A small crack or a chip in a windshield is a repairable issue, but the goal is to make certain the damage does not get worse before a repair can take place. A small ding in the glass could turn into damage so extensive the vehicle requires a windshield replacement. Here is how you can protect your windshield while you wait for a glass repair appointment.
Avoid Extreme Temperature Changes
Do not blast the dashboard heater onto a cold windshield or put the AC on its lowest temperature on a hot day. The extremes in the temperatures could worsen the damage by causing the glass to expand or contract. Make temperature changes gradual and moderate and keep the air vents closed next to the windshield so the air does not blow directly on the glass.
Park in the Shade
A car parked directly in the sunlight could expose the windshield to heat that will cause the glass to expand slightly as well. Any movement of the glass in this manner could lengthen cracks or cause cracks to form a spiderweb-like design around a chip. Park in the shade or use a piece of cardboard or a tarp over the windshield when the vehicle is not in use for hours at a time.
Cover the Damaged Glass
Water and debris that enter the damaged area could enlarge the crack or chip. Wipe clean the spot that needs repair with rubbing alcohol and place a piece of clear tape over the affected area. Alcohol evaporates quickly, so moisture does not become trapped inside. Only use this type of temporary repair if it will not block the view of the driver.
The tape is easy to remove, and it will keep dirt out of the broken area. The repair person will be able to get more of the repair material into the chip or crack when debris has not accumulated deep inside the glass. These conditions for a repair can make the repair stronger.
Perform a Temporary Repair
Commercial windshield repair kits, available at auto part shops, can keep cracks from spreading. The kits require the user to bore a hole in the windshield with a drill bit and pour resin into the break. Less invasive options are available if you do not want to add a hole into your windshield.
Clear nail polish and clear super glue can also fill cracks and chips and add extra security until a professional repair takes place. Both materials are removable with acetone if needed. The temporary repairs help because they fill the gaps and prevent water and dirt from entering and enlarging the damaged area. Always clean the windshield with alcohol or acetone before a repair.
Drive with Extra Caution
Sudden jolts could become a problem with a damaged windshield, so drive slowly on bumpy roads, and be even more vigilant than usual about potholes and other road hazards. Try not to drive in heavy rainstorms or when hail or sleet could strike the already fragile glass.
Avoid the Car Wash
Water on the windshield could enter the glass through a crack or chip and expand. However, the car wash adds an even larger risk. The pressure in the hoses in manual and automatic car wash facilities could also cause damage to a windshield that needs a repair.
State laws vary about windshield damage. In Illinois and Indiana, the laws do not specify the maximum damage allowed but require cars to have safe windshields that do not obstruct views. Wisconsin has more strict guidelines. In any case, do not put off windshield repairs because they will worsen over time. Contact us at Aaron Auto Glass for a repair as soon as a crack or chip occurs.