Windshield Chip Repair Guide

It is important to note we can not successfully perform a windshield chip repair that has previously been repaired or attempted to be repaired.  If you recently bought a used car, and did not hear the rock smack your windshield, you may have an old chip that has been already repaired.  If you are unsure if your damage has been previously repaired, send for a free Inspection. Note:  if you were in your vehicle when the rock smacked against your windshield and then you saw damage, it’s very likely you have a new crack. If it is a new crack you should be able to see black area to the break that will confirm that there is indeed a separation in the glass. Placing a white sheet of paper behind the damage on the inside of the windshield will often highlight the damage. See the pictures of the four chips below.

I can repair two types of damage: Chips and Single Long Cracks.
On this page I will focus on small types of damage about 1.25 inch in diameter or smaller which are commonly known as chips. A simple & effective method to tell if I can repair your damage or “chip” is to place a .50 half dollar coin (or quarter) over the damaged area.  Most common damage are repairable up to this size.  If using a quarter, I can repair cracks extending up to 1/4 inch outside the quarter diameter. If you find your damage is repairable, you can schedule an appointment that best fits your schedule right from our Repair Express Page.

size limit3

 

small nick_nk

Don’t Repair this Type of Damage.

This is the most common windshield chip, and sometimes they are mistaken for damage that might spread.  This minor damage, called a nick, won’t spread because it only hit your windshield hard enough to remove glass from the surface, but not hard enough to cause a crack.  In short a nick is a chip without the crack. The damage is often very small and looks like a small white spot. Usually it is best not to repair nicks, unless it is large leaving a very noticeable divot with a shinny white area, or has a crack extending from it, as shown in these two examples below.

small crack_nkRepair this Type of Damage:

Make sure there isn’t a small crack hiding behind a nick because these can spread too and should be repaired. and since this is a windshield chip repair guide…Here’s how to check:  Place and hold a white sheet of paper or paper towel on the inside of the windshield directly behind the nick. Using the left picture as a guide, look on the outside of the windshield for a small crack that may resemble a black or silver line.

 

Large nick_nk

This Type is Optional

This larger nick is optional because though there is no actual crack in the windshield, it can be a distraction while driving on a sunny day by reflecting sunlight causing glare. Also, it can tear your windshield wiper blades as well. If you find this to be case… a professional windshield chip repair will greatly reduce the glare effect, smooth out it’s sharp edges, and look similar to that of a water spot. 

 

old chip

Previously repaired or New damage?  How to tell the difference.

When resin has been injected into a chip or crack and cured, it is permanent.  The resin is now a solid and blocks our ability to re-repair the chip in most cases.  Windshield chip repair offered as a add-on service by some shops do repairs so poorly it’s can be hard to tell that they repaired the damage.  Click on the picture you see to the left of this paragraph to enlarge it and lets examine closer.  Notice the impact point where the rock nicked away surface glass, grey and dull looking.  If you notice certain areas of the break are clear but others still have spotty black areas, it is a indication the damage has already been repaired.  Now look at the windshield chips that have not repaired in the photo below.

4_chips

You should be able to see a distinct difference in appearance with these types of damage on the left.  The grey and black colors within the break are consistent and if you take a pointed sharp object to the shinny white area called the impact point (usually in the middle of the damage) and scrape you will hear a gritty sound and feel.  If it has already been repaired, it would have a more smooth sound and a tacky or sticky feel. Now you can discern between previously repaired breaks (even if they are poorly done) and ones that need to be repaired.

You can send us a  a recognizable, digital picture or your damaged area, if you are still uncertain.  With a good photo our technicians can tell most of the time. Just visit step 1 on our Home Page and click on the link that says “send for an inspection”.

 

Return to crack medic Home page from chip repair guide.