Not all damage to windshields require an emergency visit to a repair shop, but once you notice a crack or a chip, you should immediately assess the situation. If action is required, it’s best to have the problem addressed sooner rather than later. Cracks grow wider or larger when they are exposed to dirt, debris, and changes in the weather. The longer you put off a repair or a replacement, the more you increase the potential for serious damage.
Before you make an appointment or go out and buy a repair kit to fix the problem yourself, assess the following factors. A small difference in the crack or chip could mean the difference between needing a repair or a replacement. The more information you have to give an auto glass specialist, the better they can assess the problem and help you make the correct decision about how to address the issue. The sooner you correctly address the issue, the more money you will save in the long run.
The Size of the Damage
The size of the damage makes the biggest difference in whether you should repair or replace your windshield. If you don’t need a replacement, a repair will do the trick and have you back on the road. Chips that are smaller than a quarter, or cracks that are smaller than four inches, don’t require a full windshield replacement. You will definitely save time and money with a repair job (or even by purchasing a repair kit,) so don’t be too worried if the damage is small and out of the way.
Possible Leaking (A Sign of Edge Cracks)
The damage in your windshield may not be visible, but after a night of rain or a run through the car wash, it will be apparent. A leaky windshield could be the result of a poor installation or cracks and chips in the edges of your windshield. These cracks aren’t always obvious when you first look at the vehicle, but they are a common reason for car owners to go to a professional and get a repair. Before you head to an auto glass repair specialist, test out your windshield for leaking and talk to the specialist about what you find.
The Legal Implications of A Cracked Windshield
Putting off a windshield repair job could be considered a breach of Texas or federal law. Look at where the crack is located on your windshield. If the crack is above the steering wheel and obstructing the driver’s ability to see outside of the car, the crack may be considered illegal. The state of Texas forbids anything that is obstructing the view of the driver, whether it is a physical object or a chip. If you are straining to see through a cracked windshield, address the situation immediately.
The Price and Your Insurance
Do you know what your insurance company has to say about windshield repairs or replacements? If not, now is the time to call and ask. No one wants to have to shell out money for car repairs when they have insurance, but if you only have the minimum coverage, you may have to pay a few hundred dollars. It is possible to walk away from a windshield replacement without having to pay a dime, but you might have to pay higher premiums in order to get the right coverage. Talk to your insurance provider before you book an appointment to get your windshield repaired or replaced.
The Time Required to Repair or Replace the Windshield
If the crack is very serious, you may have no choice besides calling a mobile repairman or taking your car to a professional auto glass repair shop. Luckily, a repair job won’t take too much time out of your day. Windshield repairs may only take up to an hour; if you book early enough, you can have the job done during your lunch break. Mobile repair services cut off the time required to get to the repair shop in the first place.
If you need the windshield replaced, you can still have the job done within a day. Replacements take closer to 90 minutes, and drivers are recommended to leave their car to rest for at least an hour before taking the car out for a spin.
Either way, the job isn’t a two- or three-day affair that leaves you taking the bus for a few days. The sooner you book a repair job, the sooner you will be able to drive worry-free.
The Experience Behind the Repairman
There are alternatives to taking a cracked windshield in to an auto glass repair shop. In order to prevent a crack from spreading, you can use items found around the house or go out to buy a DIY windshield repair kit. But before you consider the job done, know that at-home solutions may not be the long-term fix that you expect.
Even if you have purchased and used a DIY repair kit before, it’s best to hand your car over to the professionals. DIY repair kits are certainly great for a quick, cheap fix to a small crack, but if you are uncomfortable about doing the job yourself, it won’t take any more time to hand over the job to the professionals.
Let the Experts at Allstar Glass Fix Your Windshield
Ready to make the call and get your windshield repaired or replaced? If you are in the South Texas region, it’s time to get on the phone with Allstar Auto Glass. Our team has helped citizens throughout the city of Houston and surrounding areas (Katy, Bear Creek, etc.) get back on the road with high-quality glass, no matter what type of car they drive. We are professionals who can give you the best price for the best job. We also offer other auto glass services including headlight restoration and window tinting.
Contact one of our experts about your auto glass repair needs and how soon we are able to get your car back on the road.
Proudly serving the greater Houston area since 1990, Allstar Glass Corporation provides automotive glass services – including windshield repair, replacement, or tinting – at prices you can afford.