Most people probably don't consider their windshield one of their car's more complex components. While it may seem like a simple sheet of glass, manufacturers expend significant effort designing and engineering automotive windshields. As a result, damage to your windshield can also be complex and typically requires professional repairs.
Chips and cracks are the two most easily recognizable forms of windshield damage, but glass repair experts know that windshield damage is never this straightforward. Instead, problems with your windshield often fall into more complicated categories within these broad groups. Combination breaks are one such category, and these three facts can help you recognize and address them.
1. Combination Breaks Are Complex
The "combination" in a combination break means that the damage includes chips and cracks. A chip is typically created from a single point of impact, limited to a roughly circular area on your windshield. On the other hand, a crack tends to run along a single horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line. Cracks usually form from stress on the glass.
Combination breaks usually include a chip with the characteristics of many different types of windshield damage, along with one or more early cracks. These breaks require the most skill and effort to fix because their complex nature makes it much more challenging to achieve optical clarity, especially when they fall within the driver's line of sight.
2. Combination Breaks Often Spread Rapidly
Windshield chips and cracks spread by creating a weak point in the structure of the glass. Your windshield endures many stresses throughout a typical day, including heating and cooling cycles, vibrations, and sudden bumps from potholes and rough roads. Smaller impacts, even ones that don't leave visible marks, can also stress the glass.
A combination chip will often cause enough damage to weaken the glass on your windshield significantly. Normal, day-to-day stresses that wouldn't have otherwise affected your glass may worsen the cracks already forming around the chip. Given enough time, these stresses will almost invariably lead to significant damage.
3. Combination Breaks Are Repairable
The good news is that an experienced automotive windshield repair technician can often repair a combination break. While severe breaks directly in the driver's line of sight may require a windshield replacement, less substantial damage is often repairable using standard resin fillers. This technique helps restore clarity to the glass while preventing the damage from spreading.
While combination chips can look big and frightening, they aren't unrecoverable. When you notice one of these chips in your glass, contact an auto windshield repair professional in your area. By addressing the issue quickly, you'll stand the best chance of repairing your glass instead of needing a costly windshield replacement.