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Motoring Today

Millions of incidents occur every year that require windscreen replacement or repair. Some are the result of car accidents, but most are attributable to natural causes. Falling tree limbs, birds, rocks and hail are just some of the things that can chip or crack a windscreen, making repair or replacement necessary. Many people question whether a simple chip or a small crack warrant the time and expense required to get it fixed. While not an emergency, a chipped or cracked windscreen is a safety concern and needs fixing as quickly as possible.

Why You Shouldn’t Drive with a Broken Windscreen

The primary reason why prompt attention is necessary is that the windscreen is an integral part of the structural stability of your car. The glass is specifically designed to protect vehicle drivers and passengers in the event of a collision, and even the smallest chip or crack can weaken the integrity of the glass. Windscreens have two layers of glass designed to work together. The two layers are laminated together so that if one layer breaks, the laminate and the second layer will hold the windscreen together. This prevents pieces of glass from injuring the occupants of the vehicle or causing a hazard for other cars driving on the road.

Another reason why timely repairs are recommended is that damaged windscreens can reduce visibility. If cracks or chips are in the wrong place, they can cause serious visibility problems. Even small blemishes can easily distract a driver’s line of sight or cause the sun to glare off of the glass, making it difficult to see.

Repair vs. Replacement

Recent improvements in glass technology have made windscreen repair much more viable. In the past, a crack almost certainly required windscreen replacement. Now, many chips and cracks can be repaired instead. However, it’s essential that you schedule repairs quickly. Moisture, flexing of the vehicle frame as you’re driving, and temperature fluctuations all place stress on the glass. The longer repairs get delayed, the more likely the damage will spread and windscreen replacement will be necessary. The average chip repair costs around $99, while the average replacement cost is around $350, which is a good incentive to avoid procrastinating!

Professional guidelines say that in some instances, repairs are impossible and complete windscreen replacement is required. These instances include:

  • *  Damage that in any way impairs the driver's visibility, regardless of size

  • *  Large chips and cracks

  • *  Broken inner layer of glass

  • *  Damage that has spread to or is near the edge of the windscreen

Other Considerations

Knowing that many people are tempted to delay repairs due to time or money, many glass companies make repair and replacement of windscreens as easy and convenient as possible. Mobile windscreen repair and replacement companies can also come to your home or work to make the process quick and easy.

While there are windscreen repair do-it-yourself kits on the market, you need to consider the danger of an improper repair. Your windscreen is an integral structural component of your vehicle and therefore requires repairs by a certified professional.

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