With winter now in full swing, it comes as no surprise that the elements are taking a harder than normal toll on our automobiles. From dead batteries that plague us when we’re trying to go to work to the occasional flat tire caused by cold temperatures, there can be plenty of problems that arise due to cold weather and frozen precipitation. Not many people, however, have considered how temperatures can impact their windshield and auto glass; with rapid fluctuations in temperature being fairly common in the winter months, this can cause extra strain on your glass and present numerous problems.
Nobody wants to be caught in the dead of winter with a broken window or windshield, so it only makes sense to be as careful as possible to ensure optimal performance of this vital piece of automobile equipment. Whether you drive for a living or simply need a vehicle to get from point A to point B, you want to take precautions to ensure the quality and safety of your drive is a top priority. In the following article, we will discuss some common problems you may experience in the winter with your auto glass and how to either avoid these issues or correct them quickly and safely.
Damage to Existing Cracks
If your windshield or auto glass already has damage that is visible, then it is vital that you have this repaired as soon as possible. Rapid changes in temperature – like those experienced during winter driving – can quickly cause glass to expand and contract. This is a constant occurrence in any form of auto glass, but it is usually so subtle that you would never notice it. Whenever the glass is damaged, however, these contractions and expansions can cause the cracks to quickly become worse, possibly turning a simple repair into an expensive replacement. Nobody wants to have to deal with that.
Fortunately, most insurance policies cover repairs to your windshield and auto glass with no out of pocket cost to you. We highly recommend that you consult with an auto glass technician at the first sight of any damage, particularly in the winter months when these rapid changes in temperature between night and day can further damage the glass. In some cases, it only takes a few days of bad weather to turn your windshield or window into an unsalvageable prospect; by acting quickly, you will save yourself time, money and frustration (not to mention the obvious safety implications that come with properly maintained auto glass).
Whether you have noticed damage to your windshield or to one of your windows, it is important to keep the area free from moisture until it can be repaired. Whenever moisture works its way into cracks or chips, it can add an exponential effect to what was discussed above – namely, the expansion of liquid as it freezes can lead to cracks being exacerbated in a much more rapid fashion than under normal conditions. This means that your windshield or glass may have moisture in it on a cold winter morning (which froze there), is melted to some degree while driving and then freezes again once the vehicle is parked. This back and forth will damage the windshield and result in replacements for the glass being needed sooner or later.
The best way to ensure that this does not happen is to park in a covered area to prevent moisture from forming. In the event that dew or frost somehow manages to find its way into an existing crack or chip and has frozen, a good de-icer can quickly remove any moisture and help you ensure that no further damage is done while the vehicle in being driven during daylight hours.
Go Easy on Your Doors
The winter months can make even solid windows naturally more susceptible to damage, so you should strive to be more careful when it comes to your handling of doors. Weaker glass may shatter at any time when the door is shut too hard, but the winter can cause even the best auto glass to shatter if the door is shut too strongly, leaving you without a window when you need it the most. We recommend a way to avoid this fate, which involves maintaining contact with the door handle until the car door is completely shut and by not exerting too much force.
Whether you want to make it through the winter months without sustaining any new damage to your automobile’s glass or simply need to prevent existing damage from becoming worse, there are a few simple tactics you can employ to guarantee this. By going easy on your doors when you open and close them, you can avoid the unexpected shattering of windows. The elimination of moisture from existing damage areas will ensure that the damage is not accelerated by freezing and thawing processes (but the existing damage must be taken care of as soon as possible). Finally, you can protect yourself and your family by ensuring that the vehicle is not exposed to cold temperatures for prolonged periods of time, which can weaken glass and exacerbate existing defects. All of these strategies will keep your auto glass in solid shape and help ensure your safety when on the road.