Spider Cracks—and a Solution

July 19, 2018 7:35 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Most chips in a windshield start small. A tiny chip from a flying rock can go unnoticed on a windshield for years, but it demands attention the second the previously miniscule rock chip spreads into a large spider crack. All spider cracks start with a single impact point before the glass around it begins to crack, giving an appearance similar to that of a spider web. They can span from under an inch to the entire width of your windshield.

Some cracks can go for months without ever turning into an emergency, while others could pose a serious safety risk from day one. The key is knowing how to determine whether a windshield with a spider crack needs to be repaired or replaced. Read on for some tips from an auto body shop in Visalia, CA that will help you gauge the overall condition of your cracked windshield.

Can the glass be repaired?

Whether or not the windshield can be repaired will depend on the size, depth and location of the crack:

  • Size: Typically, chips smaller than a quarter and cracks less than three inches long can be easily repaired by an auto body shop in Visalia, CA. Anything larger than that will most likely need to be replaced. A professional glass specialist will be able to recommend the best course of action.
  • Depth: The depth of the crack will also be a major factor in determining whether it’s better to repair or replace. Every windshield has three layers—an outer layer of glass, a plastic interlayer and an inside layer of glass. Damage limited to just the top outer layer can easily be repaired by a professional. Unfortunately, anything that has penetrated the plastic interlayer or the inside layer is too deep for a repair and will need to be replaced.
  • Location: The location of the crack is the biggest factor when deciding to repair or replace. Any cracks extending to the outer edge of the glass will merit a full replacement because the structural integrity of the windshield glass has likely been compromised. Cracks within the driver’s line of vision will likely need to be repaired to avoid impairing their view of the road. Damage that interferes with any rain sensors, automatic braking systems and driver assistance systems will also require a replacement to avoid interfering with the sensors.

Unfortunately, some car owners think a cracked windshield is perfectly safe as long as the windshield remains intact. However, the windshield is responsible for 60 percent of the structural strength of your vehicle’s cabin. Any flaws in the windshield could weaken the safety of your car in the event of an accident. Additionally, a crack could obstruct your view in your day-to-day driving, making you a hazard on the road.

Still not sure what to do? Let an auto body shop in Visalia, CA help you make the call. Reach out to Toms Body & Paint, Inc. today for auto glass repair and replacement. We will work you’re your insurance company so you can get back on the road in no time.

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