Cracks In Windshields During Winter Storms: Where Do These Originate?

When people drive during a winter storm or park their car outside, they run the risk of suffering from auto glass damage. Cracks and breaks in the windshield often occur during these situations for reasons that can be hard to understand. Thankfully, it is possible to understand how these problems originate and to protect a windshield properly.

Wind Can Cause Damage By Throwing Objects

During a heavy winter storm, wind speed can become very severe. While wind itself doesn't usually cause damage to auto glass (though it can shake it lightly), it can throw small, but heavy, items against the windshield. When this happens, small dents are more likely to occur or to expand into larger cracks that go across a whole windshield.

This problem is one that can occur even when a car is sitting in one place, such as outside of a friend's home or in a parking lot at a grocery story. While summer wind storms can also cause this type of damage to occur, it is more likely to happen during the winter. Why?

Cold Can Make It Even More Susceptible

When the temperature gets very cold, the glass molecules in a windshield start to contract. This contraction causes them to get closer together and makes the glass a little more brittle. In some instances, this problem may be enough to make a windshield more susceptible to damage during a winter storm. However, it is usually exacerbated by sudden temperature changes, like interior heat.

As a result, it is important to minimize extreme temperature changes in the car and to find ways to protect the windshield from the cold. It is also necessary to protect it from the wind, as this can help eliminate the danger of damage.

Protection Is Possible

The best way to avoid this problem is to park a car in a garage or covered parking area whenever possible. When that is not an option, it is also wise to avoid direct heat exposure when driving the car. Slowly warm up the car and let the heat spread inside to avoid a sudden expansion in the glass molecules. In this way, it is possible to avoid heat damage cracks.

It is also a good idea to place a windshield cover over the top of the windshield when the car is parked outside. This shield will also keep ice from building up on the surface of the windshield and avoid damage. While many of these covers are available to place inside of the car, others can be used on the outside.

When these steps fail, it is important to talk to an auto glass repair specialist right away. They can identify minor problems and work to avoid making them worse. By fixing tiny cracks in windshields right away, complete replacement of the auto glass will be unnecessary. To find an auto glass repair specialist, check out a site like