Rock chips are among the most common and minimal types of windshield damage, but that doesn't mean they're not serious. Some chips actually require a full windshield replacement, even if they're tiny or out of the way.

Of course, auto glass repairs are easier, safer, and more cost-effective than replacements. If a chip is repairable, we'll use high-grade resin and precise tools to restore your visibility immediately. If we're not sure, we'll evaluate it according to a few important criteria. To get a better sense of the extent of your damage, just answer the following questions about your rock chip.

How big is the chip?

If you have any change in your pocket or purse, this one's easy to answer. Your rock chip should be smaller than a quarter. If it's not a perfect circle, just find the widest point and compare it to a quarter's diameter.

Where is it located?

Chips are only repairable if they're not in your line of sight. When you're in the driver's seat, is the chip immediately in front of you? Does it affect your peripheral vision? If it does, your repair odds don't look good, because dried repair resin still affects your vision (albeit in virtually undetectable ways).

If your chip is too close to the edge, it may compromise your vehicle's structural integrity, and we'll most likely need to perform a full windshield replacement. The edges of your windshield are responsible for maintaining a proper seal, and if glass is displaced or removed near the very edge, it's easier for the windshield to shatter on impact.

How long ago did it happen?

Occasionally, we decide a small rock chip repair isn't possible because the driver waited too long. To avoid the cost, time, and safety concerns of a full windshield replacement, bring in your vehicle for an auto glass repair as soon as you spot a rock chip. It might not look serious to you, but a few different factors make rock chips particularly time-sensitive.

The first is clarity. When a small piece of debris penetrates your windshield, some air fills the gap between the displaced glass. Glass is denser than air, so even the smallest "dings" result in clouded visibility of the road ahead. Dirt also affects visibility. The longer you wait, the longer your windshield will be exposed to dirt, dust, pollen, and other small particles.

Of course, when dirt fills a rock chip, structural integrity is affected too. Gradually, small particles may push on the chip and increase its size, rendering it too big to repair. St. Paul's hot summers and cold winters influence rock chips too, by expanding and contracting the displaced glass. This puts pressure on the rest of the windshield, and may cause cracks.

At Only 1 Auto Glass, we know windshields inside and out. Our services range from filling tiny hairline cracks to removing and replacing shattered panes, and we take every service seriously because you know your safety's at stake. If you need a rock chip repair, don't wait another second. Schedule your appointment today.