Windshield cracks can happen to the best of us. This article will explain how to fix a broken windshield in easy to understand steps. Although this method is tested and practical, we still advise that you let professionals take care of it.
We rely on cars to get us from point A to point B in Arlington VA. The machinery is quite effective and does the job quite effectively. However, like every other machine, it is bound to require maintenance and repair work. The windshield is what protects the driver and the front passenger, however, what should one do when the windshield is broken?
We have compiled a list of steps that will help you with fixing a broken windshield. However, before you proceed; you should compare the cost of repair and replacement. We suggest that you go for windshield replacement if the damage is too much, if the windshield is damaged closer to its periphery or if the crack is in the direct line of sight of the driver. For other instances, check out the following tips;
- Set up the applicator. You should take a few minutes to learn how the applicator works. There are a number of them available in the market, however, most of them work on the following principles;
- First off, determine the syringe or barrel where you will be loading the resin and the O-ring or cap to close it.
- Secondly, you need to identify the dial or bold that is used for adjusting pressure and moving the applicator closer or away from the windshield.
- Finally, do check with the instruction manual that comes with the applicator to understand how to use it. The syringe applicator has a simple piston; however, some bridge applicators might have a unique mechanism.
- This step is tricky and risky so be careful. You need to tap a small hole if necessary. If not done correctly, you might end up causing more damage to the windshield. This step is only necessary, however, if you’re dealing with a long crack that doesn’t end in a semicircular or circular hole or if you’re filling a small ‘star break’ with no glass pieces missing.
- Grab a sturdy needle or a bullseye tapper and place it on the star crack or at the end of the crack. You need to tap it gently using a suction cup removal tool until a small hole pops out.
- In certain scenarios, you’ll have to drill into the hole prior to tapping. Make sure that you never drill more than 1/4th of the thickness of glass. If you’re unable to tap a hole without a drill; we strongly recommend hiring a professional.
- Now you have to carry out resin’s loading into the applicator. Many repair kits come equipped with two kinds of resin. One of them is used for filling of cracks while the other is used for filling chips. You should rely on the kit’s instructions regarding the amount of resin needed – as for the kind of resin, assess the situation on your own to determine which kind you need. Generally, you only require a few drops of resin.
- Now place the applicator to repair the crack. You need to cover the suction cups using a thick layer of lubricant thus ensuring that they are able to glide across the windshield. You need to position the suction cups so that the tip of the applicator is over the hole at the crack’s end. Start tightening it until it gently presses against the glass.
- If the kit doesn’t have any lubricant, make use of petroleum jelly (Vaseline).
- In case you’re using a syringe applicator that doesn’t have suction cups, simply hold it against the crack’s end.
- Start applying the resin along the start of the crack. Gently move the applicator along the first 5-7.5 cm of the crack. That’s roughly about 2-3 inches. You should apply the resin as per the applicator’s instruction manual. Slide to and for over the crack and ensure that the resin is going in.
- If you notice that the resin isn’t flowing inside the crack, simply flex the glass gently using your thumb while applying resin. This is only meant to get it started though.
- Now you have to seal the rest of the crack. Glide the applicator across the length of the crack. Once you’re sure that the resin is entering the crack, sealing the crack in a fluid movement shouldn’t be a problem.
- Don’t worry, the crack is supposed to be visible right now.
- Moving on to next step, you have to fill chips and dents using the thicker resin now. Simply fill your applicator with the right kind of resin (one that is meant for filling dents). Keep inserting the resin until the dent is completely filled.
- If you’re dealing with a star-shaped break with no missing glass piece, you have to tap one out using a bullseye crack or a sturdy needle.
- Make sure that you thoroughly clean the applicator of its other kind of resin before proceeding with this step.
- Now cover the resin using curing tape. Curing tape is also referred to as curing tabs or curing strips. The purpose of this curing tape is to keep the resin in place during curing and preventing it from flowing back out the crack.
- You will require a razor blade or a suction cup removal tool for removal of the applicator.
- You should never make use of plastic wrap or other substance for curing purpose since some of them might block UV light and kill off the purpose of curing.
- Allow the curing to take place. You should leave the repaired area in ample sunlight or under an ultraviolet light source till it is completely cured. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 120 minutes. The time it takes for curing to complete relies on the brand and the sunlight condition or the ultraviolet lamp. Check the instructions for how much time your product needs and ideally, wait a bit longer than the suggested time period. If you drive or open car doors prior to complete curing, you run the risk of elongating the cracks.
- For the last step, remove any excess resin by scrapping it off. Make use of a razor blade for scrapping the resin off along the windshield surface. You need to remove excess resin until the windshield is smooth. If you observe that the windshield is blurry or the crack is visible enough to interfere with driving, you’ll have to cure the crack again using a special refinishing resin. Once you’re done, wipe the windshield clean using a glass cleaner.
- You should make use of a razor blade holder for scrapping to prevent any injury.