Windshield Crack & Chip Repair in Fredericksburg & Stafford
Your Local Windshield Repair Service
There are few things more annoying than having a stone or other object collide with your windshield when driving. However, the occasional windshield chip or crack is an unavoidable fact of life for most drivers. Drivers can try to mitigate the risk by keeping an extended distance behind trucks on the highway; but if and when your windshield does sustain stone or other damage, usually we can repair it in less than 30 minutes without needing to replace your windshield.
In many cases when a chip is no bigger than a nickel and a crack less than 6-inches in length, we will be able to repair the damage with a fast drying resin, restoring the structural integrity of your windshield and preventing further damage. The location of the chip or crack has some bearing on whether it can be repaired though. If the damage has occurred directly in front of the driver within the critical vision area (CVA), the size tolerance for repair is generally less than if the damage is elsewhere on the windshield. The CVA is an area approximately 12-inches wide directly in front of the steering wheel, extending from the top to the bottom of the windshield.
It’s important to have chips or cracks repaired promptly, in order to avoid damage creep. A chip can develop into a crack without notice, and cracks have a tendency to gradually extend in length, particularly when exposed to temperature extremes. A study performed by HORIBA MIRA Ltd. (formerly the Motor Industry Research Association) found a 60 percent likelihood of chips developing into cracks at 32 degrees (freezing point), and 80 percent likelihood at 14 degrees (-10° C). Conversely, high temperatures distort the shape of the glass, leading to an increased rate of cracking, particularly when it is hot outside but air-con cool inside the vehicle.
Driving over bumps and potholes also exerts some stress on the windshield, which can cause damage creep as well. The bottom line is that leaving either a chip or crack unattended can turn a low-cost repair into the need for a far more expensive windshield replacement.
Besides the potential for damage creep, there are also safety issues to consider. Chips and cracks usually compromise the structural integrity of not only the windshield, but also the occupants’ compartment of the vehicle. In the case of a collision or rollover, windshields play an important role in boosting the overall structural integrity of the cabin. Further, if the damage is within the CVA of the windshield, it can affect the driver’s optical clarity. In addition, sunlight can be refracted, with the potential to cause momentary blinding.
So when one considers both the potential added cost and safety issues, it really pays to attend to chips and cracks promptly once incurred. If at all possible, our first option will always be to try to repair damage to your windshield as opposed to replacing it with a new one. However, depending on the size, type, and location of the damage, sometimes we may need to recommend full windshield replacement.
The Windshield Crack & Chip Repair Process – How It Works
- Our technician will begin by thoroughly cleaning the damaged area, including removing any loose glass fragments.
- A windshield injector repair tool is affixed over the damage spot. This tool creates a vacuum over the affected area, allowing the filler resin to enter the fractures under pressure.
- Once the damaged areas are filled, the tool is removed and a UV-light lamp is used which permanently hardens the resin within approximately 3 minutes. Once cured, the resin has a similar strength and transparency to the glass.
- The area is then finished by removing any excess resin, and polished to ensure the surface is completely smooth.
At Radley Collision Center, we can perform windshield repairs on vehicles of all makes and models. Repairing your vehicle’s windshield is not only more cost effective compared to a replacement, it is also more environmentally friendly as it eliminates excess wastage. And we back all our windshield repair services with a lifetime warranty for as long as you own the vehicle.
So if you have sustained any windshield damage, call us at (888) 699-2105 to schedule an obligation free assessment and repair estimate at either our Fredericksburg or Stafford locations. We have been proudly serving the auto repair needs of Northeastern Virginia since 1979. We look forward to your visit and to fulfilling your windshield repair needs.