Windshield Damage: 
Repair vs Replace 

When you’re driving, a rock from a truck ahead of you, gravel on the road, or debris from other vehicle movements can be kicked up and thrown into your auto glass, creating a crack or chip. 

When this happens, you’ll need to have your damaged window repaired or replaced because it’s not safe to keep driving with it. But how will you know which service you might need? It's important to understand the differences.

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When to repair a windshield

First, one of our technicians will assess the damage and look at its shape, size, depth, material, and location. From there, they’ll decide what to do based on what they see. 

The chip is small

Sometimes small chips and cracks only require repairs. But make sure you get them fixed quickly to prevent them from spreading and creating a need for a full windshield replacement.

When to replace a windshield

In some cases, our expert technicians will need to do a full window replacement.

The crack or chip is large 

A replacement is generally needed with larger chips or cracks, although there are some situations where they can be repaired.

The glass is tempered 

Windshields that are made of tempered glass instead of laminated glass, like side and rear windows, are more likely to break into fragments. This means a replacement will be needed to prevent the dangers of shattered glass.

The windshield damage is too deep 

Any chip or crack that penetrates past the halfway point of the windshield thickness or both the outer and inner layer of a laminated windshield requires a replacement. Not only is this done for safety, but also to prevent the inner layer from becoming discolored over time.

The damage is in a bad area of your windshield 

This includes the driver’s side since the last thing you want is a large obstruction in your line of sight.

The crack spans from edge to edge of the windshield 

When this happens, the structural integrity of the auto glass weakens and requires a replacement since the edges are the windshield’s strong holding points.

There are multiple cracks or chips on your windshield 

The more damage and impact that your auto glass has endured, the less likely it is to hold up to further ones. If there are more than two damaged areas on your auto glass, schedule a replacement.

The next steps for your windshield repair 

Whether you need a repair or replacement, our expert auto glass techs at Safelite are ready. For extra convenience, we also offer mobile repairs where we come to your home or work. Learn more, schedule an appointment, or get a quote today.

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