When you're dealing with windshield damage, some issues are eligible for repair, and others require a complete windshield replacement. The size, shape, and location of the glass damage are all important factors when determining whether a chip or crack is repairable.

The auto glass repair specialists at Only 1 Auto Glass explain the various types of windshield damage that typically qualify for repair. 

The Location of the Windshield Damage Affects Repair Eligibility

With all types of windshield damage, a complete windshield replacement is usually necessary if the crack or chip may impede the driver's field of vision. Even if a repair is possible, sealing the chip or crack will only obstruct the driver's view of the road, which creates a potentially serious safety hazard. 

When chips or cracks exist near the windshield's edges, they usually don't qualify for repair. Given their location, these chips and cracks can compromise the windshield seal, creating a safety hazard. 

Star Breaks Must Be Less Than 3 Inches in Diameter 

A star break is a cross between a chip and a crack. It looks a lot like a star (hence the name), with a defined chip in the center and short cracks radiating from the center point of the break. 

If your windshield has damage that resembles a star break, it may be eligible for repair as long as the diameter of the break doesn't exceed three inches. 

However, the final call is up to your auto glass repair technician. They will assess the damage when you bring your vehicle to the shop and make the appropriate recommendation.

Bullseye Cracks Must Have a Small Center Clear of Debris

Bullseye cracks are so named because they look just like a bullseye target. They feature a distinct central impact point and a defined cone that circles the point of impact in the outer layer of the glass.  

If your windshield has a bullseye crack, it's probably repairable since this type of glass damage is one of the easiest to fix. If the size of the bullseye doesn't exceed an inch in diameter and there's no debris stuck in the head of the crack, windshield repair is usually the most cost-effective option. 

Combination Breaks Must Be Minor 

A combination break is essentially a mix of two or more types of windshield damage. The damage could look like a star break within a bullseye crack, or there could be a central pit with multiple long cracks extending from the center. 

With combination breaks, the repair process is tricky, so your windshield repair specialists will need to assess the break to determine how severe it is. Usually, if the diameter of such a break doesn't exceed two inches, it's eligible for repair. 

Half-Moon Cracks Are Similar to Bullseye Bracks

Half-moon cracks are small, partial bullseye cracks. Like full bullseye cracks, half-moon breaks are often repairable, but your auto glass specialist will need to make the final call. 

In most cases, if the diameter of the damage isn't larger than an inch, it can be repaired. 

Singular Cracks Depend On the Size & Location 

If your windshield features a long, singular crack, it may be eligible for repair, depending on its size and location. How long can a crack get before it is no longer eligible for repair? In all honestly, it depends. 

Windshield repair technology is always improving, so these days, some longer cracks (usually up to six inches) can be repaired. However, the general recommendation is to replace a windshield if the crack is over three to four inches long. 

Common Reasons Why Your Windshield May Need to Be Replaced

The windshield on your car may last as long as your car does. However, this is not always the case. Some issues may pop up that can cause your windshield to be replaced. If your windshield develops any of these issues, an auto glass repair shop should examine your windshield to determine whether it needs to be repaired or replaced. 

The Chip or Crack Is Extensive

One of the most common reasons your windshield may need to be replaced is because it is chipped or cracked which happens for various reasons. Road debris, like rocks, hit the glass or can break from the impact of a car accident, and the harder the impact, the more extensive the damage. 

Extreme temperatures are also a culprit. For example, if you pour hot water over an icy windshield, it can crack. In some cases, your windshield is salvageable, and a repair might be enough, but in others, a full replacement is the only option.

The Windshield is Loose or Rattling

Another reason why your windshield may need to be replaced is because it is loose or rattling. Car accidents are the most common reason, and an impact can damage the seal that holds your windshield in place. Once the damage is done, there is no way to replace it. 

Removing the auto glass and the seal is required to fix the problem. It makes sense to use fresh glass when completing this repair, as the old piece of glass may be thin and weak due to age. 

The Windshield is Pitted

As you drive down the road, sand, gravel, dirt, and road salt used to melt ice become projectiles and pelt your windshield. As they hit, they can leave behind tiny little indents. Over time, these indents can turn into pitting as these items continue to hit the windshield. 

These tiny impacts weaken the glass, making it more prone to chipping, cracking, or shattering. They can also distort your vision while driving because they are notorious for causing glare, a dangerous situation behind the wheel. In this case, replacement is the best solution for heavily pitted windshields. 

What Are the Dangers of Not Fixing Your Cracked Windshield?

Your vehicle is made up of multiple components that all contribute to its structural integrity. When your windshield is damaged, it compromises its ability to keep you and your passengers safe if an accident occurs because it not only affects the structure of the vehicle but can also make your airbags malfunction. 

There's also a danger of the chips and cracks getting worse, especially if they impede your field of vision. Driving can become dangerous, and cracks can make you a target for traffic violations, all of which are not worth the risk!

Should You Consider DIY Windshield Repair?

It's not uncommon to find DIY kits online, and while they can save you a couple of bucks if you don't have the experience and training needed for professional repairs, this can cost you more in the long run

Assessing the damage takes training, and if you don't have this or the proper tools, you may end up messing up the repair and making the problem worse. 

To top this off, DIY repair kits can void your insurance coverage, and no warranty comes with them if something happens after the repair, so working with a professional is recommended.

Schedule Windshield Repair in the Twin Cities

If your windshield has minor chips or cracks, you can trust our Only 1 Auto Glass team with the repairs. For over a decade, we've proudly served Twin Cities drivers with 5-star comprehensive auto glass repair and replacement for all vehicle makes and models. 

Our mobile repair team can come to you wherever you are, and our multiple locations throughout the metro area make in-shop service as convenient as possible. 

To learn more about our services, give us a call today at 651-789-1111 or request a free estimate online. You can also contact us with any questions, and we'll be in touch promptly.