On Time: When to Repair, When to Replace

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Timing is everything. You know what to do when you need a repair or replacement , but how do you know when you should make that call?

The quick answer is now. Call now. Always.

Don’t Delay

Or rather, call as soon as possible. The longer you wait to address the problem, no matter how small the chip or crack, the more chance there is of said damage expanding.
Remember that generally the smaller and cleaner the crack or break, the easier it is to repair. The longer a fracture is left unattended, the more contaminants can get in. More contamination complicates the repair process.
The outside temperature can also expand the damage. Both extreme heat and cold can do that, sometimes in a matter of minutes or hours. The sooner you get a tech out to assess the damage, the better.

Call Today

A small crack or break can generally be repaired. Check out our previous blog on the limitations of what can usually be repaired by qualified technicians.
If these limits are exceeded, you’re out of luck and will need a replacement. So call today before a small problem turns into a larger one.

Better Safe than Sorry

But what if the crack falls into one of those no-go areas like the edge of the windshield, or in the driver’s line of vision? Or spreads before you can get it repaired? This will mean a windshield replacement is likely necessary.

It doesn’t do much good to wait on this either. In much the same way that it affects a repair, time can cause more damage to a vehicle in need of a replacement as well. A crack can spread, and if it’s on the driver’s side it could affect the driver’s ability to see well.
Cracks can cause light and vision distortions that put others in jeopardy.

If a crack touches the edge of a windshield, there’s always the chance that precipitation will seep into the crack and corrode the metal framework underneath. When that happens, a safe replacement requires all the rust to be removed from the frame before the new windshield is installed. Adhesive – the glue used to bond the windshield to the frame – cannot stick to rust and a windshield that doesn’t stick isn’t going to do it’s job.

Help is on the Way

Of course, there are certain factors that will affect repair and replacement jobs and those could determine actual scheduling. But this shouldn’t prevent you from calling as soon as possible. Employees at a reputable windshield repair and/or replacement shop will be able to help you figure out the best time and place to address the problem.

To find a windshield repair and/or replacement shop in your area, visit

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Brigid O'Leary

Brigid O'Leary has been writing about the auto glass and fenestration industries for more than 15 years and is responsible for the upkeep of’s Glass Dictionary. She previously served as editor of AGRR and Window Film magazines. O'Leary earned her Bachelor's Degree in Communication from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in 2001. In addition to technical/industry writing, the mother of two serves as the media contact for STEP VA, a Fredericksburg, Va.-area nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through artistic expression and sensory exploration, and is an active member of the local Special Education Advisory Committee.

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