Anyone who’s experienced a damaged windshield in Clearwater, FL knows that it doesn’t take much more than a pebble to ruin your day. Even small objects can leave cracks and chips that quickly become problematic if left unrepaired. In particular, damage on the sides of your windshield should be addressed as quickly as possible. To see why that’s the case, let’s take a look at how windshield damage spreads.
The Science of Windshield Cracks
Modern windshields are composed of laminated glass. This process sandwiches a thin layer of vinyl between two pieces of glass to prevent dangerous shattering. However, while the glass rarely shatters, any damage can still spread quickly. Florida’s frequent heat and humidity combine with vibrations during driving to force the glass apart and cause cracks to spread. This happens most quickly around the edges of the windshield because that’s where the glass is most vulnerable. The manufacturing process produces residual stresses at the edges that make it more prone to cracking and spreading.
Is Auto Glass Damage Hazardous?
Many people assume that repairing or replacing a windshield is simply a matter of aesthetics and compliance with local laws. In reality, your windshield serves several important safety functions that could be compromised by windshield damage. With that in mind, even minor cracks and chips deserve prompt attention to keep your vehicle as safe as possible.
Should You Repair or Replace?
Ignoring glass damage isn’t an option, so you’ll have to decide whether to have your windshield repaired or replaced. The most common windshield repairs are rock chips. Chips that haven’t yet spread very far can be simply and safely repaired. Small cracks of less than two inches may also be repaired. However, larger cracks or damage in the driver’s line of sight typically require auto glass replacements.
A damaged windshield is more than just an inconvenience. Left untouched, damage can rapidly spread and become a serious safety hazard. If you’ve got a damaged windshield in the Tampa area, check out Mr. Auto Glass’ auto glass replacements or call 866-300-5013.