When you are enjoying a long drive or driving to make it on time to work, the last thing you want is a cracked windshield. With a lot of automobiles on the road these days, their tires can throw up small flying stones or gravel toward the vehicles behind them that can hit and crack the windshields. Even if you have parked your car in the open, tree debris or the debris blown by the wind can cause windshield cracks. Be it the weather or a poor installation job, if your windshield is cracked, it should be taken care of. If you don’t attend to the small chips or cracks, they might develop into a full-fledged crack and pose multiple dangers.
Dangers Of A Cracked Windshield
Apart from being an eyesore, vehicles with a cracked windshield are more susceptible to accidents than automobiles with a perfect windshield. A cracked windshield compromises visibility on the road if it is in a driver’s direct line of sight. When the crack in the windshield reflects light into the eyes, it can be a major distraction to the drivers.
Most importantly, windshields are an essential safety element when it comes to collisions. A cracked windshield is already weak, and when something hits it, the chances are it will break. From acting as barriers to the inflated airbags to protecting the car roof from caving in during a rollover crash, a perfect windshield is a must for your car. Moreover, you will get a traffic citation or ticket if the crack on your windshield is large.
What To Do Before Fixing The Cracked Windshield?
The first thing is to evaluate the size of the crack: how big or small it is. After that, it is important to prevent water, debris, or dirt from entering the crack. These stressors can subject the windshield to extra pressure causing the crack to spread.
The best approach to fix the crack depends on the size and depth of the crack. If it is a small crack, you can adopt a DIY approach by repairing it with a kit. If the crack is too large to be fixed by a kit, then taking your automobile to an auto glass repair shop is the ideal solution.
4 Ways To Prevent A Windshield Crack From Spreading
Though it’s difficult to protect your car’s windshield from getting cracked in its lifetime, there are a few ways to fix your cracked windshield and to stop the windshield crack from spreading.
Filling The Cracks
This temporary solution helps to keep dirt from accumulating in the crack or chip until it is repaired. Before filling the crack, it is important to clean the debris, accumulated dirt, or loose glass particles from the windshield with an auto glass cleaner or by rubbing alcohol and wiping it dry. Then, apply liberal coats of clear acrylic nail polish on to the surface. Apply inside and around the crack, where it could spread, and let it dry. Finally, you can place a transparent packing tape on the crack. If the crack is quite small, you can also fix it by applying an even layer of super glue.
Using Windshield Repair Kits
This is another DIY approach to fixing a cracked windshield. While there are several types of windshield repair kits available in the market, generally the kits consist of an adaptor and resin. Buy a kit that comes with instructions about the process.
- Usually, the process involves fixing a pedestal on the crack with adhesive tape and pouring the liquid resin into the pedestal.
- With a syringe inserted into the pedestal, air bubbles are removed by pulling the plunger up.
- The resin is forced into the crack by pushing the plunger down. The pedestal setup is then removed, a drop or two of resin is put on the crack and a curing strip is placed on it.
- The strip is removed and the excess resin is scraped off.
This method is effective for repairing small cracks. However, cracks longer than a couple of inches cannot be fixed by a repair kit.
Safeguarding From Abrupt Temperature And Pressure Changes
Even small damages like a chip, bulls-eye, or star break will spread outward when subjected to abrupt changes in temperature and pressure. This is because when glass is heated, it expands. Similarly, it contracts when exposed to cold temperatures.
Summer heat can expand the crack and pressure that are already on the windshield. Also, an abrupt change from a hot to a cold atmosphere can trigger the crack to spread. If you park your car outdoors during snowy winter, the weight of snow deposited on the car can add undue pressure on the windshield and the crack. So, parking in a covered garage or under shade can lower the impact of temperature and pressure on your windshield.
Scheduling Repair With Professionals
However, the strategies mentioned above are just temporary solutions, and they help when the cracks are small. Over time, if dirt builds up in the crack or if the cracks become bigger, it will become difficult to repair cracked windshields on your own. Water, when it permeates the lamination can cause a foggy windshield. Therefore, as soon as you notice a crack or chip on your windshield, you should schedule windshield repair with a professional auto glass repair company because the longer you delay, the bigger the risk. Also, repairing a chipped windshield is faster and more economical than replacing the windshield.
A perfectly good windshield is an essential safety element for your car as it contributes to maintaining the structural integrity of your car. Though there are DIY approaches to fix a crack, a shoddy job may lead to an opaque windshield. Seeking professional help may not only give cleaner results, but professionals will also advise you on whether you need a repair or a replacement.