As soon as you see that tiny crack crawling along your windshield, you know it's time to take it in to a specialty auto shop for repairs or replacement. Preventing windshield damage in the first place is just as important as making repairs when they are necessary.
Here are four of the most common reasons for your windshield getting damaged, and a few helpful tips on how to avoid them.
Direct sunlight can wear out the windshield’s edges, making it more susceptible to cracking. This is because heat causes the metal around your windshield to expand and later contract when it cools down, compromising the windshield's "crack zone." The crack zone is the few inches around the edge of the glass, which is the area that is most prone to damage due to weather variances.
You can protect your windshield from weather damage by parking it in a garage. When you are unable to park your car in an enclosed space, simply cover the windshield with a shade that you can keep folded in your vehicle.
As your tires gain traction on a gravel road, small bits of rock and debris fly up into the air. Some of these rocks can hit your windshield and cause tiny chips that later turn into stress fractures or cracks. If you follow another vehicle too closely on a gravel surface any debris that gets kicked up can hit your car.
When driving on gravel roads, slow down so your car can grab traction without as much force. This causes less rocks to kick up into the air. If following another vehicle try to stay several car lengths away (similar to when you drive on icy roads) so you can keep your windshield from getting severe gravel impact.
Hail can destroy your car's windshield quickly, especially if there is a lot of hail or the hail is very large. If there is a hail storm headed your way, cover your car with a fitted cover, sheet, tarp, or even piece of cardboard placed under your windshield wipers. If you can, place your car in a garage to limit the amount of hail damage your windshield receives.
Wind also comes with hail, so even if the hail appears harmless in size you still want to place your car under cover to prevent debris such as sticks or garbage from hitting your car. Flying debris can cause your entire windshield to shatter.
A crack or chip in your windshield can be so tiny you don't even notice it until a larger object or direct sunlight causes the small fracture to spread. The best way to prevent your windshield from further damage is to make repairs as soon as you notice damage. Signs you need windshield repair include:
- cracks along the edges
- sealing coming loose
- chips beginning to "web" out
Do not hesitate to call your windshield repair and replacement technician as soon as you notice your windshield's strength is compromised by even a tiny chip. Repairing your windshield right away can help prevent further damage and can allow you to avoid the cost of full replacement.
Windshield repair and replacement is something that you may need to do in your vehicle's lifetime. Knowing common reasons why your windshield can get damaged can help you protect your car's glass more effectively.
Your windshield technician can give you more tips on how to keep your windshield crack and chip-free. If you have questions about your current windshield' condition or you need it replaced, call our team of experts at Fort Worth Auto Glass Center.