When Can a Cracked Windscreen be Repaired?
Cracks and windscreen scratches in Bournemouth are a fact of life – those little bits of debris from the roads that bounce up and cause damage. But as a car owner, cracks and scratches are a headache because it means a replacement window. Or does it? When can a cracked windscreen be repaired rather than replaced?
Why taking action quickly is important
Windscreens rarely crack because they are tough and designed to withstand a lot. But they do pick up cracks and chips which can seem innocuous. However, experts in windscreens, body glass and van conversions say that it is important to get someone to look at the chip or crack as quickly as possible. Here are four reasons:
- The windscreen is a key part of the car’s structure and helps with strength. When there is damage to the windscreen, this structure is weakened
- Windscreens suffer from mechanical stress such as driving over potholes or speed bumps that can cause a crack to widen
- Thermal shock is another problem where temperatures change in cold weather and we put the heater on which can weaken the windscreen when it is chipped or cracked
- Repairs can often be done but the chip needs to be clean so the longer it is there, the dirtier it gets and lowers the chance that it can be repaired
Repair or replacement?
Whether you visit a garage or use a quality mobile service to visit you and look at the problem, the same assessment is carried out. It involves looking at the size of the damage and where it is on the windscreen.
The A-Zone is defined as an area around 30cm (12 inches) wide that is roughly upwards of the steering wheel. This is the key area that drivers use to see out of the windscreen. In this area, chips can be repaired if they are up to 1 cm in width. Outside this area, chips can be repaired if they are under 4cm.
Another consideration is if the crack is near the edge of the windscreen. This doesn’t affect the driver’s view, but it can damage the structural integrity of the windscreen. This will mean it needs to be replaced, even if it is small.
Why cracks and scratches are treated differently
It is also worth knowing that cracks, chips and scratches are treated differently when it comes to assessing whether to repair or replace a windscreen. Star cracks are the ones where little spikes stretch out from the central impact spot and these are the most likely to be repairable.
Stress cracks are those that have been caused by temperature changes or accidents and are less likely to be repaired because they impact the overall strength of the car. Scratches might sound the least problematic but in reality, scratches can cause problems with the driver’s vision, especially in low sun times of the day. Sometimes they can be polished out but are often too shallow to fill with resin in the same way as cracks or chips.