The Simple Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing With a Cracked Windscreen
There’s no advance warning for your windscreen developing a crack: a sudden change in temperature or a stray bit of road debris are just two of many ways in which your windscreen can suddenly end up with a crack. You can hope that it is only a small crack, but cracks have an annoying habit of growing. And while there is little you can do to prevent this, there are a few basic things you should and shouldn’t do with a cracked windscreen.
Do Measure the Crack Immediately
A crack in your windscreen doesn’t always mean having to replace the windscreen. If the crack is no longer than 100mm – 25mm if located in the critical vision area (CVA) – a simple repair might be possible. You can measure the crack yourself but use professionals to carry out the repair.
Do Keep the Crack Clean
A windscreen repair doesn’t only depend on the crack not being too long, it also needs to be clean. In addition to not putting off the repair for too long, prevent dust and other debris from getting trapped in the crack by carefully covering it with clear tape. This is only a temporary measure and should also not be done if the crack is in the CVA.
Do Park Your Car in the Shade
Glass expands when it gets hot, contracting again as it cools. Parking your car out in the open increases the chance of the windscreen being exposed to direct sunlight, with the resulting expansion – and later contraction – both putting strain on the crack, and possibly causing it to get bigger. Parking under cover also helps shield your windscreen against other hazards such as hail or flying debris.
Don’t Drive Your Car
If the crack is longer than 200mm – or 100mm if within the CVA – or starts or ends at the edge of the windscreen, you should not drive the car at all. The integrity of the windscreen is significantly weaker under these circumstances and could shatter unexpectedly. Additionally, longer cracks will also interfere with your ability to clearly see the road ahead of you. Use a mobile windscreen repair and replacement service to have your windscreen replaced at your home or workplace without you having to drive anywhere first.
Don’t Get It Wet
Just as changes in temperature can cause a crack in the windscreen to grow, so too can a build-up of water. Don’t wash your car at all until you have had the crack repaired, and avoid driving in the rain for the same reason, even if you have put clear tape over the crack.
Don’t Simply Ignore It
While small cracks don’t need to be repaired immediately, they do still need to be repaired sooner rather than later. Ignoring a crack for too long not only impacts the integrity of the windscreen, it also reduces the chance of the crack being repairable, leading to you having to replace the windscreen instead. A much costlier option than a simple repair.