The open road has many attractions and temptations, but it also has many dangers. Loose rocks, road debris, and even wayward birds can pose a significant hazard to your auto glass, and if you suddenly find yourself attempting to handle the effects of glass damage, it's important that you stay aware of all your options. (For questions on glass repair, you can contact Hometown Auto Glass windshield repair)

Below, you'll find a guide to some factors which determine whether your glass can be repaired or needs to be replaced. Having this information in mind will provide you with a baseline of knowledge when you consult with an auto glass professional, and should also provide you with the confidence of knowing you've done everything you can to enhance your vehicle.

Location

Most polymers used to fill in cracks in auto glass rely on the strength of the surrounding area to stabilize the repair. As such, damage that is centrally located is often able to be patched, as the surrounding glass can absorb some of the stress. Glass damage located near the edge of a pane, however, may not have the necessary stability.

It's also important to keep in mind that some glass repairs may very slightly warp the transparency of your auto glass. Therefore, any damage that occurs in the driver's line of sight will likely necessitate a replacement, as the risk of an associated accident would be far too great.

Depth

Damage from road debris will affect your auto glass in varying depths depending on the size of the debris, the velocity of the impact, and sometimes, dumb luck. However, shallow damage can often be patched, allowing you an easier repair.

If your glass is penetrated completely, however, it's unlikely that a patch will sufficiently hold. Some advances have been made in plug-type repairs for auto glass, but their lack of reliability often means that you're better off replacing the full piece of glass.

Length

Many people are under the mistaken impression that a long, narrow crack can be contained and easily repaired. Unfortunately, very long damage can threaten the structural integrity of the surrounding glass and lead to a spider web effect that will cause the glass to fail. This damage can be microscopic and difficult to detect until it becomes a serious issue. As such, long cracks that may occur due to changes in temperature or other pressure-related events will generally require a full glass replacement, as that's the only way to truly guarantee structural stability.

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