One of the most common ways that windshields get chipped is from gravel. All it takes is a little piece of gravel to come loose from a cement truck or picked up by a garbage truck, then thrown into the windshield of the vehicle behind them.
When the gravel strikes your windshield, it can sound like a gun going off. In spite of all that noise, a closer inspection might reveal only a small chip. You might think you have literally “dodged a bullet,” with no more damage than that. But your experience with windshield damage might not end there. Failing to get a windshield repair now could end up costing you the higher price of a windshield replacement.
Anatomy of a Windshield
Mooresville, North Carolina, is home to numerous NASCAR racing teams and drivers. Most everyone who has lived in “Race City USA” has had the experience of watching a live NASCAR race at least once.
Watching those cars go at high speeds and run into obstacles might make you think that windshields are invincible. But the glass used in race car windshields is much different than that in your car. For starters, race car windshield glass is made from Lexan, the same material used to make bulletproof glass and fighter-plane canopies.
On top of that, the race crew places tear-offs on the windshield before a race. This additional armor protects against the chips and breakage that might occur from thrown debris. They remove each layer as needed without leaving any residue behind.
The windshield in your vehicle is made differently. The special glass contains silica fine sand, soda ash, limestone, and other minerals. These materials are heated to very high temperatures to form a solid sheet. Although the glass is smooth to the touch, it is still made up of tiny molecules of these materials.
How Damage Grows from a Windshield Repair to a Windshield Replacement
When gravel hits your windshield, it disrupts the molecular structure of the glass. Think of it as hitting a sheet of ice with an ice pick. With enough pressure, it might break into solid pieces or into lots of smaller pieces.
Changes in pressure or temperature can do the same thing to your windshield. Once a chip or break compromises the structure, it is much more vulnerable to a variety of conditions. What started as a small chip or crack might end up completely destroying your windshield.
Installing a Lexan windshield isn’t financially practical for most people. It costs several thousands of dollars, depending on the size and style of the window. Visiting the glass repair experts at Impex Auto Glass in Mooresville, NC is a much better option. Contact us at the first sign of damage to get great service at an affordable price.