Can Cold Weather Make a Crack in Your Windshield Worse?

Smashed Windscreen

Whether you have a small crack starting or a larger crack you’ve been watching slowly spread, windshield cracks are a serious concern. Windshields provide approximately 30% of a vehicle’s structural support and they play a huge role in protecting you and your passengers in the event of a rollover accident. Although these types of accidents aren’t very common, they account for 35% of passenger fatalities – so a sturdy, structurally sound windshield is vitally important. Unfortunately, cold temperatures can make cracks worse and decrease the safety of your vehicle.

How Does Cold Weather Affect the Glass?

Windshield glass is affected by changes in temperature – it expands and contracts. So if it’s really cold outside, the glass in the windshield will become more concave, which puts stress on damaged areas, like chips or cracks. This can lead to cracks in the windshield expanding horizontally. The Motor Industry Research Association found that once the temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a windshield is 60% more likely to spread. If the temperature reaches 14 degrees Fahrenheit, the chances of the crack spreading go up to 80%.

To make matters worse, using your defroster on a cold winter day can add additional stress to the glass (and increase the chance of the crack spreading) because of the drastic difference in temperature between the outside of the glass and the interior.

Can I Get the Crack Repaired?

A repair may be possible if the damage isn’t too deep and the crack is less than three inches long. It’s best to address cracks as soon as possible because that increases the likelihood that you’ll only need a repair, rather than a complete windshield replacement. Waiting until a crack is so large that it affects your visibility isn’t only unsafe; it’s more than likely going to cost significantly more than taking care of a small crack – and you may be at risk for a citation, too.

If you’ve noticed cracks or chips in your windshield, contact Lucky Dog Auto Glass at 253-569-9403 for a free estimate! We’re happy to evaluate the damage and let you know whether it can be repaired or if a full replacement would be the safer option.

Worn Wiper Blades: An Underappreciated Cause of Windshield Damage

Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers get a lot of use during the rainy season, and with that comes a fair amount of wear. Not just wear on your wiper blades, either! Worn out wiper blades can cause some serious damage to your windshield over time. Here’s a look at how this happens and what you can do to prevent it.

How Does the Damage Occur?

Windshield wiper blades have long, thin rubber arms that cover a thin metal blade. Every time the blade arms move back and forth across your windshield, the rubber slowly deteriorates, which can cause it to eventually wear away entirely. Once this happens, there’s nothing to protect the glass from the metal scraping across it and scratches are very likely to occur. It’s important to replace your wiper blades as soon as they show signs of wear to prevent your windshield from becoming damaged.

Wiper blades typically last about 6-12 months, but this can vary based on factors like the weather and the conditions you typically drive in. Rainier years will put more wear and tear on your wiper blades, making it necessary to replace them more frequently. For this reason, it’s a good idea to inspect your wiper blades on a regular basis. One easy way to remember is to take a look at them (or ask your mechanic) every time you have your oil changed. Even if your wiper blades are working well, they should be replaced as soon as you notice any streaking or visible metal.

Other Considerations

Windshield wipers may seem like a minor fixture in the grand scheme of your car, but worn blades can significantly affect your safety, as the damage they cause can severely limit your visibility. Even small scratches can obstruct your view and make it more difficult to see potential hazards.

Small imperfections (including cracks and pits) in glass can also lower the integrity of a windshield. This means if you get into an accident the force of the collision is more likely to cause the windshield to shatter, which could result in serious injuries.

Beyond safety issues, there are also legality issues to consider. Washington doesn’t have specific laws regarding damage to windshields, but there are regulations that cover windshield obstruction as well as the condition of windshield wipers. According to WAC 204-10-024, drivers “must have no obstruction forward of the windshield that extends more than two inches upward into the horizontally forward projected vision area of the windshield.” The projected vision area covers the area from the top of the steering wheel to the top of the front of the fenders or hood. If you have multiple cracks in the windshield or one within the vision area, you could be at risk of receiving a citation.

