Windscreen Cracks and Summer Are a Bad Combination
We love summer: the weather is great, there’s loads of outdoor activities happening all over, and we aren’t hesitant to drive with our car windows open. We’re open to the possibility of adventure, instead of just wishing we were home, bundled up against the cold.
But those gorgeous days of summer are not always great for our car windscreens, especially if they have an unrepaired chip or crack. Let’s look at why windscreen cracks and summer are a bad combination.
Does Intense Heat Cause Cracks?
The first thing we need to do is to dispel the myth that intense heat can cause your windscreen to crack. It plays a part, but simply parking your car in direct sunlight on a hot summer day is not going to cause any cracks to form. It is what you do when you get into a hot car that could create a crack: turning on the aircon and cooling your car down too quickly.
Glass expands when it is heated, so parking in direct sunlight will cause your windscreen to expand imperceptibly. While this is not good for existing chips or cracks – more on that later – it isn’t going to result in your returning to your car and finding a crack spread out over your windscreen. As the glass cools, it naturally shrinks again, and this shouldn’t be a problem either, if the cooling process is gradual. However, our natural response to getting into a stiflingly hot car is to turn the aircon on full-blast and set to the lowest temperature possible. The blast of arctic air feels great on your skin, but it can result in your windscreen cooling and contracting too quickly, increasing the likelihood of a crack forming.
How to Prevent New Cracks From Forming
There are two ways of preventing heating and cooling from putting too much stress on your windscreen. The first is to try and always park in the shade, particularly on extremely hot days. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible, so your other option is to avoid cooling the glass down too quickly. You can do this by starting your aircon off on a low setting, and gradually increasing it if necessary. Close the vent directly below your windscreen, and make sure all other vents are angled away from the windscreen. Open one or two windows a bit to also allow natural air-flow to cool the interior down.
How to Prevent Existing Cracks From Growing
Intense heat and cooling doesn’t only contribute to new cracks from forming, it can also cause existing cracks to rapidly expand, and it is almost impossible to avoid. Trying to cool your car interior down slowly isn’t going to help much because the crack has already weakened the windscreen, so any change in temperature, no matter how gradual, is likely to lead to the crack expanding. And while some cracks can be repaired, once the crack is too big, or crossing certain areas of the windscreen, you’re left with no option but to replace the whole windscreen. The best solution is to have chips and cracks assessed by professionals as soon as you notice them. That way they can usually be repaired, saving you the higher cost of replacing the windscreen.
If you have any chips or cracks in your windscreen, give Instant Windscreens a call today so we can repair it immediately, leaving you to enjoy the rest of summer without worrying about your windscreen breaking.