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Auto Glass Damage | Glass Doctor of Seattle
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Not all auto glass damage is the same

Regardless of the glass damage your car has received, it’s important to get it fixed before it causes more damage.  However, knowing why the auto glass is broken or cracked is just as important as the repair itself. When we know the “why”, our technicians can ensure that the repair or replacement corrects the problem and maintains your vehicle’s safety.

 There are two general causes of glass breakage:

  • Impact
  • Stress

Impact Breakage

Most breaks, rock chips, dings and cracks are caused by an impact to the glass window itself.  The force of an object hitting the window causes the integrity of the glass to fail, and the glass cracks, breaks or shatters.  When that happens, the window loses strength – and even though you may still be able to see out of it – the weakness at the break, crack or chip point creates a weak point in the window and may compromise your vehicle’s safety systems.

Stress cracks and fractures

A stress crack or fracture occurs when the window breaks or cracks due to a twisting of the glass itself.  This can happen because the frame of the car twists and bends to the point where the glass fails, or because the windshield was improperly mounted.  It is caused directly by too much pressure on the glass itself.

What Happens When Glass Breaks?

Tempered Auto Glass

Your vehicle probably uses tempered glass in all windows and glass applications except the windshield.  When tempered glass breaks, it comes apart in small cubes.  This action, known as “dicing”, makes it far less likely that the glass will cause serious injury.  For more information on tempered glass, click here.

Laminated Auto Glass

Your car or light truck probably uses laminated glass in the windshield.  Laminated glass is actually two pieces of glass held together by a thin plastic sheet of a material known as PVB.  When laminated glass breaks, the broken glass sticks to the PVB and the glass shards don’t enter the passenger compartment of the vehicle.  The PVB also provides a layer of protection from foreign objects entering the passenger compartment of the vehicle from the roadway. For more information on laminated glass, click here.

Types of Auto Glass Damage

There are several types of breaks that can occur to your car’s windshield.  Knowing why it broke, and what type of break it is allows Glass Doctor of Seattle to diagnose and prescribe the right repair or replacement alternatives to your vehicle. 

The types of breaks are:

  • Bullseye Break: This looks like a small hole, with a dark colored circle surrounding it.  This is usually a good candidate for windshield repair, and following the repair, usually the only remaining item seen is the initial impact point.
  • Half Moon Break: Also known as a “partial bullseye break”. This is similar to a bullseye break, except that it has only a half circle of chip or breakage around the impact point.  This repair is a little more difficult to repair, as the damage occurred at an angle.  However, this is also a good candidate for windshield repair, and following the repair, usually the only remaining item seen is the initial impact point.
  • Star Break: This looks like it sounds, where the break has an impact point, and at least two, and possibly more, cracks radiating from the impact point. After a windshield repair, the star break is usually still slightly visible – particularly the radial cracks.
  • Combination Break: A single break with both a bullseye break and radial cracks.  This is the most difficult type of rock chip or break to repair, and usually is still visible after the windshield repair is completed.
  • Crack: A single line in one layer of the laminated glass.  Repair results vary significantly with the type, length and shape of the crack.  While cracks are often near invisible after a windshield repair, only small cracks can be repaired.  Many cracks will require windshield replacement.

Call us today for a no-obligation quote to repair or replace your car or truck’s windshield, side windows or back window.  We service all of King, Pierce and parts of Thurston Counties.  From Bothell to Bellevue, Kirkland to Tacoma, Seattle to Puyallup, our certified technicians will come to your home or place of business and provide a quality experience and expert installation.


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