Restoring the Glass

If your wiper blades have damaged your windshield, you’ll generally have one option: replace the windshield.

If you wait to replace the blades, there could be considerable damage, like multiple scratches across the windshield or deep scratches. Unfortunately, once the damage in the glass reaches a certain depth, it’s not repairable. Your only option is to replace the windshield. If the damage is extensive on the driver’s side, even if it’s not very deep, it could still require replacement.

There are DIY repair kits available, however, it’s important to understand that nothing can replace the expert eye of auto glass professionals. Windshield repairs and recommendations are always best left to glass specialists, as there can be damage that’s not visible or other considerations. If you’ve noticed your blades have started to scratch your windshield, the best first step to take is to replace the blades. Then, give Lucky Dog Auto Glass a call! We’re happy to evaluate the damage and let you know whether it’s a candidate for repair or if a replacement would be the safer option. Contact us today at 253-569-9403 for a free estimate!

Should I Repair My Windshield, or Replace It?

New Car Windshield

Your windshield takes a beating. Things like rocks, gravel, dust, and other types of road debris can get kicked up while driving, causing areas of the windshield to become cracked, chipped, or pitted. It can be difficult to gauge the extent of the damage just by looking at it, but windshield damage shouldn’t be ignored as it can become a safety issue. Cracks can spread, scratches and pits can distort your line of sight – not to mention that damage to the glass can affect the integrity of your windshield and the structure of your vehicle! That brings us to the big question: can the damage be repaired, or do you need a complete windshield replacement?

Repair or Replacement?

One thing that’s important to understand about windshields is that although they look like a large, single piece of glass they’re made up of three layers: an inner layer of glass, a piece of polymer or resin, and an outer layer of glass.

There are several factors that we evaluate before deciding whether to repair or replace a windshield. Fortunately, small cracks and chips can typically be safely repaired if the area is small enough to be covered by a quarter. However, if the damage is within your line of sight or the windshield is old and covered in small pits and divots, it should be replaced. If your windshield can be repaired, the repair process is straightforward.

For chips, a clear, curable resin is injected into the outer layer of glass. This restores the integrity of the windshield and improves its appearance. Once the resin is cured, it’s polished to create a smooth surface that prevents the chip or crack from spreading. If you have damage that’s on the deeper side, the damage may be slightly enlarged or deepened with a drill so that the resin has a chance to penetrate the damage better.

If your windshield can be repaired, it’s best to do it immediately to prevent the damage from getting worse. Although it’s not common, small chips can potentially spread if you hit a large pothole, drive down a bumpy road, or encounter other situations that cause a jolt to your vehicle.

Avoid DIY Kits; Call the Pros

Whether you have a small chip or a large crack, it’s important to have your windshield evaluated by auto glass specialists. Although there are DIY kits out on the market, these can compromise your visibility or the integrity of your windshield. Our trained technicians will assess the damage and find the best solutions for your safety and budget. Contact Lucky Dog Auto Glass today at 253-569-9403 for a free estimate.

Worn Wiper Blades: An Underappreciated Cause of Windshield Damage

Windshield wipers get a lot of use during the rainy season, and with that comes a fair amount of wear. Not just wear on your wiper blades, either! Worn out wiper blades can cause some serious damage to your windshield over time. Here’s a look at how this happens and what you can do to prevent it.

How Does the Damage Occur?

Windshield wiper blades have long, thin rubber arms that cover a thin metal blade. Every time the blade arms move back and forth across your windshield, the rubber slowly deteriorates, which can cause it to eventually wear away entirely. Once this happens, there’s nothing to protect the glass from the metal scraping across it and scratches are very likely to occur. It’s important to replace your wiper blades as soon as they show signs of wear to prevent your windshield from becoming damaged.

Wiper blades typically last about 6-12 months, but this can vary based on factors like the weather and the conditions you typically drive-in. Rainier years will put more wear and tear on your wiper blades, making it necessary to replace them more frequently. For this reason, it’s a good idea to inspect your wiper blades on a regular basis. One easy way to remember is to take a look at them (or ask your mechanic) every time you have your oil changed. Even if your wiper blades are working well, they should be replaced as soon as you notice any streaking or visible metal.

