Why Damaged Windscreens Need to be Repaired as Soon as Possible
Every time you drive your car, your windscreen not only shields you against elements such as wind and rain, it also protects you from flying objects and debris. A bug won’t do any damage to your windscreen, but hitting a bird, a stone, or even getting caught in a severe hailstorm could cause anything from a small chip to a large crack anywhere on your windscreen.
There’s no denying that a single small chip can be quite annoying – and distracting – even if it isn’t in your immediate line-of-sight. But that isn’t the primary reason for you needing to have your windscreen repaired. A damaged or cracked window pane in your home can be just as annoying, but it usually doesn’t pose any risk to anyone. Unless you open and close the window regularly, the crack won’t be subjected to any additional stress, and you can delay having the glass replaced. But your windscreen is exposed to considerable stress every time you drive, or leave your car parked out in the open.
From almost imperceptible vibrations, through to the shock of any bumps in the road, every time you drive with a crack in your windscreen there is a risk that the crack will expand, further weakening the windscreen. And small chips can be the source of new cracks developing in your windscreen. And nature plays a role too, with the sun causing subtle expansions and contractions in the glass, further impacting on the size of cracks and chips.
It is important to remember that cracks and chips of any size can significantly weaken the integrity of your windscreen, which can lead to your windscreen shattering with little to no warning. The way in which windscreens are constructed means there is little risk of the shattered glass cutting you or anyone else, but the surprise of your windscreen shattering can distract you, and any distraction while driving puts your life, and the lives of others, at risk.
Aside from the safety factor, another reason to consider having your windscreen repairs as soon as possible is the cost. Repairing a chip or crack could easily cost less than $100, while replacing a windscreen will set you back $200 or more, depending on the make and model of your car. Naturally, not all chips and cracks can be repaired, with the size, depth, and location influencing this. And the longer you drive with a chipped or cracked windscreen, the greater the chance is of it reaching a point where a repair is no longer possible.
You could try repairing a crack or chip yourself, but unless you have excellent knowledge of the regulations that control whether a windscreen can be repaired or replaced, you really should consider getting a professional to assess the damage, and make a sound recommendation.