Freezing conditions. What it can do to your windshield?

Freezing conditions. What it can do to your windshield?

Feb 21, 2013

Freezing conditions. What it can do to your windshield?

Windshields are created to endure a lot. When frigid weather hits an area, windshields -- like other glass products -- are cold-stressed and more easily damaged.

Why Cracks Seem to Appear from Nowhere

Sometimes, windshields will appear to crack due to the freezing temperatures alone, surprising the car owner. This happens most often when the temperature plummets rapidly to below freezing. Usually a prior, unnoticed crack is to blame. A small pebble or other item can damage the windshield in warmer weather but go unnoticed. When moisture gathers in the fissure and then freezes and expands, the crack will expand.

Why Old Cracks in a Windshield Grow Quickly in Freezing Weather

Any old damage that was noticeable before the freezing temperatures hit will also rapidly grow. This happens mainly because debris and moisture in the crack expands as it freezes – the faster the expansion, the faster you will notice more damage.

Other Causes of a Damaged Windshield During Freezing Weather

Freezing temperatures usually mean frost and the accompanying need to remove it from the windshield. A car's defroster is a convenience few would wish to live without. Indeed, car owners can usually use the defroster without any negative consequences. However, in subzero temperatures, a defroster that warms things up too quickly will stress the glass – the result may be a cracked windshield. No matter how durable a windshield is, it is still glass. Just as an ice-cold drinking glass may crack if exposed to hot water, or another heat source, a windshield can crack due to defroster's heat, and this is most likely to occur if the windshield already has cracks. These reasons are why windshield repair is very important before or during freezing weather.

Repairing the Windshield

Windshields should be checked for cracks before cold weather hits and any damage should be repaired. Afterwards, car owners should keep an eye on the windshield, inspecting it occasionally for cracks. Even small bits of salt or sand, used for melting snow and ice on the road, may cause enough damage to create a problem. Glass America can easily take care of the repairs or windshield replacement. In some cases, insurance will pay for this. Car owners should call as soon as they notice any damage. Putting repairs off, especially when the weather is freezing, means the damage will grow and the entire windshield may need to be replaced. Glass America offers mobile service and will come to the car's site at no extra charge – the car owner will not have to drive the car with a damaged windshield. Windshield checks and servicing should be a part of routine cold-weather maintenance of any vehicle. Keep vehicles in a garage or keep them covered with a weatherproof tarp to add extra protection to the windshield. Always get repairs done quickly -- driving with a cracked windshield is dangerous as it can obscure vision – and in some states prevent vehicle registration. By getting repairs done quickly, drivers save money and possibly lives.


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