You’re driving down the highway with a large truck in front of you, the driver hits a bump, sending a rock directly at your windshield. The result – a chip in your windshield! After your initial angry reaction, you may think it’s not a big deal, but if you ignore that chip, it can obstruct your vision, weaken your windshield, and if it ends up shattering, it could become unsafe. The experts at Kirmac Collision & Autoglass share this information on window cracks and what you should do if you get a crack or chip.

Types of Cracks

There are three main types of glass cracks, which are:

  • Impact cracks: These happen when objects, such as a rock, hit your windshield.
  • Stress cracks: These occur when the glass gives way to relieve stress in the glass, and they usually spread out from the edges of the window. 
  • Pressure cracks: Often a single line with a web of small cracks around it and are caused by sudden temperature changes or from a window that wasn’t installed properly.

Causes of Cracks and How to Prevent Them

The most common causes of window cracks and what you can do to try to prevent them:

  • Road debris – Vehicle tires often spin loose gravel and small rocks into the air that can hit your car, causing a chip or crack in your windshield. To prevent these types of chips, avoid driving on gravel roads, slow down in construction zones where there tends to be a lot of debris, and keep a larger distance between your car and the one in front of you, especially if it is a large truck.

  • Weather – Mother Nature can be rough on your vehicle. Storms and high winds can crack your windshield from falling tree limbs, rocks, or other debris flying in the air. Sunlight can also damage your windshield. When your car is exposed to extended sunlight, it can cause the seal holding the window in place to heat up, so the temperature difference between the edges and center of the windshield can weaken the glass, making it prime for chips and cracks. Try to park your car in a garage if possible, or at least park in the shade.

  • Temperature changes – Glass expands when heated and contracts when cooled. When the temperature of glass changes quickly, it will cause the glass to weaken. The key is controlling the temperature of your car. Don’t blast the defroster on a cold day, and likewise, on a hot day, don’t blast the air conditioning. Let your car warm-up or cool down gradually; otherwise, you may watch a chip spread into cracks throughout your windshield. To prevent temperature changes, park your car in a garage if possible. Also, you should never pour hot water on your windshield to melt ice; remove the ice with an ice-scraper.  

What To Do If You Have a Chip or Crack

You’ll want to catch a chip or crack early and get it repaired. The longer you leave it, the greater chance it will cause more damage. A small chip that could easily be repaired can turn into having to replace your entire windshield. It is also best to have a window crack repair done by a professional that will recommend the best course of action to repair the damage.

Free Window Chip Repair at Kirmac Collision & Autoglass!

If you need an auto glass repair or windshield repair, Kirmac Collision & Autoglass is the company to call. Our commitment to customer satisfaction and the most convenient service around makes us the best for auto glass repair and auto collision repair in Vancouver.

With the ICBC Glass Express Program, you’ll be able to quickly receive a windshield glass chip repair by   Kirmac’s Glass Express certified facilities. Save going through the hassle of making an ICBC claim by letting us take care of the it on your behalf so that you don’t have to contact the ICBC.

Our experienced team of technicians is always ready to help and answer any questions you may have. For windshield repair or other auto glass repair or replacement, contact Kirmac Collision & Autoglass at 604-GO-GLASS (604-464-5277). We have several locations throughout the Vancouver area. Let us help you get back on the road safely!