Why Does a Cracked Windshield Spread?

A rock flies up and hits your windshield making a small crack. Uh oh. You know you have time, but how much time? Eventually, the crack will spread, obstruct your view, get you a ticket, and you’ll have to replace the entire windshield, something auto insurance typically doesn’t cover. So what exactly causes a small crack in a windshield to spread like wild fire? There are a more than few answers to this question.

1. Extreme Temperatures

When you mix hot and cold, your windshield feels it. Going from sitting in the scorching sun to getting blasted with AC or sitting in freezing temperatures and then getting hit with a powerful heater takes a toll on your windshield. This jump from hot to cold and cold to hot weakens your windshield, resulting in a crack that spreads. Even without extreme shifts in temperature, your windshield is still at the mercy of Mother Nature. Just cold temperatures alone are enough to make a crack grow because during freezing weather, the windshield curves and you’ll find the crack spreading horizontally.

2. Sunlight

If you don’t keep your car in the garage or under a carport that leaves it exposed to the sun. We all know how powerful the sun can be and your windshield is no match. When the sun beats down, the windshield will eventually get hot enough to spread cracks and chips. It’s best to keep your car in a shaded area until you can get your windshield repaired.

3. Dirt

Tiny grains of dirt can easily get inside the cracks and chips in your windshield. This weakens the windshield, making the crack spread. Avoid this by getting the crack repaired right away. But first, tear off a piece of clear, plastic tape and cover the crack. This way, you can keep the dirt out while arranging to get the windshield fixed.

4.  Moisture

Your windshield is made with two layers of glass and a layer of vinyl in between. This leaves plenty of room for moisture to get inside when you have even the smallest of cracks. Water can easily get inside your windshield when it rains or when you go through the car wash. If you live in a cold climate, then that water may freeze, making the situation even worse. Frozen water creates new cracks! If this happens, you’ll most likely need an entire replacement windshield.

5. Bumpy Roads

Driving on bumpy roads puts stress on your windshield. The more stress, the more likely any cracks or chips will spread. Avoid driving on bumpy roads, slamming your car door, and slamming on the brakes to minimize the impact on your windshield.

If you notice a crack or chip in your windshield, get it repaired as soon as possible – before it spreads. A simple repair is much cheaper than having to replace the entire windshield. To learn more about repairing cracks and chips in windshields, contact Freedom Auto Glass today. We will answer all your questions and get your windshield fixed before it becomes an expensive replacement.