When traveling across job sites strewn with rocks and debris, a chipped or cracked windshield is almost a given. Errant rock strikes can leave behind small chips and cracks that eventually grow into bigger and harder-to-repair cracks over time.
A quick windshield repair can help you avoid an even more expensive replacement. While the pros can easily handle these tasks for a fee, do-it-yourself windshield repair kits offer a cheaper way of fixing minor cracks and chips. The following takes a look at the benefits and drawbacks of both professional and DIY windshield repair.
Kits Are Cheaper, But Your Results May Vary
Fixing your own windshield is a tempting proposition – not only are DIY repair kits relatively cheap, but you also save the time and expense needed to have a professional take care of the work. The cost-benefit proposition becomes all the more attractive when it comes to dealing with relatively minor chips and cracks.
You know how some DIY kits have a disclaimer that reads, "Your results may vary?" That's because most DIY work isn't as smooth as what the pros can achieve with their own tools and expertise. The average DIY kit comes with a set of step-by-step instructions to help guide you as you make your repairs. Nevertheless, even following these instructions to the letter might not offer the same professional results as work done by someone who's spent years repairing windshield cracks.
Professional Care is Costly, Yet Effective
Professional service, from a company like Central Glass, is often preferable to a DIY repair for many reasons. For starters, the average professional has years of experience under their belt dealing with all types of windshield repairs. A professional also has the necessary tools needed to deal with these repairs. These tools are often of a higher quality than what you would normally find in a typical DIY kit – diamond-tipped drills and high-quality suction bridges are typically par for the professional course.
Professional repairs cost significantly more than the typical DIY windshield repair kit. According to CarsDirect, the average quote for a windshield repair ranges from $20 for a very minor chip to $325 or more for a severe crack. The amount of money you can expect to spend on a professional repair depends on the type of vehicle and the severity of the crack itself.
However, there is a way you can significantly reduce the cost of a professional windshield repair. If you have a vehicle that is covered with comprehensive insurance coverage, then it's possible to have your windshield repaired through your auto insurer without paying out-of-pocket expenses. Depending on your state's statutes, your insurance company may be required to waive their deductible for windshield repairs.
Keep in mind that there are some things that not even the best repair expert can fix. If the crack exceeds a length of 24 inches, your repair technician may recommend a complete windshield replacement.
Which Works Best?
DIY kits are the way to go if you want to stop windshield cracks in their tracks as cheaply as possible. Some kits come very close to restoring your windshield to its pristine factory appearance, but the results are usually not as slick as what a professional windshield repair expert can achieve.
On the other hand, a professional repair can completely restore your windshield's original appearance, making it appear as though the damage never happened. However, the cost of professional service is often a major trade-off, especially if you have several vehicles that all require windshield repairs.
In the end, the decision to stick with a DIY windshield repair kit or have a professional take care of the repairs depends on your budgetary considerations as well as the amount of time you're willing to invest in the repairs.