Are you aware that any kind of windshield damage is not something you can ignore or tolerate? Even small imperfections like scratches are an issue here, as they may have a negative impact on visibility. And things like cracks and stone chips can even affect structural integrity of the whole windshield. Although there are various repair kits available on the market, they have a limited scope of application. If the damage is bigger than half an inch, replacing the windshield will probably be the only solution. In this article, we will explain the structure of any windshield and how to replace it.

What makes windshields special?

While they may look almost identical, there are several differences between the windshield and other glasses on modern cars. Windshields have to fulfill several requirements, and ensuring a clear and unobstructed view is just one of them. Besides that, it has to provide protection from wind and road debris while also being sturdy enough. Windshields on all cars have a unique structure, which allows them to meet these requirements. Although it appears as if it’s made from a single piece of glass, the windshield actually has three separate layers. Both inner and outer layers are made out of glass, which provides surface hardness and UV protection. Between them is a sheet of plastic that ensures sufficient strength and flexibility. This allows it to withstand loads and absorb any distortions that may occur while driving down the road.

What causes damage to the windshield?

Just like with any other glass surface, mechanical force is the most common cause of windshield damage on cars today. Many cars will have chips in the outer layer caused by stone or other hard objects hitting at high speed. With time, they can become larger and turn into cracks. Also, worn or low-quality wiper blades may leave scratch marks on the windshield surface.  

Can I change the windshield by myself?

Before considering the complexity of changing the windshield, it’s important to examine different ways it attaches to the car. Older cars have a rubber seal that would go around the glass, which holds it in place. This is a simple and inexpensive solution that also requires only basic tools for replacement. However, it also calls for skills and experience, as any misalignment during the installation process would cause a leak. Newer cars have glued windshields, with a layer of adhesive between the glass and car frame. Not only does it hold the glass in place, but it also seals it and ensures flexibility. When compared to old-fashioned rubber sealed versions, glued windshields are easier to install with right tools and more durable. Although replacement is easier, windshields like these require specialized tools and components.

How important is this repair?

As we have explained in this article, replacing the windshield is a complex and demanding job. If you don’t have the right tools or don’t feel up to the job, consider hiring a professional. You could use a mobile windshield repair or consult your local shop. It's very important to get it performed by someone who has experience and good reviews for this specific repair.