Windshield Repair vs. Windshield Replacement

The one thing that dictates when a windshield must be replaced is the level of damage the windshield has incurred. Most of the damage from rocks and other flying debris can be repaired easily. However, some damage may have already ruined the windshield's structural integrity. Once this happens, no amount of windshield repair resin can restore the windshield's strength.

The nature of every windshield's construction is the reason there are limits on the damage that can be repaired. Your windshield is made of several layers of glass laminated together under pressure. When the windshield is damaged, space develops between these layers of glass. When the damaged area is large, it creates a larger gap between the glass layers. It is this gap that causes an issue with your windshield repair. As the gap between the laminated glass layers gets larger it becomes very difficult to completely clean out the gap and make room for the windshield repair resin. Windshield repair resin cannot be pressed into the gap when debris is present as this will cause the repair to fail. A gap that is too large to clean out cannot be repaired safely. Similarly, damage to your windshield that penetrates all the layers of laminated glass will not provide resistance to hold the windshield repair resin in place while it cures. When pressed into the gap, the resin would simply pass through to the other side.

Buyer Beware

It is the duty of every auto glass technician to notify the customer when windshield damage cannot safely be repaired. A failed repair is bad for business but, more importantly, it is extremely dangerous for the customer and anyone else who may use the vehicle. You may be able to find an auto glass shop willing to try and repair your windshield but there is a reason many of the other shops turned you down. Unfortunately, the only way you will know your repair is unsafe is when it fails; and it will.

At Adkins Glass, our 35 years of experience have taught us that it is better to be safe than sorry. This does not mean that everyone who calls for a windshield repair service will face a windshield replacement. The technicians at Adkins Glass have your best interest in mind and are simply concerned for your safety. When customers bring in a windshield that has been damaged for some time or has a chip that has started to spread, our technicians will explain that a windshield repair "may" work for the situation but a replacement is suggested. We will do our best to leave the decision up to the customer unless a windshield repair is not a safe option.

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