The windscreen is one of the most likely parts of your car to sustain damage through day-to-day use. The reasons for this are fairly obvious – it takes up a large percentage of the front of the car and is therefore fully-exposed to potential impact damage. It’s also made of glass which, whilst tough enough to provide protection from the elements, can still be chipped or cracked with little effort.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the common causes of windscreen damage and how to avoid them, if possible.
By far the most common reason for a chipped windscreen is stones or other debris being thrown up from the road’s surface – usually by the car in front. Tyres moving at speed can easily dislodge small bits of detritus from the road and there’s only one way for them to go – back and up, right into the windscreen of the car behind. There’s very little you can do to avoid it, aside from keeping a sensible distance between yourself and the car in front (and sometimes even that won’t do it). Also, take extra care when driving across gravel roads or anywhere that has a Loose Chippings sign.
Sudden changes in temperature
Like most materials, glass will expand in the heat and contract in the cold. However, because of its brittle structure, a sudden change from one to the other can cause it to shatter. Fortunately, natural temperature changes are rarely enough to do this. Common causes include turning the air-conditioning on full blast in a hot car, as well as defrosting your windscreen with boiling water.
While most windscreens are resilient enough to handle even the worst weather, the occasional burst of heavy hailstones can sometimes chip your windscreen. More likely to cause damage are branches and debris blown away by storm winds. The best way to avoid this kind of damage is to keep your car sheltered and off the road during particularly bad weather.
If your windscreen has not been fitted properly, it could be prone to structural weaknesses that, in turn, lead to stress cracks. Often starting from the windscreen frame and working their way in, stress fractures need to be dealt with as a matter of urgency. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you in future, be sure to always have your windscreen fitted or repaired by trained professionals.
This one is self-explanatory – sometimes people just like to damage cars that aren’t their own. Damage can vary from the smallest chip from a thrown stone or coin, to a completely smashed windscreen. There’s not much you can do to avoid this, apart from keeping your car in a garage or other secure area, if possible.
Collisions can mean anything from a road traffic accident to a bird flying into your path and striking the windscreen, to a stray golf ball hitting your vehicle glass. The best way to prevent these occurrences is to be constantly vigilant regarding your surroundings while on the road.
Reasons for a cracked windscreen: final thoughts
If you’re in the South Yorkshire area and have discovered a chip or crack in your windscreen that needs immediate repair, contact your local, reliable windscreen repair specialists today. Call Automotive Glazing Services on 0845 458 6301 or 07944 300 353 for a free, no-obligation quote. We ensure a fast, effective, and stress-free repair on all damaged windscreens.