Taking Care of Your Windshield During the WinterWith colder weather quickly approaching, now is a good time to prepare your car for winter. You can do this by switching to winter tires, making sure your heating system is good-to-go, and checking your brake pads for excessive wear and tear. One thing you may not to think about, though, is what you can do to protect your car’s windshield during the frigid and icy months. Your car’s windshield is especially prone to damage during the winter for a number of reasons. For starters, the harsh cold temperatures of winter can cause your auto glass to contract and make it more prone to damage. Furthermore, the practice of scraping ice off your windshield each morning before you leave for work can also wreak a lot of havoc on the glass. Fortunately, there are some preventative measures you can take to protect your windshield from damage such as cracks and chips this winter.
Defrost Before Scraping IceAuto glass today is more durable and resilient than ever, but it can still be damaged by repeated scraping and force. Even a small chip or imperfection in your auto glass can turn into a large crack or other damage if you’re too forceful or place too much pressure on the glass while attempting to scrape ice. There are also special sprays you can buy at your local auto supply shop that are designed to help melt ice, thus reducing the amount of scraping you need to do. To prevent damage during the winter months, then, take the time to run the defroster on your vehicle for a few minutes before you start scraping away. Most defrosters take some time to warm up and really be effective, so this might mean heading out the door a few minutes earlier than usual when temperatures fall below freezing. By allowing the defroster to do its job, you’ll also make the task of scraping the ice off a lot easier. In fact, you might find that it easily slides right off and that your windshield wipers can take care of any remainder!
Avoid Parking Under Trees and BranchesFallen branches are quite common during the winter months, especially after snow and ice storms. Heavy snow and ice accumulate on top of branches, weighing them down and making them prone to breakage. This can result in damage to cars below when branches fall. in addition to safety concerns. While there isn’t much you can do to protect yourself from falling ice and branches while you’re driving, you can be selective about where you park in order to protect your windshield and the rest of your car’s exterior. Specifically, following times of heavy snow or ice storms, make an effort to park away from trees and branches. Ideally, you’ll want to park your vehicle inside a garage or other sheltered space, but if one isn’t available, you should park out in the open to minimize chances of damage.
Keep a Safe Following Distance While DrivingYou take the time to make sure you’ve carefully removed all snow and ice from your car’s exterior before you hit the road, but unfortunately, the same cannot always be said of other drivers. Careless drivers will only scrape off enough snow and ice from their windshields to barely see the road in front of them, leaving mounds of heavy snow and ice remaining on top of their vehicles. When these vehicles hit high enough speeds, that excess snow and ice will fly off and become a hazard to other cars on the road. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to increase your following distance from other vehicle during the winter—especially after snow and ice storms. The last thing you want is to have a large chunk of snow or ice come flying off the vehicle in front of you and strike your windshield, cracking or shattering it. This can be a very dangerous situation, but it’s pretty easily avoidable by just making sure you’re not following too closely to other vehicles.
Have Small Chips and Cracks Repaired PromptlyEven after taking all of these precautions, it’s still possible to suffer from windshield damage this winter. If you do, just be sure to have it repaired by a reputable auto glass specialist as soon as possible. Unfortunately, even a small chip or scratch can spread to become a major issue in a short period of time. Chips and cracks, when small enough, can be easily filled and repaired. Unfortunately, as a crack or chip spreads (which can occur rapidly in cold weather), it may become large enough that you need complete windshield replacement, which is a lot more costly. If you need to have a windshield crack or chip repaired, be sure to follow all aftercare instructions provided by your auto glass specialist. In most cases, this will mean avoiding getting any moisture on your windshield for about 24 hours after the repair, which allows the sealant to properly cure. As a result, you may need to park your vehicle in a covered garage or car port; if one is not available, consider placing a garbage bag or other barrier across your windshield to protect it from moisture, especially if the forecast calls for snow.
As you can see, there are plenty of steps you can take to protect your car’s windshield from damage this winter. Still, if you find yourself in need of windshield repair or replacement, be sure to find an experienced and trusted auto glass shop near you. Anthony Volk Glass has been providing quality windshield repair and replacement services to the surrounding area for more than 30 years. Receive a free quote online or speak with a windshield repair specialist by calling 610-436-9727
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.