Replacing Outdated Glass

DIY Windhsield Tip Repair - The Difficulties Of An At-Home Job

If you notice a small chip in your windshield, then there is a good chance that this chip can be repaired. In general, a chip that is one inch wide and a crack that is about three inches long can be repaired. Also, as long as the entire damage area is less than the size of a dollar bill, then a complete windshield repair may not be needed. In some cases, damage that is larger than a dollar bill can be repaired by a professional. You may even be able to make a repair at home with a DIY kit if you want. However, these kits may not leave you with repair results like what a professional can provide. Keep reading to find out why a DIY repair might be more difficult to use than you think, so you can be sure that you want to complete the job at home. 

The Resin Is Different

Most DIY windshield repair kits come with a suction cup and a syringe filled with a clear acrylic adhesive or an epoxy filler material. The suction cup fits over the chip and the material is squeezed into the opening. The kit may inform you to hit your windshield firmly as the suction cup is left in place, or you will need to place a small piece of film over the epoxy. This helps to remove air bubbles. 

While many professional auto glass repair businesses may boast a repair made within an hour, the DIY repair kit will likely inform you to wait much longer for the acrylic adhesive or epoxy to cure. The curing time is a lot slower when it comes to an at-home kit, because the filler material used at professional establishments is vastly different. 

The resin used at your local auto glass repair business will be mixed based on the damage across your windshield. Specifically, the viscosity of the material will be changed depending on the depth of the damage. If the damage is quite deep, like many chips are, then a higher-viscosity material will be needed. If a crack or other type of shallow damage will be repaired, then a less viscous material will be chosen. Viscosity can range greatly from resin that is thin like water or thick like molasses. Regardless of viscosity, the resin will be a commercial-strength material that will close gaps in the windshield permanently.

Kits sold at home are made from a low viscosity material that may not be appropriate for the wide variety of different cracks that can appear in the windshield glass. This means that your repair is more likely to fail than a professional one.

You Do Not Have Professional Tools

The small suction cup placed in the DIY repair kit will create some suction across the top of the windshield glass. This helps to move the resin into the chip and it also keeps bubbles out of the space. However, the resin can cure and create an uneven surface. The resin must then be trimmed. Also, very small bubbles can remain in the adhesive, and this can make the repair weak. 

When a professional completes a crack repair, a large device called an injector is used. Big suction cups attach the tool to the windshield on either side of the crack. A lever suction cup is centered over the chip. A lever is pulled to force the cup down around the damage. The force of the cup creates a vacuum around the chip so there is no air left around it. This prevents air from being mixed in with the resin. An injector is placed in an opening on top of the vacuum cup. The head of the injector forces resin into the damage. The epoxy is left to cure and the injector and suction assembly is removed. In some cases, a UV light is used to harden the resin in a few minutes. 

If your windshield needs to be repaired, contact a company like Martin Glass Company.