Do It Yourself Repair Kits for Windshields – Do They Really Work?
Did you know that your windshield can bear over half of your vehicle’s weight in the event of a rollover?
That’s a major reason why it’s so important to ensure that your windshield is in good shape. Even the smallest imperfection can impact the integrity of the glass and the driver’s visibility. Driving with a cracked windshield is also illegal, even if it doesn’t reach the driver’s line of vision.
You’ve probably seen DIY windshield repair kits that claim to save you time and money… but do they really work?
DIY Repair Kits – A Temporary Fix At Best
When you’re truly in a jam and can’t get to Budget Glass, you can try a couple of stopgap measures. While they’ll temporarily keep the crack from spreading, it’s always best to have cracks and chips filled by a professional. These DIY kits also cannot repair a crack that’s larger than 1 inch around or deeper than the first layer of glass, so it’s really a vanity fix for small imperfections.
Here’s a review taken from Amazon.ca for a DIY repair kit from a popular name brand:
“Sadly, this works better on the internet than in real life. After seeing videos of how amazing products like this are, I was hopeful. I tried this on multiple windows. It did minimize the appearance of an ultrafine hairline crack. However, the regular sized cracks are still completely visible. I thought it was going to work as I did notice fluid going into the cracks, but they are still visible. After reading and following every direction to a “t” I was let down.
If you do choose to try this product, be careful of the shavings that come off while using the razorblade, they can stick to your car’s paint if you’re not careful. Wish I had put the money I spent towards a professional job.”
What’s the Difference Between a DIY Kit and Professional Glass Repair?
Let’s face it, the only reason anyone would consider fixing their own windshield is because it’s cheaper. But is it really cheaper in the long run?
If you’re going to do a DIY repair on your windshield, you’re likely going to use one of the following methods: clear nail polish, crazy glue or you buy a kit with a resin filler. These methods, however, just don’t stand up to a professional windshield repair.
With the do-it-yourself method, there are a lot of ways the repair could go wrong. Maybe the instructions are not clear, maybe you don’t follow the instructions properly, maybe the resin isn’t of high enough quality, maybe it’s too cold or hot for the resin to set properly. At the end of the day, without the advice of a professional, you don’t even know if the repair is fixable in the first place!
Glass repair technicians use a very high-quality UV resin, and have the proper equipment and industry training to get the job done right.
The Windshield Protects the Driver and Passengers
Like we mentioned above (and this bears repeating) the windshield is designed to help sustain the structural integrity of the vehicle. It’s made of two sheets of glass bonded together by a sheet of plastic in the middle.
This structure is what makes the windshield able to stand up to shattering and why you see a spiderweb pattern form after a fender bender. This is also why rocks and other debris will chip the windshield, rather than breaking through. It’s never fun to hear that “ping!” sound as a rock hits your windshield, but you’ll be in good hands by bringing your vehicle to Budget Glass as soon as you can.
When to Seek a Professional Service for a Cracked Windshield
Ideally, you should bring your vehicle in to have the windshield repaired or replaced right after you notice a crack. When the crack in your windshield continues to grow larger than one inch around, the windshield will need to be replaced to prevent further damage. This is because cold and hot weather can easily change a hairline fracture into a full-on crack across the windshield. Windshield replacement is more involved than just having the layers of glass repaired, so it makes sense to have the repair done right away.
Great News! Windshield Repair or Replacement May Be Covered
Look at your insurance policy. Many private insurance companies cover rock chip repairs, just check with your provider. If you have comprehensive insurance coverage with ICBC, you may be able to have your repair done at no cost and with no deductible. Not to worry- windshield repair doesn’t affect your insurance premiums since it’s a no-fault incident. For complete details on eligibility, visit ICBC.ca.
Budget Glass Nanaimo is Your Local ICBC Certified Glass Repair Shop
Speaking of insurance, Budget Glass is an ICBC- approved Glass Repair Program Facility (ICBC Glass Express.) This means that we are recognized by the insurance provider as a top choice for windshield repair. It also means that we can process claims quickly and efficiently, since we invoice directly to ICBC.
We also offer a lifetime warranty on auto glass installation and guarantee your new windshield free of flaws and defects and provide a “no leak” guarantee for as long as you own your vehicle. If a flaw is noticed within 90 days of installation, we will replace the windshield for free.
My Windshield is Damaged, What Do I Do Now?
Drop on by our shop in Nanaimo, and our expert team will be able to determine whether your windshield can be repaired or if it will need to be replaced.
If your windshield needs a repair, you generally do not need an appointment and the rock chip repair
can be done in as little as 20-30 minutes. Repairs improve the appearance of the chip or crack by at least 80%, vastly increasing the safety of your vehicle. Our highly skilled glaziers will inject the high-quality adhesive into the pit, chip or crack.
*Note that the process isn’t perfect, and there’s always a chance that the crack may spread during or after repair. If this happens, replacement would be your only option.
For windshield replacement, you’ll want to make an appointment first. After replacement, we recommend waiting at least 3 hours for drying time. The entire process will take 4 or more hours—especially if your vehicle needs to be recalibrated. After replacement, be sure to wait at least 24 hours before going through a car wash. The new windshield could have a hard time standing up to water at higher pressure. Hand washing is okay during the first 24-hour period.
At Budget Glass, our happy customers have trusted us for their home, commercial and auto glass needs for over 35 years. We love glass, and we’re committed to providing the best quality products and service for you and your vehicle! If your windshield needs a makeover, come and see us at our Nanaimo shop, or make an appointment with our helpful service staff today.