If you are a regular driver or perhaps you frequently drive on the motorway, you may have had your windscreen damaged. It is easy to ignore or in some cases to not even notice a crack if it isn’t in your immediate vision. It is important however to check your windscreen regularly for cracks or damage to be on the safe side. If you do find a crack it is important to get it addressed as soon as possible, it may seem like a small chip initially but the damage can spread very quickly.
How do windscreen chips occur?
Windscreen chips are most likely to occur when some form of debris hits the glass. In most cases this is typically small stones kicked up from another car. Car windscreens are also becoming much thinner in order to save weight. This in turn makes windscreens much more prone to fractures.
What causes fractures?
Once a chip has occurred there are many causes that can lead to a full fracture of the windscreen. If chips are left without repair the cracks can spread through the glass leading to a fracture. There are further reasons why a crack can more quickly develop into a fracture. The first is extreme temperatures can put stress on the glass particularly the chipped area which may cause the damage to spread more quickly. Frequent rain may also cause moisture to seep into the chip and cause further damage to the windscreen. One of the most common factors for windscreens to fracture is speed bumps. There are likely to be speed bumps on many journeys you make each day, you may be slowing down sufficiently to reduce the affect but by driving over these bumps more stress is going through the car and ultimately putting strain on the weakest areas of the car. If your windscreen has a small chip it is very likely that the increased stress caused by speed bumps will eventually cause the glass to fracture.
What can be done?
The most important thing that can be done when you notice a crack or chip in your windscreen is to get it repaired as quickly as possible. It may only be a minor bit of damage initially, but if left it can quite quickly spread reducing the effectiveness of any attempted repairs or potentially even requiring you to replace the entire windscreen. Repairs that are completed quickly will be much smoother and less noticeable than if they are left to spread. Windscreens are repaired with a clear resin so the less debris has chance to get into the chip the clearer end result will be. The process of repairing a windscreen is relatively fast and repairs can typically take around 30 minutes. The cost of the repair is usually covered by your insurance if you have comprehensive insurance. For those drivers who are not covered for this type of repair the costs are still much more economical than paying to have the entire windscreen replaced. There is the added convenience of certain companies to provide a mobile service allowing them to travel to you to provide repairs on location.