A rock flies up off the road and chips your windshield. This is just the start of a problem that can become an obstacle to your driving. Chips can become major cracks in your windshield, obscuring your vision. In many states, driving with a cracked windshield is illegal. This is why you should address any windshield chip soon. Here are your options to keep your car safe on the road.
Rock Chip Repair
Get your car into an auto glass shop as soon as you can to repair chips and small cracks. If you have to delay this, place a small piece of clear packing tape over the chip. This will slow down the tendency for a major crack across your windshield to start at the chip.
The fresher the damage, the easier it is to fix the chip. Dirt gets into the chip over time, making it harder to repair.
The glass repair shop will clean any dirt and pieces of glass out of the chip. They will then inject a polymer into the chip and allow it to cure. Once set, they will buff the polymer out so it is as clear as the glass around it and flush with the glass so it doesn't interfere with your windshield wipers. Your insurance company may pay for the entire cost of a windshield chip repair because it prevents further cracking of the windshield, requiring it to be replaced.
Replacing a Cracked Windshield
If you're unlucky and the rock from the road cracks your windshield, it will need to be replaced. While the safety glass in the windshield prevents the glass from splintering and becoming a danger, you need to get it replaced soon. Your vision is obscured and the lights at night will become an annoyance as they shine through the crack. If you can't get to a glass shop right away, mobile windshield glass replacement is available in most cities for a few dollars more than driving to their shop.
The glass technician first removes the protective molding around the windshield. They insert a flat blade between the edge of the windshield and the opening in your car and cut through the urethane that seals the windshield against the car. They will clean off the old sealer from the car and prepare the edge of the new windshield. A bead of new urethane is applied to the car and the windshield put into place. The molding is replaced around the windshield and any excess urethane cleaned off of the window.
A rock chip in your windshield can be repaired in a few minutes. An entire windshield can be replaced in less than an hour. Take the time to get a cracked or chipped windshield repaired so you'll stay safe on the road.