Your vehicle’s windshield is obviously an important component that helps to shield you from wind and weather while also ensuring that you can clearly see the road in front of you. Unfortunately, your windscreen is also one of the most fragile parts of your vehicle. Even a minor chip can quickly turn into a huge crack that could require you to have your entire windshield replaced. In light of this, here are four common causes of windshield damage that all drivers need to be aware of.
Rocks and Debris
By far the most common cause of chips and cracks, rocks and other flying debris pose a serious threat to your windshield. Driving too close behind larger vehicles poses an especially large risk as these vehicles will often throw up small rocks and other debris as they motor down the road. Similarly, your own vehicle can also throw up rocks into your windshield when driving through construction zones or on dirt and gravel roads.
Heat and Sunlight
Heat and direct exposure to sunlight also has the potential to cause your windshield to crack, and this is especially true if the glass already has a minor chip. In this case, the issue is caused by the fact that the glass in your windshield expands due to heat and sunlight, which puts added stress on the windshield and can quickly lead to major cracks. Similarly, extreme cold can also lead to the same problems since the glass also contracts in colder weather.
Hailstones and Storm Damage
Hail can wreak havoc on both your vehicle’s body and windshield and can easily lead to major cracks. At the same time, extreme wind also has the potential to send rocks, tree branches, and other debris flying around and possibly smashing into your windshield, which is why you should always attempt to park your vehicle inside or under shelter whenever you know that a storm is approaching.
Driving down the road at high speeds subjects your windshield to a huge amount of pressure, and this pressure can cause any weakened areas of the glass to crack. As well, rapidly accelerating and braking can also lead to extreme pressure changes, which can also lead to windshield damage. While there’s not much you can do about the huge amount of pressure on your windshield when driving down the motorway at high speed, simply making sure that you accelerate and brake slowly can greatly reduce these extreme pressure changes and thus help to protect your windshield from damage.
The good news is that many minor chips and cracks in your windshield can easily be repaired. However, these minor types of damage will weaken your windshield and can lead to major cracks in only a short amount of time. Therefore, if you do notice any damage, it is essential that you seek out a professional windscreen repair expert before that minor problem turns into something much more major.