How To Stop A Windshield Crack From Spreading
Have you ever been driving down the road and out of nowhere a rock smashes into your windshield and creates a small chip or crack? It happens to most drivers. If you did not know, a cracked windshield will reduce your visibility and compromise the structural integrity of your glass. You must act fast to prevent that crack from growing across your windshield. It only takes a few seconds for a small crack to spread out. Here’s a little more information about windshield cracks and how to stop them from spreading out until you are able to seek a professional windshield repair service.
What Should You Do When You First Get A Rock Chip?
The best thing to do when you first get a chip in your windshield is to get it repaired immediately. If you can’t get it repaired right away, there are a few things you can do to ensure a quality repair can be performed later.
- Avoid washing your car. Very cold water and the pressure from a pressure washer can cause the chip to spread out abruptly.
- Place a piece of tape over top of the chip. This will help keep the damaged area free of dirt and moisture, until you are able to have the chip repaired.
- Avoid using your defroster in the winter and your air-conditioning in the summer. A sudden change in temperature can cause the glass to expand or contract, creating a long crack almost instantly.
- Avoid hitting any potholes or driving over speed bumps. The pressure from inside the cabin and the combination of hitting a pothole or going over a large speed bump can cause the glass to flex slightly, therefore leading to the chip expanding into a long crack.
Why Is A Windshield Crack Dangerous?
Most drivers will consider a small crack in their windshield as a minor issue. A windshield crack is a very serious problem and compromises the safety of both you and your passengers. It is recommended by auto glass experts and traffic officials to repair or replace your windshield as soon as possible. Yes, windshield chips are annoying. Even if you have a busy schedule, you should still make a windshield repair a top priority. The longer you wait, the more likely the chip will spread into a long crack. Moisture and dirt built up inside of the crack can also make it much more difficult to perform a successful repair. If you are unable to repair a rock chip before it grows into a long crack across your windshield, you will unfortunately need to replace your windshield as soon as possible.
- A cracked windshield compromises the structural integrity of your vehicle. Your windshield holds a lot of structural integrity of your vehicle. If you are in a rollover accident, the roof has a higher chance of caving in if there is a crack in your windshield. This increases the chances of a serious injury or fatality and should not be taken lightly. In addition to protecting you against rocks and road debris, the windshield will also protect you in the event of a front-end collision. Windshields are designed to crumple and minimize the effect of an impact and protect the passengers.
- A cracked windshield will not pass a safety inspection. In the case of a collision, a cracked windshield will not provide the full protection as it should. Many states and provinces will fail a vehicle with a cracked windshield. This helps to ensure the correct visibility and safety of both the driver and the other drivers on the road. The inspection facility will recommend a replacement or repair, when it is possible. A small crack does not require the windshield to be replaced.
- A cracked windshield reduces your visibility. Cracks in your windshield will reflect light into your eyes which can be distracting and at times even blind you. It is also possible to receive a ticket for driving with a cracked windshield.
- A cracked windshield depreciates your vehicle. If you ever plan on selling your car in the future, a cracked windshield will be an unattractive feature to a potential buyer. It is best to replace your windshield or repair your chips, prior to selling your vehicle.
By repairing your windshield promptly, you can save money, prevent the damage from getting worse and save yourself valuable time in the future.
How To Stop A Crack in the Windshield?
There are a few methods you can try to stop or slow down the spread of a windshield crack.
Do-It-Yourself Windshield Repair Kit
There are many DIY windshield repair kits on the market today. You can purchase a kit online from Amazon, at a local hardware store or visit your nearest auto repair shop. These kits typically include an adaptor and special resin for your repair. You must be comfortable with drilling a small hole into the first layer of the glass. Apply the resin to the damaged area through the provided tube to help prevent the crack from spreading and reduce stress on the windshield. Most people should be able to follow the directions provided and repair their windshield chip before it gets worse. If you do the job right the first time, this may be the only repair you need.
Use Superglue or a Clear Nail Polish
Before attempting to repair the crack, ensure you have cleaned the windshield with a glass cleaner. Then, try using a super glue or crazy glue (cyanoacrylate glue) to seal the crack. Forcing glue into the seams of the crack may temporarily hold the crack in one place. Coat the crack with a fine layer of super glue or clear nail polish. Afterwards, place a clear scotch or packing tape over top of the area to help keep dirt out until you can have the crack repaired professionally. This is a temporary fix and will not yield permanent results.
Place Tape Over Top of the Crack
Now this won’t help the crack from spreading out, but it will help keep the crack clean and dry. The two biggest threats to a successful windshield repair is dirt and moisture. The more moisture and dirt that your chip or crack is exposed to, the harder it is to remove it. Covering the crack with the help of a clear scotch or packing tape will help protect your crack from the outdoor elements. This will ensure that moisture and dirt does not enter inside the crack and cause it to spread out even further. As long as the location of the chip or crack does not impede your visibility to drive, you can also use a sticker or duct tape.
Limit Sudden Temperature Changes
Glass has a tendency to expand in hot weather and contract in cold weather. Avoid parking your vehicle in a sunny area and try to park in a shaded area. Avoid using your windshield defroster as this may cause the crack to spread immediately. Until you have had your chip repaired, use your floor vents or dashboard vents to warm up your vehicle. Also, try to avoid any severe weather such as snow, hail or heavy rain as this can deteriorate the crack and cause it to spread out abruptly.
Get A Professional Windshield Repair
A small crack in your windshield may not seem like much and might not be high on your to-do list, but eventually that crack will spread out and cost you a full windshield replacement. Having a rock chip repaired is fast, easy and affordable. It’s best to repair your windshield as soon as possible. If your crack spreads out longer than 16 inches, a repair may not be possible. Don’t ignore windshield cracks!
Dynamo Windshield Repair specializes in windshield chips and cracks in the Edmonton area. To book an appointment or learn more about us, click here.