Now that the weather has turned warmer and you’re considering whether to run your car through a car wash every now and then, you might also want to think about those chips and cracks in your windshield or windows.

You really can’t take pride in your ride if the glass is cracked so you have to dip your head to see the road, or the back window is nothing but duct tape and garbage bags.

The family of Matt Freeland and his brother, James Newman, owners of Mobile Glass on Park Avenue, has been in the glass business in Greenwood since 1949. A good portion of their business comes from gravel kicked up off roads or falling off the back of a truck and dinging or cracking windshields.

How do you decide if the chip is small enough to be fixed or big enough to replace the glass?

“The general rule of thumb is if it’s bigger than the size of a half-collar coin, it’s not repairable,” Freeland said. He also mentioned he’s used that description before only to find some people who have no idea what a half-dollar looks like and want to think it means half the size of a dollar bill. You can Google it, of course, and find out a half-dollar is 1.205 inches in diameter, about another third larger than a quarter.

If the half-dollar covers it, the chip can be fixed with a technique and equipment that fill in the spot with a light-reactive resin. It takes only a few minutes and is cheaper than replacing a windshield.

Freeland said repairs to chips cost $40 for the first one and $10 for each additional chip.

Windshield replacement costs vary, depending on the make and model of the car.

Changes in temperature will turn a chip into a crack, Freeland said, both in hot weather and cold. Glass expanding in extremely hot Mississippi summers or contracting in weather near freezing will make cracks bigger without anything new hitting the glass.

While some people might drive with cracked windshields, Freeland said it’s a safety issue when the cracks cross the driver’s sightlines or cause glare during early morning or evening hours. The cracks will eventually separate and cause wipers to wear out, break or stop from crossing the crack.

Auto insurance will cover both repair and replacement costs, but the repair costs don’t count against the deductible, while the replacement of the windshield normally does. If you do make a claim against your auto insurance, rates aren’t supposed to increase for windshield replacements.

Freeland said he’s found people in the Delta take good care of their vehicles and won’t drive with a cracked windshield for long.

If you’re heading in for repairs, Freeland said timing is key.

“There’s a very fine window on when and how long you have to repair it,” he said. The work should be done before the hottest part of the day in the summer or after the temperature rises in cold weather. And you have to wait 24 hours after it rains.

If you need to schedule a windshield replacement, Mobile Glass asks for a day’s notice so it can have the right windshield for your model brought to the shop. It will take an hour to install the new windshield, and another hour for the car to sit before being driven, allowing sealants to set. Freeland said it’s important to stay out of pressurized car washes for a day afterward.

With summer near, Freeland also offers window tints with a popular film that protects dashboards, seats, and upholstery from UV rays and reduces the temperature in the car by 44 percent. You can get a traffic ticket in Mississippi if your car windows are tinted past 35 percent, but Freeland said Mobile Glass will install what the customer asks, although it’s not responsible for the ticket if you’re stopped with the darkest tints.

While you’re checking out your car windows, you might also want to consider the windows on your house. Mobile Glass can replace insulated glass windows where the seal has cracked during cold weather and the glass is now cloudy or white.

“Not only is it an eyesore for your house, it’s energy inefficient, too,” Freeland said.

And if you’re waiting till the bugs return before replacing screens, or considering whether to screen in the porch to allow you to enjoy the yard, Mobile Glass can repair the screens or offer Screeneze porches, a system that allows sections up to 10 feet wide without vertical supports to interrupt your view.

• Contact Gavin Maliska at 581-7235 or gmaliska@gwcommonwealth.com.

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