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Now is the time to start preparing for cold weather, especially if your vehicle's windshield sustained a crack or two over the summer. You probably already know that cracks can spread, sometimes seemingly overnight. What you might not be aware of is how the winter elements can affect windshield glass, causing you even further problems if cracks are left untreated. Below are some ways cold weather affects windshield glass, and may be reasons to contact a company like Valley Glass Utility for help.
Fluctuations in temperature can cause glass to expand and contract. During the winter, you should avoid using boiling hot water to de-ice your windshield. This can cause cracks to progress at a more rapid rate. Instead, let your vehicle's defrost run until your windshield is clear. If you end up getting a chip in the glass from a rock or other debris, make sure you get the issue addressed immediately.
Let's say you get a crack in your windshield on a particularly cold January day. You take it in to get resin filled into the glass. Many auto glass repair companies use UV lights to help cure the resin. These lights use power from an outlet or cigarette lighter, and, in the winter, can take quite a while to work since resin needs to be heated and requires preheating. If you're in a rush, you will likely end up being late getting where you need to go.
Ice and snow create a lot of additional moisture in cracks sustained to windshields. When temperatures suddenly drop, moisture becomes trapped, causing it to freeze and expand. This will exacerbate the cracks that were already present in the glass if they were left unfilled with resin. This is also part of why it can take so long for auto glass repairmen to put in resin. Cracks need to be completely dried out for the resin to take and be cured by an auto glass repairman.
Winter months are notorious for their dirtiness. Salt and sand are constantly thrown down on roads to keep them safe to drive on. While this is helpful for driving, it can be particularly damaging to an already-cracked windshield. When dirt makes its way deep into the crack on a windshield, it can cause the glass to weaken, further expanding the crack.
Always keep a roll of clear tape in your car. If you get a crack, immediately put the tape over it to prevent dirt and moisture from getting in. Then, promptly address the issue with a mechanic or auto glass repairman. The sooner you get a crack taken care of, the better, especially during the harsh winter months.