Cracked: When You Should Repair or Replace Auto Glass

Badly Cracked Winshield On Car

Knowing when to repair or replace auto glass is essential to a safe environment for your car. In many cases it can also be the difference between spending $40-$50 for a couple of chips to nearly $500 or more for a replacement windshield. There are a few important things to note when considering repair vs. replacement. The place of the crack or chip, size, and severity of damage all affect which option you end up choosing.

The first thing to remember is that if the chip or crack is small it can usually be repaired quite easily and is typically inexpensive compared to waiting and having that chip turn into a long crack across the entirety of your windshield. Say for instance a rock leaves a small chip in your window, most places will charge you around $40-$50 to have that repaired. However, if you were to wait and have that chip turn into a crack across your entire windshield you would likely have to have it replaced, which as much as ten times more. When something happens do not wait to have it repaired, compare prices quickly and find a place that will give you a deal and do quality work.

Many windshield repair and replacement shops will be able to fix chips and cracks up to 3 inches, but after that many recommend having the windshield replaced, though there are certain shops that use specialized techniques to fix cracks up to 12 inches long.

Location of the damage is also an important aspect of determining whether you will be able to have it repaired or must have it replaced. Cracks near the edge of the windshield tend to spread rather quickly, which means if you are not able to catch it before the damage becomes to great your only option will be to have it replaced.

There are also many shops that will not repair auto glass in certain places on the windshield because it distorts certain viewpoints. If the crack is in direct view of the driver they may advise you to replace the windshield altogether. This is because that when auto glass is repaired the glass is left slightly distorted. This can be a hazard to the driver so the shop may choose to replace it rather than risk the chance of the driver not being able to see properly.

Cost is also a big factor in having it repaired or replaced. The cost, as mentioned earlier, for small chips and cracks will be around $40-$50 depending on the location and severity of damage. Of course cost will vary depending on the place you choose to get it repaired. That is why you should always get a few different quotes before making the purchase. This will give you a good idea of the best place to go.

There are some areas of the country where chips happen on a regular basis due to road conditions. This typically occurs when the highways are made out of asphalt. The ground can freeze and thaw several times in one winter, which loosens the rocks that compose the road. If you live in a place like this, you might be better off learning how to fix your own windshield chips. You will need to invest in a special kit and spend a couple hours practicing, but that is far better off than having to call someone every time this situation happens.

Also be sure you consult your insurance company before having the repairs or replacement done. Many insurance companies, depending on your policy, will be better suited to deal with repairs rather than replacements. This is because in many cases repairs are less expensive, meaning the insurance company will likely pay for the repair in whole and wave your deductible. With replacements you usually have to pay the deductible before the repair takes place, which is of course more money out of your pocket.

Always be sure to get repairs or replacements for auto glass done quickly because you will always have to pay more if you wait longer.

Mobile Windshield Replacement Houston

In the 90s, nobody was offering a “mobile service” when it came to windshield replacement. Starting in 2003, it became the rage after a few large companies like Satellite starting offering it to their customers. Since then, numerous other small local shops have added it to their list of services. How do you know who to trust and who not to trust? After all, all it takes it someone with a small list of tools and a van to start up this kind of business? One of the places I would look is the Houston Better Business Bureau. Not only does that association cost a business $450 a year but they make sure every company meets the minimum requirements. This will cut down on you finding a “fly by night operation.”

A Advanced Auto Glass
6113 Milwee St Unit C
Houston, TX 77092
832-677-9822

Laminated Auto Glass

laminated auto glassLaminated glass is a type of safety glass designed to allow glass to shatter, but not break. This is accomplished by sandwiching a bonding agent, often polyvinyl butyral, between two layers of glass. The bonding agent holds the glass together even after it has shattered.

First used in the eye-pieces of gas masks in World War I, laminated glass is now widely used as auto windshield glass, and can be recognized by its characteristic “spider-web” shatter. Such glass is used in places that a manufacturer believes there is a possibility of human impact on the glass or when the glass is placed in such a way that if broken, it could fall and cause harm. Skylights, for example, are also made with laminated glass.

Before 1939 when Ford Motor Company began using a laminated glass in its vehicles known as “Indestructo,” this type of glass was not widely used due to the various problems and concerns it caused, including its tendency to become discolored. But once the usefulness and strength of laminated safety glass became apparent, it replaced non-laminated glass in motor vehicles.

 How Its Made

Today, laminating glass is a process that involves bonding two layers of annealed glass with an inter-layer of thermoplastic. (Annealed glass is simply glass that has been cooled slowly to reduce and relieve its internal stress.) The plastic bonding agent generally used to make laminated glass is polyvinyl butyral, but other agents such as ethyl vinyl acetate or thermoplastic polyurethane are often used as well.  is used to adhere a thermoplastic layer between two layers of strong glass. Some laminated glass is covered with an additional layer of resin to increase the strength of the glass.

After two pieces of glass have been attached and adhered to one another with this plastic layer and bonding agent, they are put through rollers which push the glass closer together to eliminate any air bubbles or areas without contact. Laminated glass is stronger when made with thicker layers of glass or when made with more than one layer of thermoplastic laminate.

The process of manufacturing laminated safety glass must be done under heat and pressure, when the glass is malleable and can be manipulated properly. Due to the fact that modern laminating makes glass so strong, cutting laminated glass is difficult and can be dangerous; but repairing laminated glass can be a rather simple process involving drilling beneath the top layer of glass to the thermoplastic layer between and basically filling the crack with resin. After the resin has been hardened with ultraviolet light, the strength and transparency of the glass is restored.

How Laminated Glass Protects You

 Imagine that your windshield has been hit by a rock and suddenly there is a huge spider-web crack spreading from the point of impact. If your windshield were not made of laminated glass, any of a number of far more dangerous and detrimental things could have happened. The rock could have come straight through the windshield. The glass could have broken into a million sharp pieces that might have fallen into your car and presented an even bigger risk to your safety. And if that weren’t enough, your vehicle would have a gaping hole where the windshield had been, exposing you not only to the dangers of its own broken glass, but to all the things your windshield protects you from.

 Laminated glass, by being stronger and by resisting real breakage, protects you even when it has been cracked. Instead of falling to pieces immediately if presented with an impact strong enough to crack it, laminated glass holds up and remains in tact, as it was designed to do. It is for this reason that laminated glass is also used in areas where building regulations must meet hurricane-resistant construction requirements. In addition to its strength and durability, the polyvinyl butyral which binds the layers of glass together significantly blocks ultraviolet radiation and increases the sound-proof qualities of the glass.