Can a Windshield Crack from the Cold?

 In Auto Glass, Cold weather installment, Windshields

Hello, Minnesota winter! The freezing temps may have you a little nervous about the state of your car. Maybe your tires are a little flat, your battery’s on its last legs or your windshield has a small chip. Or your car is in great shape and you want to keep it that way!

As you prepare your car for winter- check your battery, replace your fluids, add a warm blanket to your trunk (as mom would say). But, don’t forget your windshield! Your windshield can take a beating during the winter. Keep reading to find out how Minnesota’s winter weather affects your windshield and what you can do to protect it.

What causes cracks in the winter?

In addition to the usual debris, rock chips, etc that can happen any time of the year, the weather itself can in fact cause cracks. Glass is actually sensitive to temperature- it contracts in the cold and expands in the heat.

While extreme cold by itself is unlikely to crack a windshield, cracks are common in the winter due to improper installation, windshield-clearing mistakes, and unnoticed damage. Let’s talk about each of these.

  • Improper installation: A windshield that is installed wrong will put stress on the glass, making it vulnerable causing stress cracks.
  • Windshield-clearing mistakes: I think we are all guilty of blasting the defroster in our car to clear ice off the windshield. However, this technique causes the temperature of the glass to change quickly which can result in a crack due to the drastic temperature change.
  • Unnoticed damage: In the winter a previous chip or crack will fill with moisture from snow and ice which will eventually cause it to grow, as the condensation freezes and expands.

How to protect your windshield this winter.

You can’t control Minnesota’s weather, but you can take steps to protect your windshield- such as:

  • Clear off ice with cold water: Using hot water is a recipe for disaster. Instead, you can use cold water which will help melt the ice without putting stress on the glass. Then use a plastic scraper to finish the job.
  • Check your windshield regularly: It’s easy to miss a chip under the snow and ice, but catching the damage before it gets worse could save you time and money!

Damaged windshield? 

Give us a call! Don’t wait to repair a chipped or cracked windshield, reach out to Apollo Glass. We make windshield repair and replacement easy and will get the job done right so you can be back on the road ASAP.

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