Did a rock just kick up from that truck in front of you and crack your windshield? Sometimes, windshield damage is unavoidable. If you do happen to be so unlucky, it's important to take care of a crack or chip quickly, or you may end up paying much more down the road. It's a safety issue that should not be ignored.
Why is immediate attention critical?
Leaving compromised glass for too long can worsen the damage. Cracks tend to extend further and chipped glass can start cracking around the affected area. If this is not enough convince you, be aware that it is illegal to drive with an obstructed view; you can get a ticket for a broken windshield.
What does a repair entail?
Windshield repairs can be done on site or at an automotive repair center. The first thing a technician will do is assess the damage to see if your windshield needs to be completely replaced or if a repair will suffice. Small nicks and chips are often repairable, but a crack or chip extending more than a few inches weakens the integrity of the glass. This kind of damage will most likely involve a full replacement.
Complete windshield replacement will take at least an hour and a half, because the adhesive seal needs time to cure properly. Repairs, on the other hand, can often be completed in as little as a half an hour.
How much will a repair cost?
In many instances, automotive insurance will cover windshield replacement or repair. If you don't have good coverage or if you have a high deductible, some repair shops may work with you on payment options. Outside of insurance claims, cost can vary per shop and location. On average, small repairs cost between $50 and $100 per area in Atlanta. Full replacement costs are around $250 for small vehicles and $350 for large vehicles. Keep in mind that these average figures do not include taxes and disposal fees that may also apply. Shop around to get the best deal possible. If you don't know where to start, ask your friends and family first for referral to an Atlanta-area windshield repair specialist.