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How do windshield cracks and chips occur?

Most damage to your windshield is caused by things out of your control, such as small objects coming into impact with the glass, but some types of damage can be avoided if you know how and why they occur.


Temperature-Related Cracks

The most common type of temperature-related cracks are stress cracks. These types of cracks occur when your windshield is exposed to extreme temperatures or quick fluctuations between temperatures. For example, if you leave your vehicle sitting in the sun on a hot summer day then turn on the AC or wash your car with very cold water. Stress cracks can also happen in the winter, such as trying to remove ice from your windshield using boiling or near-boiling water. Stress cracks most often occur near the edge of your windshield, making them difficult to repair.


Impact-Related Cracks or Chips

Impact-related cracks or chips are the ones that most drivers are familiar with. This type of damage is caused by a rock or other small object hitting your windshield. Depending on how the object hits your window either a crack, chip, or both will occur. If a piece of the glass comes off the windshield during impact, a chip or pit is created. If no glass is lost, but a fine line is not visible on the windshield, this is a crack. There are numerous types of cracks, each with their own characteristics. Often, drivers will see both a chip and a crack on their windshield after impact. For example, a stone break is a small chip that over time spreads into a larger crack. This highlights the importance of dealing with cracks as soon as they occur so they don’t become worse, making a repair less likely.


Whether you have a tiny chip or a large crack, give Go! Glass a call. Our team will be able to assess the damage and let you know if you should repair or replace your windshield. Even while you’re on the Go!, we’re here for all your auto glass needs.