If your vehicle’s windshield is cracked or chipped, it’s important to get it repaired as soon as possible. A small crack can quickly turn into a big problem, and a damaged windshield can impair your ability to drive safely. However, many people don’t know what can cause windshield damage. This article will cover the basics of auto glass damage and reveal eight surprising things that can lead to windshield damage.
What is Auto Glass Damage?
Auto glass damage is any type of damage to your vehicle’s windshield, rear window, or side windows. It can be caused by everything from a small rock hitting your windshield on the highway to a tree branch falling on your car during a storm. Being aware of the different types of auto glass damage can help you better understand how to protect your car and when it’s time to get repairs.
Types of Auto Glass Damage
There are three main types of auto glass damage: cracks, chips, and breaks. Each type of damage requires a different level of repair.
Windshield cracks are long, thin fissures in the glass. They can be caused by everything from rocks hitting your windshield to extreme temperature changes. Depending on the size and location of the crack, it may be possible to repair a cracked windshield with a special resin. However, if the crack is more than three inches long or is located in your field of vision, you’ll likely need to replace your windshield.
Windshield chips are small, round pieces of glass that have been chipped or cracked out of the surface. They’re usually caused by rocks hitting your windshield at high speeds. Depending on the size and depth of the chip, it may be possible to repair it with a special resin. However, if the chip is larger than a quarter or is located in your field of vision, you’ll likely need to replace your windshield.
Windshield breaks are cracks that extend all the way through the glass. They can be caused by everything from severe weather conditions to impact damage. Breaks always require replacement; they can’t be repaired. You will need to have your windshield replaced as soon as possible if it sustains a break.
8 Surprising Things That Can Lead to Windshield Damage
1. Extreme Temperature Changes
One of the most surprising things that can lead to windshield damage is extreme temperature changes. When water freezes, it expands. This expansion can cause small cracks and chips in your windshield. In addition, when glass gets very hot, it can weaken and become more susceptible to breaking. To avoid temperature-related auto glass damage, park your car in a garage or covered parking lot whenever possible.
You might not think of sunlight as being harmful to your windshield, but the truth is that extended exposure to UV rays can cause the glass to break down and become more brittle. To protect your windshield from the sun’s damaging rays, park in a shady spot or use a sun visor when you’re driving. You can also invest in a UV-resistant windshield film, which will help block the sun’s harmful rays.
3. Poor Road Conditions
Potholes, speed bumps, and other obstacles can put stress on your windshield and cause it to crack or chip. To avoid damage from poor road conditions, drive slowly and be cautious of potholes and other obstacles. You should also have your suspension checked regularly to make sure your car can handle bumps in the road.
4. Flying Objects
Rocks, branches, and other debris can become airborne in high winds and hit your windshield, causing damage. To protect your windshield from flying objects, park in a garage or covered parking lot whenever possible. You should also avoid driving on windy days if possible.
5. Bird Droppings
Believe it or not, bird droppings can actually cause your windshield to crack or chip. The acid in the bird droppings can eat away at the glass, causing it to become weak and brittle. To protect your windshield from damage, clean any bird droppings off as soon as possible.
While insects might not seem like they would be hard enough to damage your windshield, they can actually cause cracks and chips. Insects are often attracted to car headlights, and when they fly into the light, they can hit your windshield with a lot of force. To avoid insect-related damage, keep your headlights clean and free of bugs. You should also avoid driving at night if possible.
7. Debris from Other Cars
Another surprising thing that can damage your windshield is debris from other cars. When a car ahead of you kicks up rocks or other debris, it can hit your windshield and cause damage. To avoid this, drive behind other cars at a safe distance and be aware of the cars around you.
8. Improper Wiper Blades
One of the most common causes of windshield damage is actually improper wiper blades. When your wipers are old or worn out, they can scratch your windshield and cause small cracks and chips. To avoid this, replace your wipers every six months or so. You should also make sure that your wipers are the correct size for your windshield.
With this knowledge, you can take steps to avoid windshield damage. However, if your windshield does sustain damage, it’s important to have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Ignoring damage can lead to more serious problems, such as decreased visibility and an increased risk of injury in the event of an accident.