While a laptop's light weight and thin exterior makes it easy to take with you almost anywhere, its delicate design also means that the risk of damage to your computer is a lot higher.

Unfortunately, one of the easiest components to break is the laptop's monitor, because it is usually composed of a thin liquid crystal display (LCD), and as RealGeek.com astutely notes, the only thing "more delicate than a girl's heart is a LCD screen."

Whether or not you need to contact your local Washington, D.C. laptop repair center, however, depends mainly on the severity of damage to the screen.

First, take a close look at the monitor – if it only has a few scratches, there are a few ways to fix it. One method that often works involves carefully wiping down the screen with distilled water and a lint-free cloth (microfiber works great in this situation). When the monitor is clean, use a dab of petroleum jelly and run it over the scratch. Gently rub it in, and then wipe away the excess water.

For a crack in the screen, try turning it on to see if there is any internal damage. If it appears that the problem lies only with the monitor, then – depending on the size of the crack – you can either use it strictly as a desktop computer or take it to a local laptop repair center to have the screen replaced.

If, however, turning on the computer reveals no visible image, or even worse, a loud scratching sound, you may want to contact a local computer repair center immediately, because it's likely to have caused internal damage to the computer, as well.