Three Stages Of Glass Damage That Require Repairs Or Replacement

Whether it's your window glass or your auto glass that's damaged, you're probably wondering whether you'll need to replace it, have it professionally repaired, or simply slap a quick DIY windshield repair kit on the damaged spot. Here are three stages of glass damage from least severe to most severe, along with recommendations for glass repairs.

1. Chipping and scratching

A scratch on a residential window (whether accidental or a result of intentional vandalism) can be repaired by a professional with precision equipment that gently grinds off a layer of glass until only the undamaged layers remain. A scratch on your car windshield can be repaired with the DIY windshield chip repair kit, although a chip that includes cracks all the way through the glass or that has some of the glass material missing should instead be filled by a professional. Windshield chip filling is not a forgiving activity, and if done incorrectly it can worsen the damage until you actually have to buy a new windshield.

2. Cracking

If one of the windows in your home has a small crack, especially if it's a double-glazed window with two layers and only one layer is cracked, it may not seem like such a big deal. But the crack breaks the seal between the two panes, meaning that you effectively now only have one layer of glass insulating your home from the elements. Professional repair is likely to involve replacing the pane and reinstating the seal or else simply replacing the whole window, depending on the situation. 

If you have a crack in the windshield of your car, though, chances are good that you'll be able to have it professionally repaired instead of having it replaced. This is only the case if the crack isn't directly in the driver's line of sight and isn't too close to the edge of the windshield, though. So if you have a crack, don't delay, because if it spreads before you get the repair you may need to pay for a new windshield instead.

3. Shattering

If you have coated glass, shattering may not result in the traditional glass-all-over-the-floor effect. It may simply make your window look like a loosely connected spiderweb of glass. However, as you've probably guessed, there's no way around this one; you'll have to have the window replaced as soon as possible. This goes for both car windows and windshields and your home's windows as well.