Is it a good idea? Let’s look at the options available to the motorist who has a chipped windscreen and would like to carry out the repair themselves. A chipped windscreen is a common problem; it only takes a single flying stone or other debris from the roads to cause a chip or a nick, and if you don’t get it repaired quickly there is a danger of it developing into a cracked windscreen, leaving you in need of a total windscreen replacement rather than a simpler windscreen repair.
If you are really set on the DIY option, the best advice is to purchase a windscreen repair kit; there are many makes on the market, so pick the one that appeals to you. They vary quite widely in price from under £10 to over £200 depending on the contents, but as a minimum you will need an applicator, suitable resin, a razor blade, and a lint-free cleaning cloth plus glass cleaner. You will also need a cloth of some kind to cover your car bonnet in case of drips.
If it’s a minor chip, I have read that you can also repair it with super glue (cyanoacrylate).
How do you know if the chip is repairable?
This can be tricky – windscreens are made from 3 layers of material laminated together, so if the damage is confined to the outer layer only, you may be able to get away with a DIY repair. However, if the damage is larger than 10mm, you need to check whether it is in the critical area of the windscreen, which is effectively the area swept by your windscreen wipers. If it’s outside that area and provided it’s not bigger than 40mm you can repair it. A 10mm chip within the critical area can also be repaired.
To repair your chipped windscreen
Cover your car bonnet with a cloth – resin and super glue are both lethal to vehicle paintwork.
Give the windscreen a thorough clean with the lint-free cloth and glass cleaner, especially in and around the area of the chip.
Using the razor blade, carefully scrape the chip to ensure it is totally clean and free from dust.
If the applicator is the type with sucker feet, position it carefully over the chip (refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on exactly how to use it), and apply the resin. If the applicator is a simple syringe, or you are using super glue, carefully drip the resin or glue into the chip, ensuring it is free from air bubbles. Some repair kits have curing strips which help to speed up the curing process, so apply one of these if provided.
Allow the resin/glue to dry for around 10 minutes (in direct sunlight is best) and then clean off any excess with the razor blade. If the chip has not been completely filled, you may need to repeat the process.
Is it worth it?
If you have fully comprehensive vehicle insurance, chips and nicks in the windscreen can often be repaired free of charge, so rather than paying out good money for a repair kit, and then wasting time repairing the windscreen yourself, why not leave it to the experts? If you do it yourself, there is always a danger of damaging your windscreen beyond repair, and resins and glues are nasty substances to work with, so why take the risk? There is bound to be a myWindscreen repair centre nearby who can give you a quick and effective windscreen repair, along with a guarantee of expert workmanship, so do yourself a favour and contact a myWindscreen technician today.