Despite being the vigilant driver you are, nothing is more infuriating than a stray stone being flung from the car in front and leaving behind a nasty chip in your windscreen.

Annoyed and frustrated, you are now left with the decision to either get it fixed or replace the entire windscreen, as ignoring the issue won’t make it disappear.

Regardless of the solution, it is essential to attend to the problem immediately. The longer you wait the more extensive the damage can become and what started off as a small crack or chip has now spread like wildfire.

A damaged windscreen can obscure your vision of the road, putting your life and other motorists on the road at risk.

But how do you know if a windscreen repair is sufficient or if you need a windscreen replacement?

To help you identify whether you need to repair or replace your windscreen, here are 3 simple tests you can do at home.

 

Where is the damage located?

The location of the chip or crack can determine whether your windscreen is repairable. Any damage that is located in the driver’s line of sight will have a lower success rate as repairs can leave behind distortions and obscure the driver’s field of view.

Damage sustained to the outer edges of the glass can also cause issues as it weakens the structural integrity of the glass. Your best chances of a successful repair depend on how fast the chip or crack is attended to. Going over the smallest of bumps, such as car park speed humps, can cause a tiny crack to fissure and spread.

 

What is the size of the chip or crack?

Thanks to advancements in windscreen technology, most chips and cracks can be easily repaired. To assess the chip, grab a 10 cent coin and place it over the top. If it’s completely covered, which is usually about 2.5 centimetres in diameter, it can be easily repaired. Cracks up to 7.5 centimetres can also be easily fixed.

The quicker you attend to the matter the more chances you have of being able to repair the damage. There are special circumstances where cracks between 7.5cm to 30cm can still be repaired but will require a specialist’s attention.

 

What is the severity of damage?

At first glance you should be able to tell if your windscreen can be repaired or needs to be replaced. If you’re seeing double from the driver’s seat because there are so many cracks chances are you’ll need to replace your windscreen. The rule of thumb is to have any damage attended to immediately by a windscreen expert to prevent it from spreading, or even shattering.

 

The dangers of driving with damaged windscreen

Unlike the old days, where the windscreen was non-existent and drivers would cop everything under the sun, modern windscreens are designed to protect you from random projectiles, as well as keeping out the elements.

Driving with a cracked or chipped windscreen compromises the safety of your vehicle and reduces the overall structural integrity. A damaged windshield is less likely to provide adequate protection from objects or major accidents as it has more chances of shattering on impact.

If you’re still deciding whether you should repair or replace your windscreen, we suggest contacting the professionals for some advice or a free quote to see what your options are.