When to Use All-Weather Windscreen Shields
All-weather windscreen shield are frequently promoted as a way to keep your car’s windscreen free of ice and snow, saving you the hassle of having to clear the snow of your windscreen and de-ice it before you can drive. This makes it easy to ignore if you live in an area that doesn’t experience heavy frost or snow in winter.
But all-weather windscreen shields are actually a smart buy for anyone who parks their car out in the open for extended periods of time, either at home or at work. This is because – as the name suggests – they are designed to offer some protection to your windscreen in both hot and cold conditions.
How Cold Weather Affects Your Windscreen
The biggest risk to car windscreens in winter comes from the weight of ice and snow putting pressure on the windscreen. If you have chips or cracks in your windscreen, this weight will make them worse, as will freezing temperatures or rapid changes in the temperature. An all-weather windscreen shield won’t prevent the build-up of snow, but it will protect your windscreen from ice or frost, and offer some defence against sudden temperature changes. And even if you use a windscreen shield in winter you should still avoid heating the interior of your car too quickly since the hot air could also have a negative effect on a windscreen that is still cold.
How Hot Weather Affects Your Windscreen
Cold weather causes the glass of your windscreen to contract, while high temperatures cause it to expand, so while in winter you want to avoid heating the interior of your car to quickly, in summer you want to avoid cooling it down too quickly. Parking in the shade is always a better option, but if you can’t be sure that your car will be out of the sun all day, use an all-weather windscreen shield that includes reflective material. This can assist in preventing the windscreen from heating up too much.
How Wet Weather Affects Your Windscreen
With wet weather there’s always an increased risk of debris flying about, along with a higher chance of hail. Avoiding both debris and hail aren’t particularly easy if you’re driving, but a windscreen shield can help minimise damage when your car is parked. But the biggest benefit of using a windscreen shield in wet weather comes from it minimising water from building up in any existing cracks and chips on your windscreen. There’s always a chance that water trapped in chips and cracks can put extra pressure on the windscreen, making the chip or crack worse, and the chance of this happening increases when there are sudden changes in temperature.
What to Look for in an All-Weather Windscreen Shield
While you want a windscreen shield that is durable in addition to being water, ice, and snow proof, a top priority should actually be ease-of-use. The more difficult it is to put the shield on and to take it off, the less likely you are to use it. Look at how the windscreen shield is secured, and how big it is. You don’t want the shield disappearing thanks to a strong gust of wind, and if you live in an area prone to severe frost or snow, look for a shield that also covers the windscreen wipers and the wiper reservoir since extreme temperatures can also accelerate wear and tear on your windscreen wipers.
Finally, always have windscreen chips and cracks checked by professionals as soon as you notice them. Many chips and cracks can be repaired without having to replace the whole windscreen, but the longer you take to have them checked, the more opportunities there are for them to expand into something that cannot be repaired safely