This is certainly the first question that most customers ask when they come into or call our shop. Nobody wants to pay for a replacement if repair is an option, and frankly, we would be much happier to repair it for you than to throw another piece of glass in a dumpster. There are several different types of damage that fall into the “repairable” category, some more complicated to repair than others.
The first and most common type of damage is the Bulls-eye. This name accurately describes the appearance of this round, straight single impact type of damage. And while this often looks like the worst type of chip, since a larger piece of glass has been removed, it is actually the easiest to repair. But with a cone shaped bulls eye chip it is especially important to seek a professional repair immediately since they are prone to collect water and dirt that permanently discolor the laminate layer inside the glass.
Another type similar in type to the bulls-eye in what we call the Angel Wings or sometimes a Half Moon, but is essentially a partial bulls eye. While a bit more complicated to repair than a a traditional straight impact bulls eye, this type is still very repairable. And once again, promptness is key in getting a good repair without an evident blemish in the glass.
Another type of damage that we see everyday on windshields is the Star Break, which are often, but not necessarily shaped like a star. any small bunch of cracks centered on a single impact point would be considered a star break. Since the cracks of a star break are at risk of growing beyond the point of repair, you can save yourself a few hundred dollars by contacting a reputable repair shop ASAP.
The most complicated type of damage to repair is a Combination Break, which has features of each of the types of damage we discussed above. But if the damage is small (no larger than a quarter) and you contact us as soon as possible after the incident, it can generally be repaired without any visible evidence of damage. While some insurance companies are more likely to set the size limit for repairs at 6 inches, we don’t recommend this. Since the most important function of the windshield is keeping the driver and passengers safe, we don’t like to repair a windshield that has been compromised in it’s structural integrity.
The bottom line is – contact a professional auto glass repair shop to survey the damage as soon as possible. The sooner you seek a repair, the less likely it is that you will need a replacement.