You're driving down the road and the truck ahead of you flips a rock up onto your windshield. You hear the familiar click as the rock hits the glass and you notice a small chip. You tell yourself that it's not a problem, until you get into your car later in the day and notice that a long crack has formed in the glass, starting at the chip. Here is why it's important to get even the tiniest rock chip fixed before it becomes a bigger problem.
Be Thankful for Safety Glass
At one time, car windshields were not much different than the window glass in your home. If something cracked the windshield, shards of sharp glass would fly into the car. In the 1930s, safety glass was mandated for use in cars. Safety glass is made by rolling two sheets of glass together with a sheet of plastic in between. When the glass breaks, it forms a spider web pattern but doesn't splinter and fall apart.
When you get a rock chip, a small portion of glass in the exterior sheet breaks, but the plastic sheet prevents it from cracking. The chip puts stress on the windshield at that point. You can have a chip in the glass for years without having a problem. One day the sun heats the glass, causing it to expand. The stress at the chip becomes so great that a crack starts to form at that point and slowly progresses to the edges of the windshield. Now you have to replace the entire windshield. This is why getting the chip fixed soon is the best option.
Rock Chip Repair
The fresher the rock chip, the easier it is to fix because dirt and grit haven't had a chance to become embedded in the hole. The auto glass installation company will clean out the chip thoroughly, then fill it with a clear resin. The resin is smoothed so it's flush with the windshield surface. This keeps your windshield wipers from bumping into the repair. The spot is also polished so it's as clear as the surrounding glass. The entire chip repair takes only a few minutes.
Some insurance companies will pay for a chip repair without requiring a deductible payment. They know that the chip repair is far less expensive than if they have to pay for a cracked windshield.
Get your car in to have a rock chip repaired as soon as you can (for further assistance, contact a local company such as A1 Auto Glass). For a few minutes of your time, you'll avoid having to replace the entire windshield.