Small pebbles and other debris can hit your windshield while you are driving, causing a small chip or nick in the glass. When this occurs, auto glass services can determine if you need to have your windshield repaired or replaced. In general, where the chip is and how big it is will determine if you need a new windshield or not. While small chips can often be repaired, anything that starts to spread across your windshield usually requires a new one to be installed. If the chip begins to crack, a repair is possible, but you are still going to see the repair. if the area is within your line of sight, you probably need a new windshield.
The Size of the Chip
One small chip can probably be filled with a liquid resin that is allowed to harden, and your windshield will be fine. If you have a chip that is larger, or there are several close together, this can weaken the windshield enough that it has to be replaced instead. A chip larger than a penny probably means you need a new windshield.
Where the Chip Is Located
Chips that are in the line of sight of the driver often require a windshield replacement. Even if the chip is small enough to repair, the glass is going to be slightly distorted. This distortion is fine when it is not in the direct view of the driver, but is bothersome when in the middle of the windshield. Chips that are too close to the edge of the windshield tend to require a windshield replacement as well, because they weaken the structural integrity of the windshield too much.
If the Chip Spreads
A chip can spread, causing a crack to widen and grow long if it is not repaired right away. Once the chip spreads beyond an inch, a new windshield is likely to be recommended.
When You Aren't Sure What to Do
If you have any damage to your windshield and you aren't sure what to do, bring your car to auto glass services to have your car inspected. Your glass specialist will take a careful look at the damage and recommend either a repair or a replacement to keep you safe on the road. If the damage isn't substantial, you may be able to get by without fixing the problem at all. If you note a windshield problem, get it inspected to keep yourself safe.