Many factors can lead to windshield chips or cracks, from debris kicked up by other vehicles’ tires and abrupt temperature fluctuations to poor-quality glass and improper windshield installation.

Given how easily a chip or crack can develop in your windshield, understanding your options—from repairing to replacing the windshield—is crucial. This article will walk you through these considerations.

Ignoring a chip or crack in your windshield is not an option and should not be dismissed casually. Many states have road safety regulations that penalize driving with cracked windshields. Cracked windshield laws in Indiana prohibit driving vehicles where the driver’s view of the road is obstructed.

Federal regulations require drivers to have a clear vision of the road. Windshield chips or cracks smaller than ¾-inch in diameter are permitted, but only if not located within three inches of another crack. The critical vision area is defined as the area directly above the steering wheel, two inches from the top and one inch from the sides. Chips, cracks, or other damage must not be within this critical vision area.

With that said, it is crucial to promptly assess whether an auto glass repair or replacement is needed and take action accordingly.

What Auto Glass Repairs Can Fix

Small windshield rock chips, typically no larger than a quarter, that haven’t pierced the inner layer of the auto glass are generally repairable. It’s crucial to address even the slightest chip promptly to prevent it from spreading and necessitating a windshield replacement.

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On the other hand, windshield cracks are irreparable and call for a total windshield replacement.

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Procedure for Windshield Rock Chip Repair

The primary method employed by professionals in auto glass repair involves injecting resin into the rock chip. Following this, the resin is heated to expand, effectively sealing the damage as it solidifies. This hardened resin also serves to strengthen the affected area.

Windshield Repair | Cascade Glass

Given the specialized skills required for auto glass chip repairs, it’s important to refrain from attempting DIY repairs.

If you can’t get a rock chip repaired right away, consider temporarily placing a piece of tape over it to prevent it from spreading.

Types of Damage That Require Windshield Replacement

If cracks in your windshield compromise the structural integrity of the auto glass or obstruct the driver’s visibility, a windshield replacement is necessary. Any obstruction in the driver’s line of sight increases the likelihood of road accidents.

The types of damage that necessitate windshield replacement are as follows:

  • A windshield with a crack or cracks
  • A chip with a diameter exceeding 40 mm (nearly 1.6 inches)
  • A complex chip, even if it is smaller than 40 mm
  • A chip that penetrates the second layer of the glass, even if it is smaller than 40 mm
  • A chip that reaches the edge of the windshield, even if it is smaller than 40 mm
  • A chip containing debris, even if it is smaller than 40 mm
  • A chip on the inside of the windshield, even if it is smaller than 40 mm
  • A chip located over the rain sensor or the internal radio antenna, even if it is smaller than 40 mm
  • A chip that is in the driver’s line of sight, even if it is smaller than 40 mm

The goal of a rock chip repair is to keep the chip from spreading. It is important to understand that the repair may not diminish the visibility of the rock chip, which is why chips in the driver’s field of vision require a total windshield replacement.

Ask an Expert

A reliable auto glass repair and replacement provider will advise you on the best solution for your windshield. An experienced technician will assess the chip to determine if it is repairable and recommend a total replacement only when necessary.

Top Auto Glass Repair and Replacement Service in Greenwood, IN, and Across Indiana

Sentry Glass Inc. is a leading auto and semi-truck glass repair and replacement company in Carmel, Indiana. Our woman-owned company has been offering windshield and window glass repairs and replacements for cars and semi-trucks across Indiana since 1991. Contact us for a free quote or to learn more about our services at 317-577-8147 or today!