Common Causes of Windshield Damage

Common Causes of Windshield Damage

You likely drive the same routes every day; and most days you can count on your travels being relatively uneventful so that you and your vehicle arrive safe and unharmed. But, maybe today wasn’t like every other day. Maybe, today, a tiny piece of gravel hit your windshield, causing a crack. It happens faster than you can blink and just as quickly, the moment is fleeting and you may be asking yourself: could I have done anything to prevent that, or was it just one of those freak accidents?

In many instances, windshield damage is just one of those accidental happenings that you have to deal with. Although there are no certain ways to prevent windshield cracks and damage indefinitely, you can help protect your auto windshield and glass by taking a few precautions.

Below we’ve put together a list of some of the most common causes of windshield damage along with how you can alter your driving habits to try to lower the chance of windshield damage happening to you.

Top Causes of Windshield Damage That You Can Avoid

Not every instance of windshield damage is avoidable, but with careful driving and proper vehicle maintenance, you can help preserve your auto glass. Here’s a list of the top causes of windshield damage that you can avoid:

  1. Driving on Roads with Excessive Gravel
  2. It’s no secret that roads with a lot of gravel or debris are hot-zones for windshield damage. If you find yourself traveling through a work-zone or another area that’s high in gravel or debris, you should try to keep a safe distance between your car and the car in front of you. If you see debris traveling your direction and have time to react, make sure you can take evasive action safely.

  3. Driving Behind Construction Vehicles
  4. Windshield damage as a result of driving too close to a construction vehicle is another common cause of windshield damage that we see. Construction vehicles carry dirt, rocks, tools, and other debris that could fall off at any moment. If you get stuck behind a construction vehicle, do your car a favor and keep your distance.

  5. Hail Storms
  6. Hail damage to your auto windshield or glass is often hard to prevent because of the sudden nature of hail storms. If you live in an area that frequently experiences hail storms, we suggest that you keep a close watch on your weather reports and park within a parking structure or garage during a storm, if possible. If it’s not possible for you to park your car in an enclosed area, don’t worry too much because most insurance companies will cover this type of damage. (Of course, check with your insurance company about this).

  7. Everyday Accidents
  8. Both car accidents and accidents like your kid throwing a ball into your windshield are extremely common causes for windshield damage. While some car accidents are unavoidable, you can do your part to lessen the possibility of one by staying alert and focused while driving. In regards to other types of accidents, you may not have control if your car is parked in a public place; but, if your car is parked at home, be sure to move it out of the way if you expect your family to be using the area around your car for other activities.

  9. Direct Sunlight
  10. Just as you get burnt from the sun, your car’s windshield can be damaged by the sun. Your car’s perimeter has a black ceramic frit that’s meant to protect the seal that holds the glass in place from UV rays. However, the frit and the seal are both black so they can absorb heat and transfer it to glass on a hot day. To help keep your car cool, do your best to park out of direct sunlight and in a garage if you can.

Top Causes of Windshield Damage That You Cannot Avoid

The previous list mentioned causes of windshield damage and proposed ways that you can avoid those things from happening to you. But, let’s face it: not every type of damage is avoidable. Here’s a list of the other causes of windshield damage we see on a regular basis that are truly unavoidable, but that you should keep in mind:

  1. Poor Construction and Installation
  2. Although rare, sometimes windshields are just poorly constructed, leading them to break when under slight strain. There’s not much you can do about this except for drive cautiously and have the windshield replaced as soon as you suspect poor manufacturing.

    Poor windshield installation often results in the glass being loose and vibrating when the wind blows or when you accelerate. After a period of time, this vibration may cause your windshield to crack and your auto glass expert will have to reposition or replace it. Always be sure you’re dealing with a quality auto glass company when having windshield repairs!

  3. Drastic Temperature or Pressure Changes
  4. If you live in an area where the temperature changes drastically, you’re most likely going to spend a lot of money on windshield repairs. With severe heat and cold, your auto glass expands and contracts in different areas – the edges heat up faster than the middle, for instance.

    Changes in pressure, from high speeds, explosions, objects pressing on the windshield, and others can cause stress cracks in your windshield.

Acting Fast After Windshield Damage Occurs

If you’re reading this because your windshield just cracked, the best thing you can do right now is to act fast and find a reliable auto glass company to complete a repair.

If you’re reading this because you’ve just had windshield damage repaired and are hoping to avoid having to do this again in the near future, we hope you’ll take away some beneficial suggestions.

Whichever boat you’re in, we want to remind you to inspect your windshield frequently as some cracks and chips are so small that they’re difficult to see until they grow larger. If you’re in need of windshield repair in West Chester, PA, we’re happy to help. Give us a call at (610) 436-9727 or request a quote online!

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Anthony Volk

Anthony Volk is a third generation auto glass installer born and raised in West Chester, PA. With over 20 years of personal auto glass experience he and his team will bring that experience to you.