Protect Your Windshield This Spring
This spring, be aware of the seasonal changes that can impact or damage your windshield. Windshield replacement can become costly, and sometimes the damage cannot be repaired. Driving with a broken, cracked, or chipped windshield can obscure visibility and can even cause a traffic citation in some areas. Cracks and chips can spread quickly if left unattended and may require a full replacement for the best safety on your vehicle.
Chips or stars caused by rocks can often remain unnoticed until they begin to spread. During the spring, snow and ice melt, bringing more small rocks into the roadways with the runoff, causing hazardous rock spray. Driving too closely behind heavy trucks or larger vehicles that can flip up rocks behind them can cause a windshield to be repeatedly hit by flying debris. Construction trucks or utility vehicles carrying loads may also have gravel or other materials that may become loose and fall into tailing traffic.
Drive slower to avoid chips or cracks. Now that the snow and ice have melted, many drivers feel more confident to test their limits with speed. The faster you drive the more a rock impact, or any impact for that matter, will affect your vehicle. Higher speeds will also increase the pressure on the windshield, which could cause a crack that is spreading to become much worse. If you have a crack that is becoming large enough to require a full replacement, get in for a windshield repair before continuing to drive at highway speeds.
Temperature changes can cause cracks to become much worse. If the temperature in your vehicle is warmer than the air outside, the difference in temperature can cause cracks to grow and expand. Cracks expand when moisture such as humidity or cold rain penetrate the affected glass and cause them to ‘run’. A small star or crack can spread across the windshield in a flash if preventative measures aren’t taken to seal it.
Park in a covered area. Tree branches and other natural debris can cause significant damage to windshields if they fall. With the weather warming up, kids and adults alike are taking back to springtime sports and a stray baseball or golf ball can cause catastrophic damage to a windshield if hit. Protect your vehicle by parking in driveways or far enough away from common play areas.
Keep your windshield clean and inspect regularly. Cracks and rock chips can sometimes hide under the guise of a dirty windshield. Before it is too late, make sure you keep the glass clean, and watch for any spots that would indicate damage. Having a rock chip, star, or small crack sealed before the damage spreads can not only save time and money over a full replacement, but it can also increase your visibility and keep the windshield safe from further failure in the event of an accident.
Take a few minutes each week at the gas pump or at home to thoroughly clean and inspect your windshield. Pay close attention to driving behaviors that may help prevent chips and cracks, and practice smart precautionary habits that will help keep you, your windshield, and your vehicle safe from damage. We’re always here to help answer your windshield questions!