7 Winter-Related Problems That Could Damage Your Windshield
Protect your car to secure your finances. After all, vehicle damage can result in costly repairs and replacements. Winter brings unique challenges for car owners in this regard. Ice and snow can cause winter windshield damage once the temperatures drop. If possible, keep the car in a garage or under a carport to keep it safe and dry. If you don’t have access to these structures, learn how to deal with the situation properly. Below are seven winter-related problems that could damage your windshield and auto glass and their corresponding solutions.
Keep reading to explore 7 common windshield issues that arise during winter.
1. Removing Ice with the Wrong Tools
You can’t drive blind. You need a clear windshield to see what’s in front of you. If ice, snow, or frost is blocking your view, you must remove the unwanted substances from the glass panel. Use the proper tools. It is tempting to turn on the wiper blades, but they are not always effective. They can even succumb to damage if you force the issue. Get an ice scraper instead. This tool can strip off thick layers of ice with the right technique. A smooth plastic blade is better than a metal blade for avoiding surface scratches. Don’t use shovels or similarly hard tools.
2. Windshield Cracks May Form
Winter can physically stress the windshield. Materials tend to contract when exposed to low temperatures. People who need to drive their car tend to switch the heating on as soon as they hop in to warm up the interiors. It may bring them comfort, but it forces the glass the expand rapidly after cold compression. The sudden change can result in cracks as the material struggles to keep up. Avoid this by increasing interior temperature at a slow pace. If you are going to turn the heater on, increase the thermostat settings gradually.
3. Frozen Windshield Wipers
If it gets cold enough, even the windshield wipers can freeze up. Frozen wiper blades cannot move effectively. You are helpless against falling snow, which will gradually reduce road visibility as you drive. It is a safety issue that you cannot take lightly. Unfortunately, some people ignore the problem and use the wipers anyway. It is a big mistake because the frozen blades can create visible streaks on the glass surface. Windshield chips may even appear because of friction. Aside from the windshield damage, the blades themselves may also deteriorate faster if always used in this manner. Take the car to an auto glass shop for buffing and sealing immediately.
4. Using Water to Melt Ice
Impatient car owners may resort to extreme measures. Some pour hot water on the glass to melt ice, but experts advise against using this strategy. Hot water and icy windshields should not mix. Even lukewarm water is frowned upon because it can freeze up and make the problem worse. As we said earlier, most materials contract in the cold and expand in the heat. If you force the shrunken glass to expand quickly using hot water, the rapid expansion will result in cracks. Glass is more vulnerable to this mechanical stress than wood or vinyl. If you want to melt ice, do it gradually.
5. Existing Windshield Cracks May Spread
Does your windshield have existing cracks? A lot of motorists continue to drive with small hairline cracks. They do not see these as threats unless they impair vision. However, cracks are not static. They can grow and spread gradually due to the normal vibrations of a moving car. The slippery roads and changing tire pressure during winter make the problem worse. Owners should take their cars to an auto glass repair shop at the first sign of damage. Professionals can apply a resin or perform other interventions, such as a windshield replacement, to keep the glass intact. Their work will increase the structural integrity of the panel to keep you safe.
6. Not Replacing Damaged Wipers
Check your wipers every day. If you see damage due to ice, replace them with a new pair. These are relatively cheap and easy to find, so you should not have any problems. Do it before the damaged wipers create worse problems. In the early stages, the only thing you might notice is reduced effectiveness when clearing snow, dust, rain, and debris. Later, the exterior soft plastic may wear out and expose the interior hard plastic that can scratch the glass. The permanent streaks will cause poor visibility. Make it a habit to replace the wiper blades twice a year to avoid this issue.
7. Poor Driving Habits
Be mindful of your driving habits. You can increase or decrease the risk of windshield damage depending on how you handle the car. In regions with heavy snowfall, roads have sand and gravel to add traction. It is a clever tactic, but it comes with an undesirable side effect. Wheels tend to kick up the sand and gravel as they move. If the cars behind are following closely, the particles may end up on the windshields and cause damage. Keep your distance on the roads and check for rock chips once you get home. Be extra careful once you see that the ice is melting and the pavement is starting to dry. Slow down and watch out.
Winter has its perks and its drawbacks. The list above should open your eyes to the dangers you might face during the season. Keep your car safe despite these challenges. Implement the simple strategies described, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help for advanced issues. Early intervention is always the best solution.
For Superior Auto Glass Services, 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 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 the link to view our mobile auto glass service area in Pennsylvania.