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What is Involved in Repairing a Windshield Chip?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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Repairing a windshield chip generally involves using a clear liquid resin solution to fill in the chipped area. The solution is then dried using ultraviolet (UV) light to allow it to harden. This makes the windshield look almost like new and prevents chips and small cracks from spreading so that the entire windshield doesn’t need to be replaced.

The first step in repairing a windshield chip is to take stock of how severe the chip is. Mild to moderate damage can generally be fixed quickly and at minimal cost to car insurance companies or owners. A clear resin material is inserted into the chip and allowed to harden. Sometimes a UV lamp is used to harden it more quickly. In many cases a hold is drilled at the base of the chip and the resin is inserted into that and then sealed closed.

After the resin has been inserted and hardened, the next step in repairing a windshield chip is to polish the area so that the solution matches the surrounding glass as much as possible. Small cracks may become virtually unrecognizable and the windshield may appear like new to the naked eye. Larger chips and cracks may appear slightly warped in the area, but it is generally not noticeable unless one is looking very closely.

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It is highly important to have any windshield chip inspected by a trained professional because sometimes they can spread and cause further damage. When this occurs, the strength of the glass may be compromised and it may not hold up well even in a small collision. This may be dangerous and is usually pricier to fix than repairing a windshield chip.

Chips or cracks that are very large or pronounced may need to be fixed by replacing the entire windshield. A trained professional should be notified, as he can determine if a repair or replacement is the best course of action. Insurance companies may require a full replacement if a chip or crack is beyond a certain size or level of severity.

There are items one can buy in stores or online which allows consumers to fix a chip themselves. These generally involve a similar process as the one professional use. They usually include a plunger-like device which applies resin to the crack or chip. To use these correctly, it is important to follow directions exactly.

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