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How to Avoid a Windshield Chip Spreading Into an Unrepairable Crack

Updated on February 11, 2011

1. Clean and dry the chip and surrounding surface
Take a clean cloth and wipe your windshield to make sure the chip and the surrounding surface of the windshield are both clean and dry. Also, make sure that any loose glass particles are out of the chip.

2. Place a piece of tape , or a DECO Chip Saver Card Sticker over the chip
Be sure to completely cover the chip with a piece of strong, clear tape, such as packing tape, or a complimentary DECO Chip Saver Card Sticker. This helps to prevent any dirt or moisture from seeping into the chip and causing it to spread into a large crack that would make repairing the windshield impossible.

3. Get to a windshield repair kiosk as soon as you can
Windshield Repair Kiosks can fix the chip in about 15 minutes, and most insurance companies will waive the deductible and pay for the repair in order to avoid paying for a replacement in the future. DECO Windshield Repair offers full service repair at over 100 kiosks in Western Canada during the summer months. In the winter, just give us a call at 1.866.461.DECO (3326), and we’ll come repair it at your home or office.


Don't Delay!
This is the most important piece of advice. If you get a chip in your windshield, get it cleaned and taped ASAP. The tape will keep moisture out, which will prevent cracking due to extreme cold. It will also help with the structural integrity of the windshield, and can prevent minor glass expansions or contractions from causing large cracks.

This is extremely important if the chip is within a few inches of the edge of the windshield. Because of the manufacturing process, windshields are weaker within three inches of the edges. 83% of windshield replacements happen because of cracks around the edges of the windshield. If the chip is in that area, or close to it, it's much more likely to spread.

Don't apply much pressure with a snow scraper
The added pressure of scraping over a chip is enough to cause the chip to quickly spread into a large, unrepairable crack. *Note: Hammers, baseball bats, hockey sticks, and other items that people have been known to use to try to remove ice are not a good idea for any windshield, cracked or otherwise.

Don't turn the heat on high
Don’t turn the heat on full blast while targeting the windshield. The sudden change in temperature can cause the chip to expand until it’s unfixable.

Don't turn the A/C on high
The same principle as the heat applies for the air conditioning. If you want A/C, point it away from the windshield until you get the chip fixed.

Don't use your windshield wipers
Avoid using your windshield wipers (if possible) until you’ve cleaned and covered the chip. Before cleaning and covering the chip, it’s likely the windshield wipers will catch a piece of glass and drag it across your windshield. That will damage your windshield wipers, and leave a large, unrepairable scratch on your windshield.


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      Jane Abbott 3 years ago

      It is amazing how quickly a chip can turn into a crack on a windshield. I got a chip on my windshield a couple weeks ago and I have not had time to go in to fix it. It has now spread into a three inch long crack. When it comes to repairing windshield chips, sooner is much better than later.