If you’ve ever had the experience of watching a piece of gravel hit your windshield on the road, you know it can be a sickening feeling. It’s pretty much the same feeling when you find a chip later, seemingly out of the blue, and wonder how the heck it got there. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the causes of windshield cracks and chips, tips for avoiding them, and what to do when they rear their ugly heads
Faulty Windshield Installation
Workmanship is everything when a technician replaces a windshield, but not all technicians bring the same skill to the job. It’s not uncommon for a replacement windshield to be seated improperly into the frame, creating abnormal stress on the glass, and increasing the likelihood of cracks. The best way to avoid this is to choose a reputable auto glass replacement company that employs certified technicians.
Extreme temperature changes are hard on windshields, especially when they fluctuate above and below freezing, or up around the 100 degree mark. Hardware in the windshield frame may change temperature at a different rate than the glass, transmitting uneven heat into the windshield. Precipitation that collects and freezes around the edges of the glass can also contribute to cracks.
The best policy is to keep your vehicle out of the elements during weather extremes, whenever possible.
Some chips occur when debris is flung against the glass in windy conditions. How do you avoid it? Well, you don’t. But small chips can be repaired easily and cheaply, so it’s important to get then fixed while they’re small.
The Sky is Falling (Hail Damage to Auto Glass)
Hail is impossible to control—or even predict, but there are meteorological clues that hail may be on the way, and there are often ways to protect your vehicle from it.
How to Know if Hail is on the Way
Hail goes hand-in-hand with severe thunderstorm. It’s formed when updrafts of warm air lift moisture from clouds high into the atmosphere, where it freezes and falls in the form of ice. Dark, towering clouds are a tip-off that hail may be forming inside a storm, especially the classic, anvil-shaped cloud that characterizes the approach of many damaging storms. When you see this kind of weather moving your way, it’s time to take hail precautions.
How to Keep Your Vehicle from Being Hit by Hail
· When you see the storm clouds coming or hear that four-letter word, “hail,” in a forecast, you obviously need to get your vehicle under cover. If you have the luxury of a garage or carport, park it there. Consider rescheduling any errands that can be put off until after the storm.
· If you don’t have a structure to park under, thick blankets can save your vehicle from a certain amount of hail abuse, though they may not be effective for large hail.
· Several types of car covers are also available, ranging from thick fabric to umbrellas to inflatable pods.
· In the high winds that often accompany hail storms, you may also be able to avoid or reduce damage by parking on the lee side of your home or other building.
· If you’re on the road, look for cover. Parking garages, gas stations, drive-in fast food restaurants … anything with a section of unoccupied awning you can park under.
What to Do About Windshield Chips and Cracks
A lot of minor windshield damage can be repaired for $50 to $60, which is far less than the $200-or-more price tag for a new windshield. As a rule of thumb, anything the size of a quarter or smaller can be fixed, although some larger cracks can also be repaired. If you’re in the Wichita, Kansas, area, and you have questions about windshield damage, call The Glassman at (316) 978-0027 for a free phone consultation and, if needed, affordable mobile auto glass repair at your home or office.