How Fast Does A Windshield Crack Spread?

image of a cracked windshield

You can lower the risk of windshield damage, but you can’t completely eliminate it. Several factors are beyond your control. The changing weather, the random debris, the stray pebbles, and the other cars on the road will go about their way no matter what you do. If any of these create a crack despite your best efforts, then you must quickly shift your focus from prevention to mitigation. How fast does a windshield crack spread? Windshield cracks tend to spread over time. depending on various factors. The best approach is to deal with this right away. Read on if you want to learn why windshield cracks spread.

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Reasons Behind the Spread of Windshield Cracks

Below, we discuss some of the factors that cause windshield cracks to spread.

1. Bumps

image of pothole in road depicting car auto glass cracks

Along your routes, you may encounter speed bumps, potholes, rocks, and other things that make the road uneven. Cars have suspension systems to minimize the discomfort caused by these bumps. However, the vibrations may still be strong enough to affect the windshield. The existing damage can get worse with each hump. Slamming on the brakes and shutting the car doors with a heavy hand have a similar effect. You may not notice it immediately but you will see visible expansion of your windshield crack over weeks and months. Continuing to drive while ignoring the auto glass problem will not make it go away.

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2. Moisture

image of rain depicting rain getting into windshield crack

Water is an omnipresent, highly persistent liquid that can make its way into any gap no matter how tight. Pristine windshields are watertight with two layers of glass and a layer of vinyl in the middle. However, windshield cracks and chips on the outer glass panels provide an entry point for moisture. If you drive in rain and snow, then small amounts of water can eventually get inside the gaps of your windshield. The moisture can expand it freezes, such as when you leave your car outside during winter. The ice will exert outward pressure that will make the damage worse.

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3. Dirt

Microscopic specks of dirt can get inside the windshield cracks, as well. These can be harder to remove once they settle deep in the gaps. A build-up of dirt can weaken the structural integrity of the whole windshield panel. You can prevent this from happening by covering the windshield crack with transparent tape. This will protect the vulnerable area without adversely affecting visibility. You can still see clearly while you drive. However, this is only a temporary solution. Even with a dirt cover, windshield cracks may continue to expand because of the other factors on this list. The best solution is to call and schedule a professional windshield repair or replacement (depending on the damage itself).

4. Heat

cars and windshields in hot sun

Don’t expose a cracked windshield to the sun for too long. This will heat up the car glass, triggering thermal expansion. The hotter it gets, the more the cracks will spread. For this reason, you should always park your car somewhere shaded until you can get windshield repair service. Just remember that forcing the car to cool down quickly using the AC is not a good idea either. Open the car windows to let the trapped hot air out and allow the cool breeze in. After a while, close them back up and turn on the AC using a mild setting.

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5. Cold

The opposite is also true. When exposed to extreme cold, the windshield will contract which puts stress on the panel. Windshield chips and cracks tend to spread horizontally. If a person is rushing to drive to work in the morning, then the tendency is to set the heater on HIGH to warm up the car and melt the ice on the windshield. These strategies will backfire with worse windshield damage. Turn the heater on earlier than usual but use a milder setting. Go about your normal morning routine while the vehicle warms slowly, avoiding further damage.

The Importance of Repairing Your Windshield Promptly

1. Safety in the Event of Accidents

image of safety first sign depicting auto glass safety and cracked windshield

People often ignore windshield damage for as long as they can. They don’t want to deal with the problem since they are already juggling a thousand other tasks. Perhaps they could be persuaded to make windshield repair a priority if they knew that cracks could make them more vulnerable during accidents. Auto glass damage weakens the structure and reduces its ability to support the roof’s weight. Windshield cracks of any size make the panel shatter more easily upon impact.

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2. Visibility of the Road Ahead

Windshield cracks don’t stay small. They will grow over time due to the temperature variations, dirt build-up, frozen gaps, and bumpy rides. As the cracks expand, they might begin to cover the area right in front of the driver. This can obscure the view while driving which is a major safety hazard. Motorists won’t be able to make the necessary adjustments if visibility is poor. Chances of a collision go higher. It is far better to get repairs than to take this risk.


3. Cost of Windshield Repairs vs Replacement

The cost of windshield repairs may be preventing some car owners from seeking professional help. What they must understand is that auto glass repairs are faster and easier than replacements. They are also much cheaper in comparison. If they act quickly, they should be able to solve the problem without shelling out a fortune. If they drag their feet, they might have to pay for it later with bigger expenses.



Find a reputable windshield repair shop to deal with cracks on your glass panel. It is the best move you can make. Professional technicians can stop the expansion for minor cracks. They can also secure a high-quality replacement panel in the case of major damage.

For Superior Auto Glass Repairs, Call Liberty AutoGlass


Liberty AutoGlass offers auto glass repair using the highest quality materials and the most advanced auto glass technology to repair your auto glass correctly and quickly. We offer mobile auto glass services so we can repair your damaged auto glass at the convenience of your home or office. This means that we come to wherever your vehicle is parked and you can go about your day as you would normally. We fix windshields, back glass, door glass, vent glass, and quarter glass. We also can handle your insurance claim from start to finish, making the process easier for you! Call Liberty AutoGlass today to find out more!

Contact us today or give us a call at (610) 377-7787 or (877) 90-GLASS if you have any questions. Click here to view our complete mobile auto glass service area in Pennsylvania.

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