If a stone has chipped your window, you may be able to have it repaired rather than replacing the glass. The following can answer some of your questions about stone chip repair.
Are All Stone Chips Repairable?
Not all stone chips can be repaired. Most shops have the capability to repair a chip that is smaller than the diameter of a fifty-cent piece, and some shops are able to repair larger chips that have just begun to spread. Call a few shops if necessary, especially if you have a larger chip, to see if any have the tools and expertise for the repair.
Will the Repair Be Invisible?
Stone chip repairs aren't completely invisible. Someone that doesn't know that there was a repair likely won't spot the damage, but you may be able to see the chip — particularly from certain angles. As long as the chip repair doesn't compromise your view through the window there is no need to worry about visible damage. Your glass repair shop can always inspect the repair to make sure it is holding up in the event you have doubts.
Can Only Chips Be Repaired?
Nearly any qualified glass repair shop can repair small chips that are less than a fifty-cent piece in size. Some shops have the equipment and training to repair slightly larger chips or even cracks that are up to several inches in length. With cracks, it depends on the location and severity of the crack. Generally, if a crack hasn't begun to branch, doesn't reach all the way to the edge of the window, and doesn't sit right in the driver's line of sight, then a repair may be possible.
What If the Chip Resurfaces?
It's only considered safe to repair a chip once. If the resin fill used to repair a chip fails, then replacement is necessary. This is why it is important to make sure the chip repair shop you choose has a good reputation and backs up their work. Otherwise, you could find yourself paying for a replacement within a few weeks of paying for the initial repair.
What If a Repair Must Be Postponed?
The longer you put off a repair, the more likely that the damage will spread and the chip will become irreparable. If you must postpone the repair, you can take some precautions to help minimize the chances of the chip getting worse. Avoid drastic temperature fluctuations, such as blasting the window with hot defrost on a freezing day. Further, park the car in the shade or another sheltered area to minimize temperature difference exposure.
Contact a stone chip repair service for more help.