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Windshield Repair vs. Replacement: How to Tell the Difference

Windshield Repair vs. Replacement: How to Tell the Difference

Your windshield takes the brunt of tough road conditions and debris, and while glass manufacturing keeps advancing, it’s still possible for your windshield to be hit by a rock that chips it.

If you can get your car into a glass professional ASAP, that chip might be repairable. But continuing to drive with it sets you up for dangerous driving with obscured vision, a greater likelihood of incurring worse windshield damage, and even citations from law enforcement.

Protect your vehicle and yourself by always paying attention to signs of damage to your windshield, and follow this guide to recognize the kind of work your windshield will need.

Windshield Damage Types

Damage to your windshield can come in many forms and will affect whether your glass can be repaired or needs to be replaced. Here are some of the most common causes of windshield damage.

Rocks & Debris From the Road

Anything flying up from the road can damage your windshield, especially when you drive on the highway. Fast velocity, the hardness and size of the object, and the angle at which it hits your windshield all determine how bad the impact will be.

Most often, rocks and road debris get kicked up by other vehicles around you, so to prevent some damage, stay a safe distance away from other vehicles while traveling.

Sand & Small Particles

Small particles, like sand and dirt, are surprisingly hard on glass for being so small. The problem has to do with pitting. Pitting wears down the surface of the glass, though it may look fine to the naked eye.

You’ll most likely notice pitting when driving in bright light because light from the sun, street lamps, and car headlights reflects differently over a pitted windshield, making it more difficult to see.

Sand and small particles are also notorious for making a small problem worse. You may decide to wait for a windshield repair because a crack seems tiny. But as you drive, dirt and sand can deposit in the crack and cause it to spread, which can quickly turn a repair into a replacement.

Signs Your Windshield Only Needs a Repair

The sooner you can bring a damaged windshield into our shop, the more likely it can be repaired. Here are some clear-cut indicators that the damage to your windshield is repairable.

  • A chip is dime-sized or smaller.
  • A crack is only four inches long or less.
  • Only the outer layer of glass is damaged.
  • The crack or chip isn’t close to the edge of the windshield.
  • You can drive safely with no obscured view after the repair.
Broken Windshield Image

Factors That Require Windshield Replacement

Sometimes a windshield replacement is just a better, safer, and longer-lasting solution than performing a repair. Here’s when you should definitely have your windshield replaced.

  • The size of the chip is bigger than a dime or is splintering.
  • A crack is longer than a dollar bill.
  • There are multiple chips or cracks throughout the windshield.
  • The damage has penetrated the inner layer of glass.
  • The cracks create a spiderweb pattern across the windshield.
  • The glass is not laminated.
  • Your ability to see clearly is impaired.

How to Determine the Best Glass Repair Shop for Your Vehicle

Windshield repairs and replacements are essential for all vehicles and should be trusted only to highly skilled professional glass installers who specialize in regular and large vehicle glass.

Remember these factors when choosing who to call for a thorough assessment and windshield repair or replacement.

All Vehicle Glass Services

A highly experienced shop will be able to replace windshields on nearly all types of vehicles, including:

All Types of Window Glass Repairs & Replacements

Trust your vehicle to a shop that has years of experience and certifications in repairing all types of window glass services, from front and rear windshields to side windows to sun- and moonroofs.

ADAS Recalibration Certified

Relying on glass experts who are also trained in your vehicle's Advanced Driver Assistance System calibration makes your life easier. Instead of needing to go to a dealership after a windshield replacement or not being able to use your ADAS, feel comfortable driving out of a shop knowing your glass and system are in perfect condition.

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Trust D&S Glass Service for All Windshield & Glass Services

Repairing or replacing your windshield has never been a more streamlined and stress-free process than with D&S Glass Service. Our experts are certified in all vehicle glass repairs and replacements, ADAS calibration, and more, so you will always have fully-serviced, fast vehicle maintenance.

With over 40 years of serving the Waldorf and surrounding communities with reliable glass expertise for auto and residential services, our experts will ensure a safer ride for you at the best price!

Request a quote today or call 301-843-6833 to schedule an appointment and get your windshield properly serviced ASAP!


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