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DIY Windshield Repair Kits: Pros and Cons

By 2024-06-24 June 26th, 2024 No Comments

At some point, we all had chips and cracks on our windshield at least once. Whether it was caused by a small stone coming off the road or debris from a passing truck, these tiny flaws can quickly turn into something much worse.

They impair vision and compromise the structural integrity of the windshield if left untreated. This is why most car owners try to fix them using do-it-yourself (DIY) repair kits. However, before settling on this option, it is important to consider the pros and cons of DIY windshield repair.

DIY Windshield Repair Kits: Pros and Cons myWindshield

Advantages of DIY windshield repair

Affordable solution

The possibility of significant savings is among the benefits that make DIY repair an attractive option. Professional repairs may cost between $50 and $150 per chip. In contrast, most kits cost about $10-$50 per kit, which is quite pocket-friendly, especially if you are running low on cash or dealing with multiple chips simultaneously.

Convenience and time-saving

Most kits are designed to be user-friendly, which means they can be used by anyone without much difficulty. After some practice, you should be able to complete fixing within 30 – 60 minutes.  And of course; this will help save time that would have been spent making appointments with repair shops and also waiting around until repairs get done.

Preventing further damage

Timely addressing crack or chip earlier helps prevents them from spreading wider across windscreens. These home-based repairs have been established to stop damages from advancing. Therefore, it helps you prevent expensive windshield replacement down the line.

Environmental considerations

By repairing instead of replacing your windshield, you help reduce waste. Involves disposing of the entire windscreen but only consumes a small amount of resin during fixing.

Drawbacks associated with do-it-yourself windscreen fixing

Limited scope

Most kits are effective for handling small cracks but are not designed to handle large ones, complex chips, or those within the driver’s visibility area. These kinds of cracks may need experts’ attention.

Possible imperfections

Some visible flaws or distortions may be left behind on the glass even after carefully applying DIY kits. Professionals have better tools and techniques to minimize these blemishes more effectively.

Potential for causing further damage

If done wrongly, self-repairs can worsen damages, necessitating expensive repairs or complete replacements of your entire screens.

Warranty Concerns

Trying out self-fix might cancel your windshield’s warranty or auto insurance coverage, which is risky. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with dealerships/insurance providers before commencing any such activity.

What you should anticipate in a do-it-yourself windshield repair kit

Before diving into the repair process, let’s take a closer look at the tools and materials you’ll find in a typical DIY windshield repair kit. These kits are designed to be user-friendly and come equipped with everything you need to tackle minor windshield damage.

Resin injector

This device helps you accurately deliver specialized resins into cracked windshield. These resins fill spaces caused by impacts and form strong transparent bonds with surrounding glasses once they cure properly, restoring clarity while preventing the further widening of affected areas.

Curing strip

It consists of an adhesive film covering the filled crack to create an airtight seal around it during the curing period. It also allows controlled exposure to ultraviolet light necessary for activating the resin hardening process usually achieved by sunlight, facilitating proper completion without much hassle.

Instructions

Detailed guidelines are necessary for any do-it-yourself (DIY) windshield chip repair kits. It must explain how each component should be used systematically.

Generally, the instructions would talk about cleaning the damaged area, injecting the resin, applying the curing strip, and curing the resin through sunlight or a UV lamp if provided in the kit. Some additional items that may come with a DIY windshield repair kit include:

  • Polishing compound – This can remove any slight haze, or imperfections left behind after repairs.
  • Microfiber cloth – A soft cloth ideal for buffing out the polished section until it is clear again.
  • UV Lamp – Some kits offer a portable UV lamp for curing resin without sunlight or limited exposure. This can be handy during nighttime repairs or in areas with little sunshine.

When to opt for professional windshield repair

Complex damage

Opt for expert repair if the chip or crack is bigger than a quarter, extends to the very border of the windshield, falls in the line of sight of a driver, or has various branches. Complex damage often requires specialized tools and techniques that DIY kits cannot address.

Long cracks

When a crack is longer than six inches, the usual recommendation is to have it looked at by an expert. You might get away with a DIY patch that plugs the hole for a while, but it may not be enough to rebuild the windshield’s strength properly.

By injecting resin more deeply into the fissure, experts can ensure that it does not extend further and ensures a durable repair.

Deep chips

DIY kits are not appropriate for use when repairing chips that penetrate more than one layer of the windshield glass. Professionals have all the tools and can fill in the chip completely to ensure no moisture or debris seeps in and causes further damage.

Safety or cosmetic concerns

When uncertain about your capability regarding DIYs or worried about the final outcome, it is advisable to seek professional help regarding safety and appearance. A skilled technician can ensure safe repairs and appealing finishes without leaving any visible scars behind.

Additional factors to consider about DIY windshield repair

Types of windshield damages

It’s important to understand the different types of windshield damage to determine if a DIY repair is suitable. Small chips, star breaks, and bullseyes are generally easier to repair with DIY kits, while combination breaks, long cracks, and edge cracks are best left to professionals.

Repair or replacement

Some minor damages may necessitate complete replacements, even though they seem insignificant. This happens when structural integrity becomes compromised due to damage inflicted upon the whole windscreen; or when such impairment interferes with normal driver’s vision, making it unsafe for them behind wheels. We recommend Consulting a professional to assess the damage and determine the best course of action.

Insurance cover

Before settling on a self-help approach or seeking outside assistance, review provisions within your motor policy document relating to coverage against windscreen repairs – if any exist! Many insurers offer free-of-charge repair services without imposing deductibles. This offer also makes professional intervention affordable.

Deciding on a DIY project or professional repair

Ultimately, the decision to either repair your windshield by yourself or seek professional help will depend on a few factors, such as the type and extent of damage, your comfort level with DIY projects, budget constraints, and the importance you attach to professional competence.

If it’s only a small chip that is not widespread but deep down, and you think you can handle it using your own hands, then consider getting a repair kit. Nevertheless, for more intricate damage or if you value safety and beauty, then get a professional windshield repair.

In fact, replacing and repairing windshields in time saves your car from further damage, improves visibility, and guarantees road safety. Evaluating the pros and cons of both DIY and professional repairs will help you make an informed choice based on your preferences.