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What to do if you get a crack in your windscreen

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Updated 15 Apr 2021

Darren Pay

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There are a few key factors to be considered when buying a car.

Brand, budget, performance, lifestyle. However, whether your purchase decision is influenced by affordability or pure indulgence, it’s important to protect this major investment from damage!

To keep your vehicle free from any type of damage such as cracks, scratches and dents, most people will drive with precaution, keep safe distances between cars, and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

Unfortunately, damage can still occur through no fault of your own, that’s why vehicle insurance is important for not only your back pocket, but also for your safety and the safety of other motorists.

There are so many unpredictable situations in which damage can occur. Windscreen chips and cracks are amongst the worst and if this damage is not repaired almost immediately, your car will be deemed unroadworthy and you can run the risk of receiving a fine if the chip or crack is in your line of sight while driving. A1 Windscreens explains the best way to handle a cracked windscreen in a few simple steps!

If your windscreen is cracked or chipped, here’s a step-by-step plan of action on what to do:

Step 1. Photograph it!

Taking a quality picture of the damage is one the first things to do!

Not because you need to upload the tragedy on social media, but because it serves as evidence when you file an insurance claim.

A loose piece of gravel or small debris is all it takes to cause a crack to your windscreen or a scratch to a window.

Photographing the damage and your surroundings at the time of damage will be an asset in the case that the insurance company refuses to pay.

Step 2. Measure Up!

Take a good look at the damage. If the crack is split in several directions, it will most likely result in a total replacement of the windscreen.

Measuring the length of the crack on the windscreen or window glass will help determine whether you need a repair or replacement. If a crack is within 6 inches, it will be able to be repaired. Whereas, if it is over 6 inches, it will require a total windscreen replacement.

That’s why it’s extremely important to get it looked over immediately as it will save you money in the long run!

Step 3. Make an Insurance Claim

This is only applicable if you have vehicle insurance that covers windscreen and/or window damage.

Insurance provides peace of mind by taking care of huge expenses that might occur. It’s better to have insurance than resort to a cheap repair that may cause further damage in the long run.

Most glass repair or windscreen replacement providers frequently deal with insurance companies, making your task easier.

Send in a photograph along with the measurement of the crack so they will have an idea of the damage that has occurred.

Step 4. Involve The Professionals

It’s better to go to a provider that specialises in the repair and replacement of windscreens or glass, rather than going to a general mechanic. Specialists are able to offer a comprehensive service; with knowledge specifically surrounding glass and windscreen repair.

Additionally, reputable providers will most often be able to offer a solution to replace tinting on the damaged windscreen also.

Opt for a mobile repair service if possible to avoid the damage getting worse with additional driving.

Helpful tips

Insurance providers can take time organising your windscreen replacement or repair. So here are some helpful tips to keep in mind before your car goes in for repair:

• Avoid using clear tape over the damaged area to protect the chip or crack from gathering dirt. When grime collects in the crevices of the damaged area mending becomes difficult.

• Avoid using a defroster, air-conditioning or parking your car in direct sunlight as these temperature differences will exert pressure on the windscreen and cause the crack to expand.

• Avoid driving your car if the crack interferes with your line of sight. This type of damage is serious enough to cause you to stop using the car. Head to any trusted service centre and get it repaired immediately or call a mobile repairer.

• Avoid rough roads or roads under construction.

• Avoid slamming your doors as this may increase the size/length of the cracks or chips.

• Avoid hosing down or pressure washing your car as water might get into the crevices of the damaged area and cause it to worsen.

Should you be driving and suddenly encounter a situation where your windscreen is damaged, follow the above steps and seek professional help.

Don't turn a blind eye to a damaged windscreen; you could end up with an expensive bill or in extreme situations risk the lives of yourself and others.

Don't take a risk when you have access to the finest automobile service centres.

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Written By

Darren Pay

Darren Pay is a windscreen and glass repair expert that owns A1 Windscreens in Melbourne.

A1 Windscreens offer complete care and repair services for cars. Everything from windscreen chip and crack repairs, to glass scratch removal and window tinting.