Do you have a substantial chip or crack in your windshield? Perhaps what started out as a small blemish has now taken over the safety of your windscreen? Whatever the case, getting your car in for a professional assessment is the best next step forward. If the crack is small enough and caught in time, you may be able to get away with a simple repair to your existing windshield. However, if the damage is extensive, or the chip has been left to fester too long, an auto glass replacement is likely the only viable course of action remaining. Even the most cautious of drivers can fall victim to a damaged windshield. It can happen out of the blue when you are least expecting it. Chips and cracks can be caused by anything from errant debris flying up off the road to an accident with another vehicle. Let’s take a look at some of the most prevalent causes of windshield damage.

Common Causes of Auto Glass Damage

Damaged windshields are generally a freak occurrence that can happen for a variety of reasons, and can come in all shapes and sizes. Analyzing the size and location of the blemish can usually determine whether a repair or replacement is needed. Some of the more frequent causes of windshield harm, include:

  • Road debris
  • Harsh weather
  • Severe temperatures
  • Changes in pressure
  • Improper installation
  • Low grade glass
  • Automobile accidents

Road Debris

One of the most common causes of a cracked windshield is small stones or rocks flying up off the road and contacting the glass. Typically when this happens the damage is only to the outer surface and can be taken care of with a quick repair. However, when small blemishes like this are left untreated they can quickly blossom into a more serious and costly issue.

Harsh Weather

Storms and other tough weather conditions can also result in damage to your windscreen. Of all the dangerous types of weather to drive in, it is generally hail that ends up causing the most problems for auto glass. The major concern with hail is that you don’t even have to be driving for it to play havoc with your vehicle. High winds can also be problematic, blowing tree branches or other debris into your windshield.

Severe Temperatures

Another detrimental aspect of Canada’s harsh weather conditions is the extreme temperatures that can fluctuate considerably from day to day. Windshield damage can occur in severe weather swings due to the properties of glass that cause it to expand when hot and contract when cold. Granted, most auto glass is specifically designed to withstand heavy thermal strain, but when glass is continually exposed to severe temperatures it can weaken over time.

Changes in Pressure

Just as is the case with severe temperatures, rapid changes in air pressure can result in windshield damage. Traveling at high speeds or exposure to high winds can cause stress cracks. Excessive speeds or extremely strong winds put undue physical weight on the windscreen, potentially causing it to crack under the pressure.

Improper Installation

If you have installed the windshield yourself, or perhaps got the work done at a questionable establishment, it may not be tight enough to offer sufficient protection. When the windscreen is too loose, you will likely notice heavy vibrations while driving. It is probably no surprise that a loosely fitting, vibrating windshield is more susceptible to cracks and damage. Ensure proper installation with a trusted professional like Valvoline Express Care.

Low Grade Glass

Again, it should not come as any surprise that the lower quality of glass your windshield is comprised of, the higher the risk of something going wrong. Low quality auto glass is more likely to have manufacturing defects which can cause weak spots in the windshield making is more vulnerable to chips and cracks. Valvoline Brampton, partnered with Uniglass Plus, offer a Securi-Clear® lifetime warranty on your windshield, meaning you never again have to worry future repair costs.

Automobile Accidents

Car accidents are another serious concern for auto glass safety, and can result many different types of damage to your windscreen. Of course, there are accidents where the entire windshield is shattered, leaving no mystery of whether or not a replacement is needed. But, even a minor fender bender can inflict small cracks or excess pressure from a bent frame. After an accident it is always a good idea to get a professional assessment, even if the damage to your windshield seems insignificant.