How Your Windshield Gets Damaged

Your windshield has been designed to protect you in the event of a collision but can still be subject to wear and tear caused by a variety of factors. A Three Rivers Auto Glass, we’ve put together some of the most common factors to watch out for and how you can keep your windshield in great shape!

Cracked Auto Glass Common Reasons for Windshield Damage

Cold Weather

As we covered in our previous article, “Can Cold Weather Crack My Windshield,” cold weather can wreak havoc on your windshield, especially if it is already chipped, cracked, or fractured. As the temperature cools down, your windshield glass will contract, getting smaller. So, if there is a crack, this contraction will cause the crack to grow larger.
Cold weather can cause subtle, small chips and cracks to become easier to see and may even spread several inches or feet. You may think that not turning on the heat will help prevent cracking, but the defrost will still cause the temperature of the glass to increase rapidly and expand, which can cause cracks to grow.
It is also important to take care when using an ice-scraper. If you scrape too hard, you risk chipping the glass. These small fractures are likely to develop into cracks requiring repair or even replacement of your windshield.

Windshield Wipers

In our previous post, “Can Windshield Wipers Damage Your Windshield?”, we discussed how even the wiper blades that help provide you visibility in the rain could cause damage to your windshield under certain circumstances.
As you may already know, windshield wipers are made of metal and rubber, which can get dirty while they are in use or sitting idle. As they are being used, they accumulate dirt every day as well as normal wear and tear, which includes the rubber edges of the wiper blades becoming thin, tearing, or becoming displaced. Each of these types of wear leads to exposing the metal of the wiper blade, which then comes into direct contact with the windshield, digging into the glass and causing scratches.

Poor Installation

Without proper installation, your windshield can become damaged. If it is too loose, it will vibrate when you drive, leading to cracks. If you’ve noticed that your windshield is vibrating, have the team at Three Rivers Auto Glass inspect it before dangerous and costly damage can occur.

Debris from the Road

When you are driving, rocks and other debris can become trapped index your tire and kicked into the air and onto your windshield, leading to chips. These small chips can then lead to cracks which can make it difficult for you to see out of the windshield while also weakening the structural integrity of the glass, creating a safety issue.

Can Scratched Auto Glass be Repaired?

In many cases, minor scratches in a windshield can be repaired. Minor scratches are visible, but they are not deep enough in the glass to catch a fingernail on.

Minor scratches can be repaired in several ways, including:

Acrylic scratch remover: this one-step product is applied to the scratch. This product will fill that cavity of the scratch and will harden and dry transparent to cover the scratch.

Cerium oxide: This is a common ingredient in many auto glass repair kits and can be used on deeper scratches. When mixed with water, this paste is applied to the scratch with a polishing wheel to smooth the surface.

Whitening toothpaste: Since this type of toothpaste contains baking soda, it can be used for scratch removal. Apply the toothpaste in a circular motion until you achieve the results you want.

For deeper scratches, we recommend having your auto glass evaluated and repaired by a professional. Depending on the size, placement, and depth of the scratch, an experienced auto glass repair technician can tell you whether you need a repair or a windshield replacement.

Does My Insurance Cover My Windshield?

In most cases, auto insurance companies will cover the repair or replacement of your windshield, no matter the extent of the damage. Most auto insurance companies include a provision in their policies for damaged windshields.

We recommend that you call your insurance agent or provider to check that you have a windshield repair provision or if they offer any coverage for a damaged windshield. Be sure to ask for the coverage details to avoid any surprise costs when you go to have your windshield repaired.

Pittsburgh Windshield Repair Services

We recommend having chips to your windshield repaired as soon as possible to prevent them from growing into larger cracks. From chips and cracks to improper installation, the experienced team at Three Rivers Auto Glass has got you covered!

Denny Toth