Deciding whether to repair damage to your windshield or have the whole thing replaced can be tricky. While windshield replacement is usually more expensive than repairs, it is also necessary in many cases. Here are a few of the biggest reasons to replace your windshield instead of having it repaired:
Replacement Makes Sense if Damaged Area is Large
A small chip or two can be professionally repaired and stopped from spreading through the application of a resin which fills in the damaged glass and keeps it in place. Larger chips and cracks, however, mean that your windshield should probably be replaced soon. A good rule of thumb is that any damage over the size of a dollar bill should lead to a prompt windshield replacement. In addition, even smaller areas of damage may require a replacement if they obstruct your view.
Replacing Your Windshield Keeps You Safer
A cracked or significantly chipped windshield affects your safety in several ways. The chips and cracks can quickly spread, especially if exposed to extreme temperature changes or if you hit a pothole. This means that even if the chips or cracks don't obstruct your view while driving at first, they may eventually, putting you at risk on the road.
Your windshield is also important to the overall structural integrity of your vehicle. When your windshield is cracked, it weakens, which means it is more likely to fall out if you get in an accident.
Replacing Your Windshield Prevents a Ticket
If the crack or cracks in your windshield are large and obstruct your view in any way, you are vulnerable to being pulled over and given a ticket. Driving with an obstructed view is a violation of safety regulations, and if you are pulled over you will most likely need to pay a fine. Your car insurance may even increase as a result. You don't even need to be pulled over for speeding or an unrelated event to receive this ticket. If a police officer happens to notice your cracked windshield, they can choose to pull you over for that alone.
If you're still not sure whether repairing or replacing your windshield is the best option, it's a good idea to make an appointment with an experienced auto glass repair company. They will evaluate the damage to your windshield as well as your insurance policy and help you decide on the best course of action.