The windshield in an automobile is a very important piece of equipment as it allows the driver to see the road ahead while also protecting the vehicle’s occupants from the elements, road debris and insects. On a more serious note, the windshield helps to keep you from being thrown out of a vehicle during an accident, and it also helps to maintain the structural integrity of the roof and passenger cabin in the event of a roll-over. In short, it is important to ensure that your windshield is maintained properly to keep both you and your passengers safe.
Early windshields were made out of ordinary window glass which proved troublesome as it has a tendency to shatter when struck by stones or in the event of a crash, and the long shards of glass posed a real danger to the driver and passengers. Modern windshields are engineering marvels comprised of three individual layers – an outside layer of curved glass, a middle laminate layer, and an inside layer of curved glass. Luckily the majority of windshield damage is to the outside layer of the glass which means it can be economically repaired.
There are basically three types of damage to windshields- circular Bull’s-eyes, linear cracks, and star-shaped breaks. All three are typically caused by impacts with stones or other hard debris. Fortunately, most windshield damage can be successfully repaired without removing the glass, eliminating the risk of leaking or bonding problems sometimes associated with replacement.
The windshield on my truck had be marred by two chips over the winter and I knew that it was imperative that I get them repaired before they formed into cracks. After some research I made my way to the local Deco Windshield Repair kiosk in the parking lot of my local mall. You will usually spot the company’s bright orange tents near Canadian Tire stores as they have a working agreement.
The Deco technician took a look at my damage and gave me a quote, and then informed me it would take about 20 minutes to half-an-hour to complete the repairs. I must admit that it was nice not to have to make an appointment or waste an entire afternoon to get this service done.
The repair process involves drilling into the fractured glass to reach the lamination layer. This clears the chip of any debris or loose bits of glass and preps the surface for the repair. A special clear adhesive resin is injected under pressure into the hole recess (using a device called a bridge) and then cured with an ultraviolet light unit. This resin will bond with the glass and return the strength and clarity of the windshield to a level that will meet most road safety requirements. By repairing the glass you are able to retain the factory windshield seal, which is much stronger than that of a typical replacement windshield.
The consumer can expect to see a visually improved chip, however you will still notice a little bit of scarring, primarily from the inside of the car because it is impossible to mold the class back together. The process will effectively prevent the crack from worsening.
The larger Bull’s-eye chip was near the centre of my windshield, and it had already begun to sprout small cracks that I knew would probably spread rapidly is I didn’t get it fixed. The smaller crack was referred to as a Bat-wing by the Deco technician, and although it wasn’t very deep, I still felt it was worth fixing, especially when you consider that Deco gives you a break on additional repairs.
Deco has a flat fee structure for its services. The cost to repair a single chip is $35.00, while additional chip repairs are $15.00 each (+ taxes ). If you have a chip that has already begun to stretch across your windshield as a crack, the Deco technicians will fill the crack to prevent it from spreading any further. This later service is $55.00.
The company offers a lifetime warranty and money back guarantee on chip repairs up to and including those the size of a “Toonie.” Unfortunately they are unable to offer a guarantee for crack repairs.
How has it held up?
At the time of this writing it had been exactly one year since my windshield was repaired, and I am happy to report that both repairs have held up well and that there has been no further spread of the fine residual cracks left behind after the repair.
Obviously if your windshield is severely cracked or has been riddled with rock chips it might be best to consider ordering a brand-new windshield. However, if you are only faced with a small crack or smaller chips you would be wise to look into having these blemishes repaired by an experienced technician as this will prevent the severity of the damage and help maintain the safety of your vehicle.
• Inexpensive and quick.
• Excellent warranty.
• Maintains the safety of your vehicle.
• There is still visible evidence of a chip.
• Limited service locations.