As a driver, you rely heavily on your windshield to keep you safe while on the road. Unfortunately, cracked windshields are a common issue that many drivers face. Whether it’s a small chip or a larger crack, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible to ensure your safety on the road. In this article, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to know about cracked windshields and what to do if you encounter this problem.
Understanding Windshield Damage
Windshields are made of laminated glass, which consists of two layers of glass and a layer of vinyl in between. This design allows the windshield to absorb impact and prevent the glass from shattering, keeping you safe inside your vehicle. However, this design also means that even small chips and cracks can compromise the structural integrity of the windshield.
What Causes Windshields to Crack?
There are several reasons why windshields may crack. One of the most common causes is temperature changes. When the temperature drops, the glass in your windshield contracts, and when the temperature rises, it expands. This constant expansion and contraction can weaken the glass over time and lead to cracking.
Another common cause of windshield cracks is impact. Rocks, debris, and other objects that hit your windshield can cause chips or cracks. These can often be repaired if they’re caught early, but if left unattended, they can grow and become much larger.
Common Causes of Windshield Damage
Windshield damage can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Rocks and debris on the road
- Extreme temperatures
- Construction work
- Accidents and collisions
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How to Prevent Windshield Cracks
While it’s not always possible to prevent windshield cracks, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. Here are a few tips:
- Avoid following too closely. When you’re driving behind another vehicle, give yourself plenty of space. This will give you more time to react if something hits the other car and causes debris to fly back at you.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes. If you live in an area with extreme temperature changes, try to park your car in a garage or covered area whenever possible. This will protect your windshield from rapid temperature changes that can weaken the glass.
- Keep your windshield clean. Dirt and debris on your windshield can scratch the glass and weaken it over time. Regular cleaning can help prevent this.
- Replace worn wiper blades. Old or worn wiper blades can scratch your windshield, which can weaken it over time.
What to Do When You Have a Cracked Windshield
If you notice a crack or chip in your windshield, it’s important to take action immediately. Here are the steps you should follow:
- Assess the damage: Take a close look at the crack or chip to determine how severe the damage is. If the crack is longer than six inches or if there are multiple cracks, you will likely need a windshield replacement.
- Temporarily fix the damage: If you can’t get your windshield fixed right away, you can use clear tape to cover the crack or chip. This will prevent dirt and debris from getting inside the crack and making the damage worse.
- Schedule a windshield replacement service: Contact a professional auto glass company, like My Auto Glass Center, to schedule a windshield replacement service. A professional technician will assess the damage and recommend the best course of action.
Benefits of Prompt Windshield Replacement
Getting your windshield replaced promptly has a number of benefits, including:
- Improved safety: A new windshield will provide maximum protection in the event of an accident or collision.
- Better visibility: Cracks and chips in your windshield can obstruct your view of the road, but a new windshield will provide clear visibility.
- Protection against the elements: A new windshield will protect you from wind, rain, and other weather conditions.
How to Choose a Windshield Repair Shop
When it comes to choosing a windshield repair shop, there are a few things you should consider. Here are some tips:
- Check for certification. Look for a repair shop that is certified by the National Windshield Repair Association or a similar organization. This will ensure that the technicians are trained and qualified to repair your windshield properly.
- Ask for recommendations. Ask friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations. Word-of-mouth referrals are often the best way to find a reputable repair shop.
- Check online reviews. Look for reviews of the shop online to see what other customers have to say. Check websites like Yelp, Google Reviews, or Angie’s List to get an idea of the shop’s reputation.
- Get multiple quotes. Contact several repair shops and ask for a quote. This will help you compare prices and choose the best option for your budget.
- Ask about materials and warranties. Make sure the shop uses high-quality materials and offers a warranty on their work. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your windshield repair will last.
DIY Windshield Repair: Yay or Nay?
There are DIY windshield repair kits available on the market, but should you use them? While they may seem like a cost-effective solution, there are some risks involved.
First of all, these kits are not as effective as professional repairs. They may be able to fix a small chip or crack, but they often don’t provide a long-term solution. In addition, if the repair is not done properly, it can make the crack worse and require a full replacement.
Another risk of DIY repairs is that they can be dangerous. The materials used in these kits can be harmful if not handled properly, and the process of repairing a windshield can be complicated and difficult for someone without experience.
In general, it’s best to leave windshield repairs to the professionals. A certified repair shop will have the experience and equipment necessary to repair your windshield safely and effectively.
A cracked windshield can be a major safety concern for any driver, but it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible. By assessing the damage, temporarily fixing the issue, and scheduling a windshield replacement service, you can ensure your safety on the road. My Auto Glass Center is a reputable company that offers windshield replacement services, as well as window tinting for cars. Don’t let a cracked windshield slow you down – contact My Auto Glass Center today to get back on the road safely.