It doesn’t matter whether your automobile’s windshield has been subjected to an accident, extreme weather conditions or unexpected debris striking its surface, there comes a point in which everyone’s windshield is compromised by the elements. Sometimes, the signs and symptoms of a damaged windshield are difficult to detect, while in other cases the damage is quite clear. Regardless of the situation, an informed driver can ensure that any damage to a windshield is caught as soon as possible and hopefully avoid a costly replacement. Smaller breaks and blemishes can be patched up without the need for an entirely new windshield, but only if the damage is caught soon enough. What are the most common causes of damage to a windshield? Is your windshield a prime candidate for repair or will it need replacement? Furthermore, is the damage to your windshield sufficient to warrant any action being taken? If you have asked yourself any of these questions, then you will want to continue reading to find out more about the causes of a damaged windshield and what can be done to correct the problem.
While automobile windshields are formed through a process that requires an intense amount of heat, the finished product is not as resistant to prolonged exposure to heat. Especially true when exposed to direct sunlight, any small chip or break can ultimately be exacerbated through the elements of heat. Small fissures will begin to form throughout the surrounding area – many of which will not be visible at first – until the entire area of glass is compromised and requires a full replacement to rectify the situation. You can avoid this fate by inspecting your windshield on a regular basis and parking your vehicle in a shaded or covered area in the event a small break appears; you will still need to have repairs done as soon as possible, but this will prevent further damage by hot, summer climates.
Just like the hot climes of summer can cause additional damage to a compromised windshield, prolonged exposure to colder weather can likewise harm your auto glass athens. Not only will external exposure to cold weather make windshields more likely to develop running breaks, but the continuous use of air conditioner or defrost settings can create weak spots in a windshield; this can also create invisible damage to otherwise healthy windshields that will lie in wait until a chip or fracture is formed by chance, causing the damage to spread at a faster rate. The same remedy as above – parking in a covered or interior space – can help reduce the likelihood of damage, as can a gradual cooling of the car when using the air conditioner.
Dirt and Debris
Another leading cause of additional damage to auto glass and windshields is dust and debris. Various forms of debris can find their way from the surface of roads or from other vehicles in a crash course with your windshield, leaving chips and small breaks that might first not be detectable. The National Glass Association reports that as time passes, however, these tiny forms of damage will soon manifest if not treated. Another way in which dirt and debris can cause issue is by finding its way into areas that have already been damaged. Sand, dirt and wind can slowly erode small breaks, making them larger and requiring a full windshield replacement if not treated quickly.
Vibrations and Shocks
The final cause of windshield damage that we will cover is the effect that vibrations and shocks can have on your glass. Most roads have their fair share of bumps and uneven spots. These can cause vibrations and bumps along your commute that will slowly compromise a windshield’s integrity. In addition to this, an existing issue can quickly become much bigger if you hit a pothole or speed bump. Other causes of damage in this category can pertain to the natural vibrations of your automobile and the perpetual slamming of your car’s doors. It is for these reasons that you should be careful to shut your doors gently and ensure that the source of any internal vibrations are repaired as soon as possible.
For many different forms of damage to a windshield, a simple repair may be enough to fix it. Small breaks, chips and other blemishes are not a big hassle for most auto glass technicians and usually takes less than an hour to repair. The cost can vary depending on location, model and needed repair, but a windshield repair is almost always cheaper than a complete windshield replacement. In many cases, a windshield repair technician will come to your location to make the repairs. Usually, windshield repair is covered by your automobile insurance (this can be verified at the time an appointment is made). Windshield Replacement If the damage to your windshield is comprehensive or a minor flaw has been allowed to turn into a much larger issue, then a windshield replacement will be necessary. Running breaks along the windshield and leaky windshields are prime indicators that a windshield will most likely need to be replaced. An auto glass specialist can come to your location and make any needed repairs, which usually involves removing the old windshield, cleaning out any debris, installing the new windshield and allowing it to cure. Once this process is complete, your vehicle is ready to go. Windshield replacements are often much more expensive than simple repairs, so it is smart to take care of any chips as quickly as possible.