Repair Chips Before Cold Weather Causes Windshield to Crack
A damaged windshield is more than just an eyesore. A small chip can become a sprawling crack that limits your visibility and lead to an expensive windshield replacement.
“Windshields are crucial for safety,” said Debra Levy, president of the Auto Glass Safety Council. “They are as important a safety feature as your brakes.”
A damaged windshield can reduce visibility, increase driver reaction time, contribute to accidents and increase severity of injuries. In case of an accident, a properly installed windshield enables the passenger airbag to function properly and helps the vehicle’s passenger protection system, she said.
Windshields endure significant abuse in fall and winter. Frosty weather causes thermal stress, especially if someone pours warm or hot water on the glass in an attempt to remove ice in the morning.
“You never want to pour hot water on a cold windshield, especially one that’s already cracked,” Levy said.
Like every other aspect of repair work, addressing the problem early on potentially avoids more costly labor later on.
“The longer you keep the windshield unrepaired, the more it gets filled with contaminants like dust, road grime and bird droppings, making it harder to clean out and do a proper repair,” Levy said. “Contamination often poses a bigger problem than the expansion of a crack.”
Levy offered the following advice for windshield repair and replacement:
- Get those chips and cracks fixed promptly. Even a small chip can reduce the structural integrity of the windshield. Cold weather can expand cracks and lead to full windshield replacement.
- Check with your insurance company about no-cost repair. Because it's quick and relatively inexpensive, insurance companies often waive the deductible for windshield repair.
- Use certified specialists. They can help avoid mistakes and safety-related problems. Technicians certified by the National Windshield Repair Association are trained to meet industry standards for repair.