Saturday, March 8, 2014
How Can I Fix a Chip in My Windshield?
There can be nothing more annoying than a rock chip a full week before payday. It couldn't have been more conveniently timed to leave you right in the... well, let's just say it was not good timing.
In the midst of such unfortunate events, it can be tempting to grab a windshield chip repair kit, and get on the DIY job.
This temptation should be thoroughly subdued in the event that the chip is very large, forms a crack, or spiders the window. Remember (at the risk of sounding like your mother), chipped windows are a safety issue, so if in any doubt, just leave it up to the pro's!
Smaller chips can sometimes be dealt with at home, using one of the widely available repair kits on the market.
Repair kits start at a retail price of less than $10, making them an alluring choice, especially if your motive is to save a few dollars. They are relatively easy to use, and the job shouldn't take too long. Very often they end with a positive result; the windscreen is fixed!
It all sounds well and good, but we don't know if it is always the best idea.
Never Pay for a Painter...
We have nothing against DIY. I honestly think anything that can be done by yourself, should be. It's a great feeling of independence to solve problems all-on-our-own; and sometimes it can impress the doubtful onlooker!
I, for example, have never paid for a painter. It is just something I enjoy doing for myself.
Having said that, I have access to all of the equipment that a professional does; I have a wide selection of brushes, and purchase high quality paint from someone who knows what I am looking for. Also, when I make a botch-job of it, the worst outcome is my wife screaming blue-murder down my ear hole.
But Windshield Repairs?
This might not be the case with windshield chip repairs, especially when purchasing cheaper kits. The problem is not the price, or the ease of use, it is the quality. And quality is something that cannot be spared in windshield chip repairs.
There are at least four fundamental problems with DIY chip kits, even when you know exactly how to operate them;
• They do not provide high quality resin
• They do not include a vacuum device for removing the air
• There is no UV light included to harden the resin
• DIY does not come with a guarantee; if the fix doesn't hold, you might end up having to pay for an entire windshield.
It is slightly more expensive to have a professional come out and make the repair, especially when compared to the price of a $10 DIY kit!
The professionals, however, can deliver a much higher quality of job, because they have all of the right equipment, and it is all top-notch! They have tools to ensure the chip is cleaned well, and a vacuum device to suck out any of the air and moisture, before injecting the highest quality of resin.
There is one more added benefit, a stress related variable that we think is a serious factor; when the windscreen repair has been carried out professionally, a guarantee is given. This provides a much needed peace of mind that you can never quite get from DIY! Once the fix is made, you can just forget about it, and cruise into the night.
If you must...
If you do decide to DIY the windshield job, it is highly recommendable to;
(a) Research DIY kits and chose a very high quality product; this of course, might mean paying more.
(b) Know what you are doing, and do it well. Take care and be precise; this isn't a paint job in the spare room!