Some of us have to travel on interesting roads to get to our final destination. While most streets from residential areas are paved and in good condition, some require we travel dirt roads to get from point A to point B. Unpaved roads or those that we travel on in the backcountry, for example, can have a damaging impact on a vehicle. Here are some basic tips to keep your windshield in tip-top condition when driving on rough roadways.
Your Windshield Construction
Your windshield is built specifically for the make and model of your vehicle. Did you know it is also designed to work in coordination with the rest of your car’s features to give it structural integrity? The glass is specific, in that it is far sturdier than everyday windows that you would find in a home or business. This is why, when a rock hits your windshield it will often bounce off of it, leaving no damage in its wake. However, your windshield is obviously not indestructible. If a rock or some other debris hits your window at just the right way and just the right speed, you may end up with a chip or a crack.
While Your Drive
One of the first ways to keep your windshield from damage while driving country roads or in backcountry conditions, is to keep an eye on any obstacles that may stand in your vehicle’s way. Be mindful of the height of your vehicle and watch for falling debris from rock walls. Even branches can have a damaging effect on your windshield, as many times a small branch may be stronger than it looks. While you will likely not be able to predict a falling pinecone or something similar, staying away from trees, in general, is a good plan of action. The idea is to take it slow and avoid conditions that will place your windshield in harm’s way.
Keep Your Windshield Wipers Clean
Since you’ll be driving in an area that has more debris, try to keep wipers as clean as possible. You don’t want to experience scratching from the swipe of your wiper blades with a lodged rock in your windshield wiper. Imagine hitting the wipers to clean your windshield off, and it scratches it in an unwanted rainbow pattern across your glass. Give your wiper blades a little tap and inspection to make sure this doesn’t happen to you. You may also have to replace your wipers regularly as they will be clearing more dust, dirt, and other abrasive materials from your windshield more often.
Mindful Windshield Cleaning
Check with your manufacturer to see how they recommend you clean your windshield, and what type of cleaner would be best to use. Some windshields have a protective coating on them, which helps prevent damage. Unfortunately, some chemical cleaning agents may compromise this protective coating leaving your windshield more vulnerable. Even household cleaners that are known to clean windows are a bad idea. This is because many of them contain ammonia, which can break down the protective coating or the sealants that hold your windshield in place. If you can’t find any specific guidance on what cleaner to use, we suggest a basic vinegar and water solution, which is natural and cleans thoroughly.
Repair Chips and Cracks
Country road driving, or backcountry exploring, may leave your windshield with cracks or chips. It’s important that you have this repair done as soon as possible for a couple of reasons. While a chip may not seem like a big deal, it’s the starting point for a bigger problem. Many large cracks start where the glass is compromised, and it won’t take much (hitting a pothole) to turn that chip into a crack. The same is true if you already have a crack or small shatter in your windshield. Unfortunately, things like temperature or your vehicle’s movement can turn that crack into a much bigger problem, leaving you with costly repairs.
Add A Protective Coating
There are some options when it comes to windshield coatings. They do different things from helping water bead on your windshield when it rains or adding an extra layer of protection against chips and cracks. We suggest giving us a call and let us know more about your driving conditions so we can help you choose the right type of protection for your vehicle’s windshield. It’s equally important to keep in mind, that do-it-yourself options may compromise your windshield warranty, or impact your insurance claims in the future.
Our company specializes in windshield repair and replacement. We also handle other auto glass repairs such as door glass, rear back glass, sunroofs, and more. We welcome you to give us a call if you need any support or help in replacing your auto glass. Our goal is to get you back on the road safely, with the best materials and service in the area.