Which Windshield Cracks Need Replacement and Which Don’t

Some people can go their whole lives without so much as chipping their windshield. Most of us are not that lucky. Some chips seem to appear out of nowhere, whereas other cracks unfold before your eyes like something out of a nightmare. We know which ones you’re going to worry about (the one that spans the length of your windshield) and which ones you won’t (the one that’s the size of a pinhead). At the very least, contact  Auto Glass Fitters, the leading mobile auto glass replacement service in Lancaster County, to get a professional opinion. 

Types of Chips and Cracks

  • Bullseye: Bullseye is the most common chip we see. It is shaped like a small circle surrounded by a slightly larger circle. This is usually caused by the impact of rocks hitting the windshield with a lot of force. One of the easiest glass repairs, bullseye cracks don’t leave behind much of trace once fixed. 
  • Half Moon: This is a partial bullseye, but still deserving of its own category. 
  • Star Break: It’s exactly what it sounds; a chip and crack combination in the windshield that’s shaped similar to a star. Small star breaks can seem insignificant but can easily spread, especially the spanning cracks. Even the smallest star break can escalate to cover a large portion of the windshield, so we recommend getting these looked at and repaired immediately. 
  • Surface Pit: A surface pit is a small chip in the glass that does not reach the middle plastic layer. Most small surface pits don’t require a repair because they do not pose a significant risk to the windshield. However, if this crack is big enough, it can let in debris and continue to spread, which would require a replacement. 
  • Combination Break: Most of the chips mentioned above could combine to form a combination break. Combination breaks could be small or large, but even small fractures could require a windshield replacement if they penetrate too deep and damage the integrity of the glass. 
  • Floater Crack: A crack that starts in the middle of the windshield, usually caused by extreme temperatures, is called a floater crack. These cracks come in all shapes and sizes, but are at least two inches away from the windshield’s edge. Floater cracks spread very quickly, so it’s imperative to get them repaired immediately. 
  • Long Crack: If your windshield has a single crack spanning the length of the windshield, you most likely have a long crack. Long cracks are at least 15 cm in length, but they can be longer. These are the most difficult cracks to repair because of their longevity; therefore, the windshield usually has to be replaced. 
  • Stress Crack: This is the crack that will probably make you either curse or cry. Caused by age and usually wear and tear, stress cracks look like spiderwebs and spread easily. This is the most extreme case and definitely requires a replacement. 

Repair, Replace, or Relax

Yes, we’re going to say exactly what you think we’re going to say: you need to repair all chips and cracks. Most chips start out small and irrelevant, but even one bump on the road could cause them to spread. Moreover, some could penetrate deeper than you realize, even if they’re small in diameter. Cracks, on the other hand, are usually extensive and need a complete windshield replacement due to the damaged stability of the glass. If you have significant windshield damage, contact the Auto Glass Fitters mobile windshield replacement team in Lancaster at 877-256-2054.