Windshield Damage: Types of Chips and Cracks
All of us at Auto Glass 2020 can talk about chipped and cracked windshields all day long! It’s what we do. It’s what we love. And we are passionate about helping our family of clients get their damaged windshields back to functioning at 100% (and looking great too )! We tend to generalize and refer to windshield damage as simply chips or cracks, but in reality, there are several types of auto glass damage that have real names and everything! Read below for a more in-depth classification of the types of windshield damage that can occur.
A chip in your windshield is one of the most common types of windshield damage and is typically caused by a rock or debris hitting the windshield. A chip is just that – a small piece of glass that gets “chipped off” (pun intended ) and is now missing from the windshield. Most chips can be repaired, meaning you can usually avoid a complete windshield replacement all together. However, for a chipped windshield to be properly repaired, it must be less than an inch in diameter, it should not have any cracks extending from it, and it should not extend all the way through the windshield.
If you’ve noticed a chip (or two!) in your windshield, this is the BEST time to get your windshield repaired! Repairing chipped windshields immediately to help prevent them from worsening is your best bet to avoiding a complete windshield replacement.
A cracked windshield is another very common occurrence, especially in Arizona where chipped and cracked windshields tend to be something every driver will experience at least once or twice (usually more!). Again, the name describes its appearance perfectly – a crack looks like a line in your windshield. We can further divide cracks into three different kinds:
- Stress Cracks – stress cracks usually arise due to environmental influences (ex: extreme hot or cold temperatures) rather than rocks or debris. They frequently appear near the windshield edges and can often can be up to 10 inches in length – both of these attributes make windshield replacement more likely.
- Edge Cracks – edge cracks are any crack that either starts at or extends to within 2 inches of the windshield edge.
- Floater Cracks – floater cracks are typically located on the more central aspect of your windshield.
Whatever type of cracked windshield you have, whether it be a stress crack, edge crack, or floater crack, it’s important to get an assessment of the damage as soon as you can. These different types of cracks may vary in location, length, and depth, but what we know for sure is that if these cracks do not get repaired immediately, they will absolutely evolve, worsen, and expand, ultimately weakening the windshield and impacting the safety of you and your passengers when driving.
In general, as long as the crack is less than 6 inches in length, does not have other cracks extending from it, and does not impede the driver’s line of sight, it likely can be repaired vs. replaced.
Bullseye windshield damage looks just like what they are named for: bullseyes! Just like the Target logo or the center of a dartboard – bullseye windshield damage results from multiple chips or cracks that form a circular pattern with a pit in the center. Bullseyes affect the outer layer of auto glass and typically start off small, but if not repaired immediately, will likely grow larger, impeding windshield visibility. Bullseye damage is often unable to be repaired. Due to the amount of individual chips and cracks that make up the “Bullseye”, windshield replacement is usually the better and safer option.
Star Breaks in a windshield are also appropriately named. This type of windshield damage has cracks of varying lengths coming out of one central point of impact. Star Breaks kind of look like fireworks – but obviously they aren’t quite as fun as real fireworks! Star Breaks are highly likely to spread quickly, ultimately weakening the structural integrity of the windshield
and making it vulnerable to shattering with additional impact. This type of windshield damage should also be repaired immediately if you want to avoid a windshield replacement. One important fact to note is that if a star break is repaired, due to the nature of the damage, the area of repair may be slightly visible. Most people don’t mind, but if you are looking to sell your car, it may affect its value to potential buyers.
Clover Leaf windshield damage involves chipping and can be differentiated from other types of windshield damage by a separation of the under-layer of glass from the windshield.
Half-Moon windshield damage are very similar to Bullseyes, but they don’t make a complete circular pattern, but rather, half of a circle. This type of windshield damage is not as likely to spread out as much, so windshield repair tends to be a great option.
Cracked or Chipped Windshield?
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you know the exact type and name of chip or crack on your windshield or you just know that your windshield is damaged. Either way, getting your chipped or cracked windshield assessed by our amazing technicians is the first step! Call Auto Glass 2020 today at (480) 283-7751 or get a quote here! We have amazing incentives – whether you require a windshield replacement or can simply go the windshield repair route, Auto Glass 2020 is the BEST IN PHOENIX!