Welcome to Calgary! The rock chip capital of Canada—or so it seems some days.
Let’s talk about how to save your windshield with a few simple steps and how you can do your best to keep an unsightly rock chip from becoming a crack.
Why We’re Always Needing Windshield Chip Repairs in Calgary
In our wonderful city of Calgary, we can experience four seasons of weather in a matter of hours or even minutes with the Chinook winds coming off the mountains. In the winter, our city uses a mixture of 3% salt and 97% fine gravel (although we’d swear they are all miniature boulders when we hear them hit the windshield). Unfortunately, due to our rapidly changing weather, salt isn’t the greatest choice in frigid temperatures as it isn’t melting the snow nor offering any traction.
In the summer, we all know that the city only cleans our main thoroughfares once if we are lucky, and large trucks hauling machinery on open trailers DO NOT always clean off their loads, which means chunks of dirt and gravel go flying!
How to Repair a Windshield Chip
So, you just got a rock chip on your windshield. Here are a few simple things you can do to try and stop it from spreading before you can get it repaired.
Cover the Rock Chip
When it’s safe to do so, or when you get to your destination, COVER the rock chip damage on the outside of the windshield! Clean off the affected area with a dry cloth or paper towel. Do not use a glass cleaner, as you don’t want to get moisture into the rock chip. A clear piece of tape or packaging tape can work in a pinch until you can complete the repair.
Don’t Wait to Repair It
Time is of the essence with a rock chip repair. The longer a chip is left unrepaired, the higher the chance of it cracking on your windshield. We’d rather fix the chip than give you the bad news it’s beyond repair and you’ll need a new windshield. On average, a rock chip repair can be between 10-20 minutes, depending on a variety of conditions.
Take it To a Professional
To be safe, if you think you’ve got a rock chip, come on by Easy Auto Glass and have one of our technicians take a look at your windshield. We’d rather you be safe than sorry if a rock chip was missed and turns into a crack. Also, with many of the newer vehicles being equipped with ADAS features, such as Lane Departure Warning, Pedestrian Avoidance, Crash Avoidance, etc., a simple rock chip repair is a lot easier to deal with than the cost of a new windshield along with a re-calibration charge.
Factors That Affect Windshield Rock Chip Repairs
The amount of time a rock chip has been on a windshield can impact how well we can fill it. This is because rock chips can absorb dirt and moisture.
Moisture is the killer of all rock chips. Windshields are glass, and glass contracts and expands in changing temperatures. If a rock chip has moisture inside of it, it can expand the rock chip due to temperature fluctuations, causing it to crack right before your eyes.
Dirt is another challenge for a rock chip. You can’t flush out trapped dirt from a rock chip. It also makes the repair unsightly and could cause the repair to fail due to contaminates in the rock chip.
Temperature changes and contraction and expansion on a windshield can play tricks on a windshield. As a rock chip repair gets older, we’ve seen them become “brighter” due to the sun lightening them over time. It’s not that a rock has hit the same place again (although we’ve seen it happen right beside the old one), it’s just reacting to temperature changes.
Expectations and Reality of Fixing a Rock Chip
The first thing to keep in mind is that the windshield is broken. When fixing a rock chip, the main goal is to maintain the windshield’s structural integrity if possible. Clarity, i.e. how little of the damage you see, is the bonus. But, again, many factors can determine how a rock chip repair will turn out. How long has it been there? How much dirt is trapped in the rock chip? Is the rock chip so bad that chunks of glass are falling out? Or, if the windshield glass is pulverized back to what appears to be sand, this too can affect how well it will turn out.
The reality is that you will always see remnants of the rock chip damage. These blemishes never disappear 100% like they show on TV (as much as we’d all like to happen).
Keep in mind, at Easy Auto Glass, the whole goal is to keep the windshield in your vehicle, whether it’s your daily driver, your RV or your collector car, for as long as possible.
Come by Easy Auto Glass Today!
Looking to get a rock chip repair in Calgary? Our experienced technicians are here to help! We are the only Canadian company that, after replacing your windshield at our shop, will provide FREE Rock Chip Repairs for the lifetime of the windshield for as long as you are the original owner.
We also provide you with complimentary Easy Rock Chip Repair stickers to cover up the rock chip until you can get in to see up for the FREE repair, so no need to be hunting for packaging tape.
Give us a call today to learn more!