As part of the structural integrity of your car, your windshield is very important. While your windshield allows you to see clearly while you drive, it also protects you from the elements as you travel down the road. When you have a crack or a chip in your auto glass, it’s important to get your windshield evaluated. Even when the damage is small, you may be setting yourself up for bigger problems if you don’t get the windshield repaired right away. Your state may even have laws preventing you from driving with a crack in your windshield, so it’s time to get it checked by a professional.

The Size of the Crack or Chip

A small chip, which doesn’t obstruct your vision and doesn’t have any nearby chips is usually easy to repair. If you have a small crack, you have to be careful that the crack doesn’t start to spread across your windshield. Even a small crack can cause your windshield to weaken, and any type of trauma to your windshield can cause the entire thing to break when it is already weakened.

Where the Chip or Crack is Located

Where the chip or crack is on your windshield is important. If you have several chips close together that are at the outer edges of your windshield, this can cause a problem with the overall strength of your windshield. If anything blocks your vision, it needs to be fixed right away. If you have a small crack far from the driver and it doesn’t prevent the driver from seeing the road, the crack can wait for a bit to be repaired.

Small Cracks Usually Expand

Just the simple motion of driving down the road, or temperature fluctuations with the weather can cause small cracks in a windshield to start spreading. Cracks in the glass, no matter how small, are weak areas. When you repair a crack right away, it won’t spread across the windshield. Ignoring the problem will eventually lead to the crack spreading, and you may end up needing a completely new windshield.

Small chips and cracks can usually be repaired, while more extensive damage to a windshield usually means that it will need to be completely replaced. While you may be able to drive around safely with a small chip or crack in the windshield for a few weeks, you should always get windshield damage inspected to make sure your safety isn’t compromised. For more information, look at this, or other similar resources.