What Causes a Windshield Crack to Spread

Aug 21, 2018, 16:39 PM by Discount Auto Glass

If you’ve ever gotten a chip in your windshield, you probably know it’s best to get it repaired as quickly as possible. That seemingly small knick can worsen over time and before you know it, a large crack will have spread across your entire windshield.

So what exactly causes windshield cracks to spread? There are many factors that can make the damage worse…

1. Moisture: Your windshield is essentially a “glass sandwich,” comprised of two pieces of glass with a layer of vinyl in the middle, meaning there is room for moisture to get inside. Even the smallest crack can trap water between the layers, whether it be from storms, car washes, you name it. This weakens the structural integrity of your entire windshield, and when the temperature fluctuates, it causes the moisture to expand and create new cracks.

2. Dirt: Similar to moisture, dirt can travel into the inner-workings of your windshield, compromising its strength. To play it safe until you can get it repaired, consider putting a piece of clear tape over the damage. The tape won’t obstruct your view while driving, but it will protect the crack from dirt and other particles in the air. Just don’t use the tape as an excuse to delay the repair!

3. Sun: The sun is one of the most powerful sources we experience on earth. If it’s strong enough to burn our skin, cause cancer, and dehydrate all living organisms, it’s powerful enough to damage your windshield. If it gets hot enough, chips and cracks can continue to spread, so be mindful of parking in the shade or a garage on hot days until your damage is repaired.

4. Uneven Roads: Speed bumps, slamming on your brakes, or anything that causes stress to your vehicle could result in more spreading damage to your windshield.

5. Extreme Temperatures: Whether it be a sweltering summer, chilly winter, or just a powerful heater/air conditioner, any or all of these factors can prove to be too much for your windshield. The difference in temperatures between the interior and exterior of your car can add quite a bit of pressure on your damaged windshield, causing a crack to worsen.

Windshields are now constructed with laminated glass, which we mentioned is actually two pieces of glass held together by an inner layer of cellulose. This absorbs most of the shock if any impact happens to occur to the windshield glass, preventing it from shattering. Laminated glass is mandatory in the United States, but all other car windows use tempered glass which typically shatters into many pieces.

If your windshield is needing a chip or crack repair, come see our expert installers at Discount Auto Glass to find the best solution to your glass needs. Our team of glass specialists offer the best warranty and guarantee superior workmanship and professionalism. Get a quote or find your nearest location and stop by to see us today!


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