Other Considerations

Windshield wipers may seem like a minor fixture in the grand scheme of your car, but worn blades can significantly affect your safety, as the damage they cause can severely limit your visibility. Even small scratches can obstruct your view and make it more difficult to see potential hazards.

Small imperfections (including cracks and pits) in glass can also lower the integrity of a windshield. This means if you get into an accident the force of the collision is more likely to cause the windshield to shatter, which could result in serious injuries.

Beyond safety issues, there are also legality issues to consider. Washington doesn’t have specific laws regarding damage to windshields, but there are regulations that cover windshield obstruction as well as the condition of windshield wipers. According to WAC 204-10-024, drivers “must have no obstruction forward of the windshield that extends more than two inches upward into the horizontally forward projected vision area of the windshield.” The projected vision area covers the area from the top of the steering wheel to the top of the front of the fenders or hood. If you have multiple cracks in the windshield or one within the vision area, you could be at risk of receiving a citation.

Restoring the Glass

If your wiper blades have damaged your windshield, you’ll generally have one option: replace the windshield.

If you wait to replace the blades, there could be considerable damage, like multiple scratches across the windshield or deep scratches. Unfortunately, once the damage in the glass reaches a certain depth, it’s not repairable. Your only option is to replace the windshield. If the damage is extensive on the driver’s side, even if it’s not very deep, it could still require replacement.

There are DIY repair kits available, however, it’s important to understand that nothing can replace the expert eye of auto glass professionals. Windshield repairs and recommendations are always best left to glass specialists, as there can be damage that’s not visible or other considerations. If you’ve noticed your blades have started to scratch your windshield, the best first step to take is to replace the blades. Then, give Lucky Dog Auto Glass a call! We’re happy to evaluate the damage and let you know whether it’s a candidate for repair or if a replacement would be the safer option. Contact us today at 253-569-9403 for a free estimate!

Top 3 Reasons to Trust A Repair Shop for Your Windshield Replacement

Trust A Repair Shop for Your Windshield ReplacementIf you have a crack in your windshield and it needs replacement, you may be tempted to call a service that will come to you. Mobile services are convenient, however there is a downside to that convenience. By coming to a fully equipped auto glass facility, you can ensure your vehicle receives the best windshield replacement.

Here are our top 3 reasons to trust a repair shop as opposed to a mobile service:

  1. A professional auto glass facility is a controlled environment. Even in good weather, contaminants can get into glue and other elements of the installation. Landscapers completing work, wind, passing vehicles, and other disruptions can stir up contaminants that will adversely affect windshield installation.
     
  2. Not all parts work perfectly in every installation. It’s possible to receive defective glass that isn’t a perfect fit. This leaves the installer with a tough choice: either install the less than perfect auto glass or leave your windshield out overnight. Unlike a mobile service, we can take the time to find the absolute best fit for you when your car is parked inside our shop. Our repair shop sends back defective parts on an almost daily basis. Many vehicles often have as many 10 or 12 different windshield options available! Bringing your car to Lucky Dog avoids an additional trip charge if the windshield is incorrect. If you are in the shop, we can reorder the windshield and usually complete the installation the same day. The important difference is we take the time to make sure you receive a perfectly-fitting windshield.
     
  3. A mobile service doesn’t necessarily have all the right tools. A mobile service is restricted by space; they can’t carry every part, tool, and piece of equipment. However, our repair shop specializes in auto glass repair and replacement. We take workmanship seriously; we only use the best materials and we have all the tools that we need in our shop to handle any issue that may arise during your windshield installation.

Lucky Dog Auto Glass is proud to offer quality windshield replacements in our auto glass facility. In our controlled environment, using the proper materials and procedures, we make sure a perfect seal is achieved every time. Get the best windshield replacement for your vehicle by visiting our facility. Call today to schedule your appointment!

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