The difference between needing auto glass repair or needing auto glass replacement…

Whether it is at home or on the road, glass plays an important part in our lives. Particularly for our safety, glass provides a barrier between you and the outside world, also offering a level of aesthetic to add to your home and vehicle.

As with all other things involved in your life, glass can break, needing to be repaired or replaced. The question for many becomes, then, whether the glass can be repaired as is or needs to be completely replaced.

Before we get to answering that question, it is best to understand what glass is and how it can break down. Glass is composed of millions-upon-millions of grains of silica, combined with soda ash and limestone. The grains are heated and mixed in this chemical goop to make a plate of glass in which the grains are bonded together in as tight a relationship as possible.

However, even with modern glass-making techniques and technology, the bonds between these grains are never absolutely complete, meaning that there will always be microscopic spaces between the grains.

Over time and through extensive use, these grains are bombarded with all of the detritus and debris the world has to offer. This debris can get in between the spaces, but due to the extremely tough chemical bond, most debris will just be sloughed off over time.

But when a major object hits the glass—and by “major,” we of course mean anything larger than the microscopic grains, so a small pebble will do the job—the grains can become dislodged, causing an ugly crack or chip where the grains are no longer there. Now there is a larger space for the detritus and debris to enter the space, wearing away the surrounding grains, which is why chips and cracks tend to spread.

If the crack or chip is no larger than your palm, it is possible to repair the window. Buying a solution from an auto body store will do the job, but the crack will remain as the solution is meant only to seal off the surrounding grains from being worn away.

Any larger than that and you will have to replace the glass. Size matters, and the larger the size, the more likely that the overall integrity of the glass will fail. This is jargon-talk for “that crack won’t protect you when a stone comes flying off the truck in front of you, and could cause the glass to collapse, onto you.”

So, for safety’s sake, get that chip or crack taken care of by a professional so that you can live in safety!

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