The sight of a tiny rock chip in your windshield or other car window may not seem alarming, but it actually requires immediate action. This is because little chips and dings will, under the wrong circumstances, quickly spread into long cracks. Once a crack is too long, it can no longer be repaired. At that point, the only choice is to replace the glass. As you can imagine, replacement is far more expensive than repair.
Why Do Chips and Small Cracks Grow?
Auto glass is made so that forces from the wind, points of attachment, and other physical stressors are spread evenly across its area. When a chip occurs, it creates a weak point in the glass. Stress accumulates at this weak point, which soon gives way and becomes a crack. The same process then causes the crack to get longer. Eventually, it will go all the way across the windshield, or worse, cause the glass to shatter.
Repairs Stop Chips and Cracks from Spreading
Windshield repair doesn't just make a chip easier to look through. It also shores up the area around the damaged part so that it can, once again, properly withstand physical stress. This stops chips from becoming cracks, and small cracks from becoming large ones.
Only Small Chips and Cracks Can be Repaired
A common size given for a repairable crack is the length of a dollar bill. Once a crack is longer than this, it is too weak for repair methods to stop it from growing. Because chips and cracks can suddenly worsen, it is important to get them fixed right away while they're still within the size that can be repaired.
What Happens if a Crack is Too Big to Fix?
Large cracks mean that the affected glass has to be replaced. Auto glass replacement provides a sturdy, stable surface that will stand up to wind and other environmental stressors. Of course, it is more expensive than repair, but after a crack is too large, it is the only way to ensure the safety of the glass. On the plus side, a new windshield or other auto glass will have the crystal clarity of a surface that has never been dirty.
As you can see, you'll save money if you get a chipped windshield fixed right away. Call us here at Only 1 Auto Glass in the Twin Cities area to have a repair done before the damage spreads.