(ARA) -- Rain, ice and snow all make visibility difficult during the winter months, but if your windshield is damaged, your visibility is compromised no matter what time of year it is, making driving a dangerous activity.
"While driving, a vehicle's windshield can get damaged from the impact of road debris and rocks that get kicked up by other vehicles," said Korey Gobin, account executive at Delta Kits, a leading manufacturer of professional windshield repair equipment and supplies. "Even a small chip can cause visibility problems, so it's wise to repair the damage before it gets worse."
A vehicle's windshield has three basic functions, according to the National Glass Association, a trade group representing the glass industry: to prevent passengers from being ejected from the vehicle in an accident, to absorb the impact when an airbag deploys and to support the roof. In fact, industry experts have estimated that windshields provide up to 70 percent of the structural integrity in a rollover accident, and if left unchecked, damage caused by rocks and flying debris could ultimately cause a windshield to crumble rather than protect the passengers.
If you fix your damaged windshield now you can ensure that you and your family remain safe in your vehicle. If you have any of the following damage, you should be able to repair it for around $50 to $75:
Bull's-eye: A broken, circular pattern surrounding a chip in the center.
Star break: Long cracks that extend from a center chip that form a star shape.
Crack: Straight or crooked lines that extend across the glass pane.
Combination Break: Any combination of two or more of the above.
Luckily, these types of damage can be repaired without removing the windshield, saving you money and eliminating the possibility of bonding and leaking problems that sometimes occur with expensive windshield replacements. The integrity of the original factory seal will remain intact.
To repair the damage, a windshield repair technician will inject an optically matched acrylic resin into the damaged area of the windshield. The resin replaces the air trapped within the damaged area and is then cured, creating a molecular bond that strengthens the glass and keeps the damage from spreading.
Once cured, the resin is leveled to be flush with the glass surface and polished to a glass-like finish. When preformed properly, the repair will be nearly invisible and not detectable when you run your finger over it.
"Additionally, by repairing your windshield instead of replacing it, you are being eco-friendly," said Gobin. "The process for recycling an entire windshield is very complicated because windshields consist of two curved sheets of glass with a plastic (PVB) layer laminated between them. The glass needs to be separated from the PVB before it can be recycled. Currently this process is not cost effective. Windshield repairs are environmentally friendly and the waste produced can fit in the palm of your hand and weighs less than an ounce. Compare that to the approximately 25 pounds of waste generated by a windshield replacement."
Where do you find a qualified windshield repair technician? Windshield repairs are performed at automotive dealerships, glass shops and oil and lube shops. You might have even seen an enterprising windshield repair technician advertising in your neighborhood. This might be a good option because many of these mobile repair technicians can come to your office or home to repair your windshield so you don't have to drive anywhere.
With so many windshield repair opportunities, many people are considering this as a business opportunity. Training is easy and fast, and with a small investment in equipment, you can establish your own business part-time or full-time. Plus you'll help reduce environmental waste with your new, rewarding career. In today's economy and environmental climate this is a win-win combination for consumers and entrepreneurs.
To gain more knowledge about the benefits of windshield repair and its positive environmental impact or what is involved in setting up a business, visit www.DeltaKits.com. Additionally, www.windshield-repair-forum.com is an excellent resource. As the world's most popular online repair community, the site is frequented by windshield repair professionals from around the world. These professionals answer questions from consumers and share information with each other for the benefit of the windshield repair industry.