Cracks, Chips, Windshield Damage, Oh My! A Guide on What to Look for and How to Prevent Damage.

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The windshield is an important part when it comes to driving. Not many people take a step back and think about the amount of impact the windshield takes on when you’re driving on a daily basis. Between small and large damage to your windshield, did you know there are over 14 different types of chips and cracks that can occur while driving?

Cracks are treated frequently by auto glass technicians and will start as a line going across your windshield. Not all cracks in the windshield are going to look the same. Some are a straight line with a starting and ending point and others are small or larger lines with branches on them protruding from the main line the crack began.

Some of the different types of cracks that all drivers should be aware of are:

1. Stress crack: This type of crack can form without anything even coming in contact with the windshield. One of the reasons behind this happening is because of temperature fluctuations. These stress cracks can be formed from ice sitting on your windshield or the sun’s intense heat can cause a stress crack in your windshield.

2. Edge crack: An edge crack starts within 2” of the windshield’s edge or extends out of it. Edge cracks usually form quickly and are between 10” and 12” long.

3. Floater crack: A floater crack typically starts in the middle of your windshield about 2” away from the windshield’s edge. These cracks can be several different lengths and extend across the windshield. Extremely cold or hot weather can make the crack worse based on the temperature outside.

4. Crack chip: These cracks are usually smaller than a quarter in diameter at the impact point. Small rocks hitting the windshield can cause a crack like this on your windshield.

Cracks that are smaller than 3” can usually be repaired.

5. Chips: Chips, also called “dings” usually happen when a flying rock hits your windshield causing a small piece of glass to go missing. When this happens, professionals refer to this as a “pit” or a “stone break”. If the impact to the windshield didn’t penetrate through, this type of repair is simple and easy for technicians.

6. Bulls-eye: This type of damage results in impact from another object. The reason this type of crack is called a bulls-eye is because after impact, the damage is in a circular pattern and looks similar to a dart board.

7. Stars: Stars are smaller chips in the windshield with multiple cracks spreading every direction from the impact point. These cracks look like exploding fireworks. This type of crack can vary from small to large as well but typically the large star cracks cannot be repaired unless you get an entire windshield replacement.

8. Combination: The name is pretty self-explanatory. When the glass has two or more of the types of cracks listed above, technicians refer to this as the diagnosis. When damage like this occurs on the windshield it is safe to say that the windshield will need to be completely replaced.

So, should you replace or repair your windshield?

Typically, an auto glass technician will have all of those answers waiting for you the second you decide its’ time to get an inspection on your windshield.

Auto glass technicians are trained to make sure your windshield can be safely repaired. If the damage isn’t repairable they will be right there with you every step of the way while getting your windshield fixed.

Prevention is Key.

Now that you know the different types of cracks that can cause damages to your windshield, it’s important to address prevention.

Keep your distance. It’s important to always be aware of your surroundings when driving. ALWAYS give yourself some space between you and the car in front of you, especially larger trucks. The reason for this is because they have larger wheels which tend to kick the gravel on the road up causing rock and debris to fly everywhere, including at your car.

Slow down, don’t rush. Time doesn’t stop, and everyone is in a hurry to get where they need to be but it’s important to remember the consequences of driving fast and not taking it slow. If you’re driving slower, you have a less chance of a flying rock or debris doing serious damage to your windshield. So, the next time you’re in a hurry remind yourself to take it slow.

Snow or heat cover up your car. A big reason why your windshield may need a repair is because you aren’t protecting your windshield. When you’re expecting snow, or a scorching hot summer day, simply putting a cover on your windshield or parking it where it is covered is helpful to.

Now that you have all of the tips and knowledge on windshield cracks and how to prevent them, here is one way to stop a crack once it appears.

Bottom line is this: You can take all of these steps to prevent any damage to your windshield and still end up with a crack but knowing these things and having the knowledge is so important. Not only can cracks in your windshield be dangerous, the crack can decrease your car’s value if you’re trying to sell. Always remember to drive careful, because that first step is taking you on a healthy road to safe driving.

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Got windshield cracks? Unsure of insurance coverage? Get free answers today!

Enter your full name

What is your glass issue?

Enter a valid email

Where can we reach you?

Any additional information we should know about.