As soon as you see even the tiniest crack on your windshield, your thoughts automatically go to “can I stop this from spreading?” It’s one of the most common questions we get as windshield repair and replacement experts. Unfortunately, windshield cracks will eventually spread, simply due to natural weather fluctuations, the constant opening and closing of car doors, the vibration of the car while on the road, and debris hitting the glass.
However, you can stop a windshield crack from spreading as a temporary fix to give you time to have it checked out and, possibly, repaired and avoid having to replace your windshield.
Steps to stop a windshield crack from spreading
The best ways to prevent a windshield crack from spreading is to:
- Gently clean the area with glass cleaner and a microfibre cloth
- Apply super glue or clear nail polish on the crack
- Once dry, stick a small piece of clear tape on the crack to prevent dirt from entering
- Head to your local 5 Star Auto Glass windshield repair and replacement shop and try to avoid busy highways and construction areas with a lot of rocks and debris
Remember that the above is a temporary fix and not an alternative to professional windshield crack repair. Any damages to your windshield should be looked at by a professional to determine whether it’s repairable. To keep the crack or chip from spreading, be sure to take it to an auto shop right away. If you wait too long, the damage will eventually spread and require a full glass replacement.
Can a windshield crack or chip be repaired?
The good news is that most windshield chips and cracks can be fixed, but it depends on the size, depth, and location of the damage. Windshields can be repaired if the damage:
- Is one inch in diameter for chips and less than three inches long for cracks
- Does not penetrate both layers of the glass
- Is not directly in the driver’s line of vision or over the rain sensor and internal antenna
- Does not spread into multiple cracks
- Does not touch the windshield’s edges
How to prevent windshield cracks
Windshield damage is a common issue for drivers in Alberta. Some of the culprits include small gravel pebbles displaced on the road to offer traction during winter months, the amount of construction across the province, and our fluctuating weather conditions, where Chinook winds bring warm weather in the winter. All of these create the “perfect storm” for windshield damage and, in Alberta, it’s not if you’ll experience windshield damage but when.
While there’s not much you can do about the pebbles, construction, and unpredictable weather, you can prevent windshield cracks by:
- Avoiding driving behind large trucks on the highway.
- Avoiding further temperature fluctuations by parking in the shade during summer days, in the garage or underground parking during winter months.
- Not cranking up the heat or the air conditioning as soon as you get in the car. Be sure to give yourself enough time to warm up or cool your car by setting the temperature at the lowest setting.
- Protecting your windshield from hail by using a windshield cover or your vehicle floor mats when a sudden hailstorm comes.
Last but certainly not least, choose a professional auto glass shop that specializes in windshield repair and replacement and never settle for low-quality work on your windshield. After all, your windshield is one of the most important safety features of your vehicle!