Your car’s windscreen is one of the most important parts of your vehicle, but it’s also one of the most vulnerable. From flying debris to harsh weather conditions, the top causes of windscreen damage are many. In this article, we’ll explore the 7 top causes of windscreen damage and provide tips on how you can protect your vehicle from the elements.
Moisture Intrusion: A Common Culprit
Moisture intrusion is one of the top causes of windscreen damage. Over time, water can seep into the smallest cracks and chips in your windscreen, causing the glass to expand and contract. This can lead to the formation of larger cracks and chips, which can be difficult and expensive to repair.
To prevent moisture intrusion, make sure your windscreen is properly sealed. If you notice any cracks or chips, get them fixed as soon as possible. Additionally, try to avoid driving in heavy rain or leaving your car in areas where it is exposed to water for extended periods of time.
Car Washes: More Harm Than Good?
While car washes may seem like a convenient way to keep your vehicle clean, they can actually be a source of windscreen damage. Automatic car washes use high-pressure jets of water to clean your car, which can cause small chips and cracks to grow larger.
If you must use a car wash, consider a touchless one that doesn’t use brushes or high-pressure water jets. Alternatively, you can wash your car by hand using a soft sponge and gentle cleaning solution.
Direct Sun Exposure: More Than Just a Heat Hazard
Direct sun exposure can cause your windscreen to become brittle and more prone to cracking. This is because the heat from the sun can cause the glass to expand and contract, which can weaken it over time.
To prevent sun damage, park your car in a shaded area whenever possible. If you don’t have access to a covered parking area, consider investing in a sunshade to help protect your windscreen from direct sunlight.
Extreme Temperatures: A Double-Edged Sword
Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can be a major source of windscreen damage. In extreme heat, the glass can expand and become more susceptible to cracking. In extreme cold, the glass can contract and become more brittle, making it more prone to cracking and shattering.
To protect your windscreen from extreme temperatures, park your car in a covered area whenever possible. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, consider investing in a car cover to help protect your vehicle from the elements.
Everyday Driving: Wear and Tear
Everyday driving can take a toll on your windscreen. Small rocks and debris can fly up and cause small chips and cracks to form. Over time, these chips and cracks can grow larger and become more difficult and expensive to repair.
To prevent windscreen damage from everyday driving, try to avoid following other vehicles too closely. Additionally, avoid driving on gravel roads or other areas where debris is likely to be kicked up.
Slamming Doors: An Unexpected Cause
Believe it or not, slamming doors can also cause windscreen damage. The force of a door slamming shut can cause small chips and cracks to form in the glass.
To prevent windscreen damage from slamming doors, make sure everyone in your vehicle is careful when opening and closing doors. Additionally, avoid slamming your own doors shut, and gently close them instead.
Outdoor Debris: A Constant Threat
Outdoor debris such as gravel, sand, and rocks can be a constant threat to the integrity of your windscreen. These materials are often kicked up by other vehicles or natural occurrences like strong winds and hailstorms, causing cracks or chips to form on your windscreen.
To prevent windscreen damage from outdoor debris, it’s important to drive defensively and be aware of road conditions. Slow down when driving on gravel or dirt roads and keep a safe distance from other vehicles to avoid debris being kicked up. Additionally, avoid driving behind large trucks or vehicles carrying loose materials like gravel or sand.
How can I prevent windscreen damage?
You can prevent windscreen damage by taking proactive measures such as avoiding car washes with high pressure, parking in shaded areas, protecting your windscreen from extreme temperatures, being cautious when driving, and avoiding outdoor debris. Additionally, consider adding a protective film or coating to your windscreen.
Is it safe to drive with a cracked windscreen?
No, it is not safe to drive with a cracked windscreen. Even a small crack can compromise the structural integrity of the windscreen and increase the risk of shattering during an accident. It is important to get the crack repaired or the windscreen replaced as soon as possible.
What should I do if I notice a chip or crack in my windscreen?
If you notice a chip or crack in your windscreen, it is important to take action immediately. Small chips can often be repaired using a resin injection, which is a quick and relatively inexpensive process. Larger cracks or chips that have spread will likely require the entire windscreen to be replaced. Get in touch with the team at NOVUS Glass and we can inspect the chip or crack.
Can extreme temperatures cause windscreen damage?
Yes, extreme temperatures can cause windscreen damage. Sudden changes in temperature, such as blasting hot air conditioning on a cold windscreen, can cause the glass to expand or contract rapidly and lead to cracks. Additionally, exposing the windscreen to extreme heat or cold for extended periods can weaken the glass and make it more susceptible to damage.
How can I protect my windscreen from direct sunlight?
You can protect your windscreen from direct sunlight by parking in shaded areas whenever possible. You can also use a windscreen sunshade to block the sun’s rays and prevent the glass from heating up too much. Avoid parking in direct sunlight for extended periods, as this can cause the glass to expand and contract rapidly and lead to cracks.
What should I do if I see debris on the road?
If you see debris on the road, slow down and try to avoid driving over it if possible. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles to avoid debris being kicked up and potentially causing damage to your windscreen. If you do encounter debris and hear a loud bang or see a crack in your windscreen, pull over to a safe location and inspect the damage.