Why Do Windshields Crack?

Windshield repairs can be a hassle, especially if you put off fixing the damage. A windshield crack can get bigger and impossible to repair over time, so it’s best to seek repairs as soon as the damage occurs.

Avoiding road conditions that can lead to windshield damage is the safest and most convenient option. We have provided a list of potentially hazardous conditions below in order to make you aware of what to look out for while driving to help prevent a windshield crack.

Top Reasons Auto and Truck Windshields Crack

  1. Gravel Roads – Debris from gravel roads as well as gravel itself can fly up and hit your windshield. Keep a safe distance when driving behind other vehicles on gravel surfaces and avoid driving on unpaved roads if at all possible.
  2. Driving Behind Construction Vehicles – Construction vehicles, like gravel roads, often have dirt, debris, and other materials in and around their load. It is best to keep a safe distance when driving behind these trucks or switch lanes if you can.
  3. Poor Glass Construction – If your windshield was manufactured with poor quality glass, as some are, even the slightest stress can cause it to crack. You will need to have the glass replaced with a higher quality material when seeking repairs.
  4. Poor Installation – If your windshield was installed improperly or does not fit the frame of your vehicle, it can become loose and be a serious safety hazard. Accelerating at high speeds on the expressway will cause it to vibrate in the frame, resulting in possible damage. Repositioning or replacement will fix this problem.
  5. Accidents – If you live in an apartment complex or a neighbourhood with teens or young children who run and play ball outside, it’s likely that a ball or frisbee may come hurdling toward your vehicle on some unlucky day, causing damage to the windshield, not to mention to the body of your car. Parking in your garage, if possible, is a sound and precautionary solution.
  6. Temperature Changes – Extreme temperatures and sudden fluctuations from hot to cold can cause stress to the glass, resulting in a windshield crack. Be wary of the temperature in your area and use tactics such as slowly warming up your defroster as well as not parking in direct sunlight in order to prevent damage.
  7. Sunlight – Similar to the caveat above, heat causes the outer edges of your auto glass to expand faster than the centre of that same glass. This will cause it to crack and require repairs or a full replacement. To avoid this situation, simply park your car out of direct sunlight or in a garage, if possible.
  8. Pressure Changes – Stress cracks occur when pressure fluctuates. This kind of damage can be caused by travelling at extremely high speeds, from objects pushing up against the windshield and the least likely, but still possible, from nearby explosions.
  9. Hail – Hail causes chips and cracks in your front windshield by hitting the glass head-on at high speeds with immense force. Drive slower or pull off the road if it starts to hail to prevent damage.