Most of us have been there; driving down the road when all of a sudden a rock comes out of nowhere and smacks into the windshield. While sometimes it’s nothing more than a moment of panic, other times we are left with a noticeable nick or crack. Barring damage from an impact, most of these cracks start out small, and thankfully if they are shorter than 12 inches they can be repaired. However, not all cracks and scratches are the same, and it’s important to know when it’s time for a repair or a full windshield replacement.

1. Scratches and Cracks Blocking Your View

If windshield cracks are impeding your vision, you’ll want to consider getting a new windshield. While minor cracks can be repaired by certified windshield repair services, if the problem is severe enough to create vision problems, a replacement will be necessary. Not only will this help ensure your windshield is stable, but it can help keep you safer on the road overall.

2. Long Deep Cracks

If you have deep cracks or cracks that are longer than 12 inches, you’ll also want to consider a replacement. Cracks like this can occur during accidents or from hard impacts with flying debris. Longer cracks can also occur if previous minor cracks were left unrepaired and allowed to grow. Because of this, it’s important to see an auto glass repair specialist at the first signs of a crack and prevent the need for a full replacement in the future. However, if the crack has grown too severe, it’s best to forgo driving until everything is fixed.

3. Chips in the Windshield

Chipping is another problem that can occur from flying debris impacting your windshield. While most can be repaired by professional windshield repair services, they can grow into bigger problems if not fixed quickly enough. This is especially true if the cracks are obstructing your view or otherwise creating problems with sight while driving. As with the other problems, you should forgo driving the vehicle until a professional has assessed the problem.

4. Scratches

Most scratches aren’t devastating and they aren’t likely to be as dangerous as cracks or chips. However, even the most minor scratches need to be watched closely to ensure they don’t grow into deeper cracks. Scratches can also be a problem if they are across the driver’s side of the vehicle, as they too can obscure vision and make it more difficult to see while driving. Fortunately, scratches are an easy fix and taking care of them early can help save on more expensive repairs in the future.

5. Cracks from an Accident

If you’ve recently been in an accident and have noticed cracks in the windshield, you should have a professional take a look as soon as possible. While it may not seem like a huge problem now, the integrity of the windshield may be compromised to the point where it needs replacement. This can lead to dangerous situations while driving, and also negatively impact other aspects of your car.

Staying Safe on the Road

Windshield cracks are annoying; however, that doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye and put windshield repairs on the back burner. If caught early enough, most minor cracks, scratches, and chips can be quickly repaired by professional windshield repair services. This helps ensure that you can continue driving safely and without the worry of more costly future repairs.

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