So you have a little rock chip in your windshield, and you're probably thinking it's no big deal.
During this time of year (Spring/Summer), we have wildly-fluctuating temperatures. Cold nights, warm days, and lots of rain. What does this mean for your chipped windshield? Quite a lot actually.
Your windshield is made up of 2 layers of glass, separated by a lamination. (You can see more info on the construction of windshields, as well as how we recycle them here.) When a rock hits and chips your windshield, you'll notice a white area at the center of impact, as well as a black area that surrounds the impact. You may also have lines coming off of the center of damage, commonly referred to as "spiderwebs."
The white area you see is broken glass that has been crushed into the impact point. The black area is actually air that has been trapped between the external layer of glass, and the internal lamination of the windshield. The spiderwebs are a residual effect of the stress and impact of the chip. Check out some images of common rock chips here.
So what does that all mean?
As the temperature fluctuates, the trapped air expands and contracts between the glass and lamination. When that air expands and contracts, it puts pressure on the glass. That pressure builds up and can cause those spiderwebs to expand-- sometimes rapidly. Ever have someone tell you "It was fine this morning, and I came out for lunch and it cracked all the way across!"?
We spoke a few months ago about the windshield's function in safety and structural integrity (see Can I Wait?). There, we discuss the importance of replacing your auto glass when it cracks. This same information applies to small rock chips. Just because the damage is small does not mean it's less of a danger. Any damage to your windshield reduces its integrity, directly reducing its performance in protecting you and your family.
But why can't I hold off for a few months?
You could. And you may not have any problems. On the other hand, maybe your glass cracks out completely and you're now paying 4 times as much for a full windshield replacement. The windshield repair process we use is designed to restore the structural integrity of the glass, and save you money. It keeps you safe and your wallet happy. Doesn't that sound better than risking the safety of yourself and the ones you love because of a small rock?
We will come out to your location and fix the damage, usually taking only 15 minutes. By removing the broken glass and releasing the trapped air, we make room for our 2-part resin system. This resin fills in the gaps left by the damage, and seals it off completely. This seal prevents any air and moisture from getting between the glass and lamination which, as we discussed, is what causes the glass to crack.
But I cant afford it right now.
You can. And we will help you.
Most insurance companies will pay for a repair at NO COST TO YOU. This will not raise your rates, and is a very easy process that we are happy to take you through. Read up on using your insurance here. If you don't have that option available, we will make sure you get the service you need at a cost you can afford. It is our duty, first and foremost, to keep our customers safe.
The bottom line is, when your glass chips: fix it. Keep yourself and your family safe. Keep money in your pocket. Keep the headaches out of it. Most importantly, remember that J Royce Auto Glass is here to help. If you have questions or concerns, contact us. We will do everything in our power to take care of you quickly, efficiently, and professionally.
J Royce Auto Glass