been cleaned up ready for the new screen, adhesive is applied to the new windscreen before it is safely inserted into the car, good and new! As all windscreen replacement services will advise you, it is important that you do not drive your car for up to an hour after the process is complete – this is to ensure that everything is nice and secure. It’s as simple as that!
Providing you are careful to report any chips you might spot in your windscreen, you will likely avoid any chance of replacement altogether – but rest assured that there are always ways and means to get your trusty glass shield fighting fit with the rest of them!