Insurance and Finance

Windshield Hit by a Rock? Repair or Replace Tips

By Paula Felps 1.10.13

We’ve all been there. You’re driving down the road when, out of nowhere, a rock hits your windshield with a loud “pop.” Suddenly, your once pristine windshield is cracked or chipped. What are you supposed to do?

According to Mark Harvey, owner of Texas Windshield Doctor in Dallas, cracked and chipped windshields are not uncommon in Texas. Our busy, car-centered lives means we’re on the road more than ever before, which puts car windshields at risk whether they’re in the city or in rural areas.

“You’re going to want to find out right away whether it can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced,” Harvey says. “With cracks, many of them can be stopped if repaired quickly enough. Generally they only get worse with time. And if the crack is more than 6 inches, you’re going to need to replace it.” It is not recommended that a repair be performed if the damage is directly in front of the driver and in the line of sight.

Your first move should be to contact your insurance agent to find out what kind of coverage you have for your windshield. Then you’ll need to make arrangements to get it repaired or replaced by a reputable company. Your insurance company can generally refer you to a facility which specializes in auto glass replacement and repairs. If the damage is repaired rather than the windshield being replaced most insurance companies will waive the deductible.

“Stay away from places that do it as part of their services – such as a car wash or an auto inspection place. You want someone who specializes in windshields.”

Chips are often easy for professionals to repair, although cracks present a greater challenge. While a fairly common practice for people with windshield cracks is to fill it with Super Glue as a temporary fix, Harvey advises against it, as it can impair the professionals’ ability to repair the crack. Instead, he recommends covering it with clear tape to block moisture and dirt – and get it repaired as quickly as possible.

“The longer you wait, the more moisture that will get in between the layers of glass, and that’s going to make it more difficult to repair.” It is also more likely the repair will be visible.