Don’t DIY, no matter what you read

Most of us have been unfortunate enough to suffer some sort of windscreen damage to our vehicles, whether it’s from something as simple as loose chippings being flicked up into our windscreen, or something more unusual like a bird strike. As with many of our human ailments, it’s all too easy to turn to Google, and see what the internet recommends. After all, it’ll save you money, won’t it?

Fairly conclusively, the answer is no. Windscreens are not just a simple pane of glass – they’re highly engineered, toughened surfaces. You wouldn’t use a child’s crayon set to touch up a scratched bumper, and the same logic applies to repairing your car’s windows.

Here are some of the crazier recommendations you might find on the internet for repairing a broken windscreen. Definitely do not try these at home!

1. Super glue

This is the most common suggestion you’ll find on the internet. On the surface, it seems to make the most sense, too. After all, it’s clear, and it dries to a very tough finish, and it’s probably saved your life (or at least the life of your household goods) on more than one occasion. However, the make-up of super glue is very different to the professional resin we’d use to repair a chipped windscreen, and once it gets into windscreen cracks, it makes it impossible for any sort of work to be carried out by a professional repair company like us. You’ll wind up paying for a whole new windscreen.

2. Clear nail varnish

Much like super glue, nail varnish seems like a good idea. Again, it’s clear, gives your fingernails a nice protective coat and it gives a great seal against any sort of water ingress. Except it’s not really that tough, is it? Even if you’re not a nail varnish wearer, you’ll have heard the ladies complaining that their nail varnish has chipped off after a couple of days. There is no way that nail varnish is going to be able to give you the right protection for your windscreen.

3. Sticky tape

You know that stuff that Blue Peter called sticky backed plastic? The stuff you use when you’re wrapping up your birthday presents in pretty paper? It’s great for that, because that’s really what it’s designed for. It’s not got the strength to reinforce a chip on a windscreen though. Don’t even think about duct tape either, because even though it’s stronger, that will cause massive visibility problems, and you’ll be in trouble with the police if they see you.

4. Baby oil

Baby oil is a fabulous moisturiser and lubricant, but your car’s windscreen is not porous like skin, so it doesn’t need moisturising. The oil will go into the chip and sit there like water in a cup, and while it might make it look like the chip has gone away, it’s still there. Worse still, that chip is going to increase in size as you go over speed bumps and bumps in the road.

5. Windscreen plasters

About ten years ago, some insurance companies provided clear film discs, which you could put over windscreen chips to stop dirt getting into them. These were never meant to be a long-term fix, and were really only ever intended as an emergency solution until you could get to a company who could repair your windscreen properly. They should never be used as a permanent solution.

The only real solution to a cracked windscreen is to have it checked and fixed by a professional, like us at Red Rose Windscreens.