A damaged windshield is a major concern for you and your vehicle, because it can reduce the amount of visibility that you have while driving and undermines the structural integrity of the glass itself. However, it can be hard to determine whether you need to have the windshield repaired, which is a quick and inexpensive process, or if you need to have it replaced entirely, which can be more involved and represent a greater investment. Understanding the differences between each process, and when each is necessary, can help you determine which is the best process for your auto glass repair needs.

Windshield Repair

The only real difference between windshield repair and windshield replacement is the amount of damage that the glass has experienced. Small dents, chips, and cracks can usually be filled in with an epoxy that is then polished so that it is clear when repairing a windshield, which is a process that does not take more than a few hours and can even be done at home with some DIY kits if the damage is minor enough and you are willing to risk it.

Windshield Replacement

Windshield replacement, on the other hand, is necessary when the damage to the windshield is so extensive that it actually undermines the integrity of the glass, and a full breakage or collapse is a real risk. If this is the case, you shouldn't wait: a windshield completely breaking can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and experience an even more serious collision.

The Exception to the Rule

However, sometimes minor damage to your windshield can also require a complete replacement of the pane of glass. This can happen if you do not have minor damage to your windshield repaired with an epoxy quickly enough. Minor damage can quickly spread and become too large to effectively fill in, or, more commonly, the cracks in the glass can become filled with dirt, moisture, and other debris which can be impossible to effectively clear out. A small chip fill of debris can't be filled with an epoxy, which means that your only remaining option is to replace the entire windshield. It's for this reason that you should head to an auto glass technician as soon as you experience any sort of damage to your windshield, no matter how superficial it may at first appear to be: waiting can compound the problem and quickly increase repair costs. 

Contact a company, like Becky's  Glass Works, for more help.