Just about every driver has experienced at least minor windshield damage in their lives– it’s something to be expected in the daily wear and tear of a vehicle, and it can happen in the blink of an eye. It’s very easy to get a crack in your windshield when driving behind a gravel truck or just on a highway where there are rocks and other pieces of debris on the road, even if you’re driving perfectly.
Not all windshield cracks are created equal, either, ranging from the tiniest pit to a crack that will require a full windshield replacement. Here are seven types of cracks that you should be aware of so next time you spot one, you can plan accordingly!
A very common type of windshield crack, characterized by a small piece of missing glass on the windshield. This type of crack is just the result of debris hitting the windshield. Pits do not usually require immediate repair because they generally do not affect the integrity or surface strength of the windshield. You might get one of these simply by driving on a gravel or sandy road.
These can be easily repaired as soon as you’re able to visit a glass repair specialist, but they do not usually require a replacement. The only way they would necessitate a replacement is if you had many of them all over your windshield, or if one of them started to spread, developing more cracks around it.
This is the only type of crack that occurs without any sort of impact. A stress crack is caused by rapid, drastic temperature change. For example, pouring hot water onto your icy windshield to get it to melt faster. This creates a great deal of stress on the glass, causing a crack.
You can also easily identify a stress crack by running your finger or a pen over it. If it’s smooth to the touch, with no missing pieces of glass, it’s a stress crack.
Sometimes stress cracks can be repaired, but if they are coming from the edge of the windshield or are blocking the driver’s vision, then a windshield replacement will be necessary.
A bullseye crack is caused by debris hitting the windshield, usually at a high speed, creating a circular chip in the glass. This can compromise the structure of the entire windshield and can quickly cause more extensive damage. The question of repair versus replacement can be answered by a glass specialist, depending on the size and severity of the crack.
This type of crack is formed when a flying object causes a series of cracks radiating around a central point of impact. A star crack should definitely get checked out by a glass specialist, because the star structure often spreads, causing much more extensive damage to the windshield.
Half moon cracks look like half of a bullseye crack, and are typically less severe. If a half moon crack is under an inch in diameter, it most likely won’t spread. If it’s larger, or obstructs the driver’s vision, it can be fairly easily repaired without requiring a total windshield replacement.
A floating crack is any crack that occurs at least two inches away from the edge of the windshield. Like many types of cracks, if it’s small and doesn’t obstruct the driver’s vision, it can most likely be easily repaired. However, you should always keep a close eye on cracks to make sure that they don’t spread. If they do, immediate repair or replacement is necessary.
As you might guess from the name, an edge crack is one that occurs within two inches of the edge of the windshield. These cracks are unique in that they will almost always require a replacement, because a crack close to the seal of the windshield means that the seal has been compromised and is now potentially hazardous for the driver, passengers, and structural integrity of the vehicle.
A windshield crack might not seem like a big deal in the moment, but the windshield does a lot of work to protect drivers and passengers as well as being a structurally important part of the vehicle.
Being able to identify types of windshield cracks is helpful, but you should always contact a glass repair specialist as soon as you notice one. At Fast Glass, we will be happy to provide you with a free estimate and our professional opinion on whether it can be repaired or requires a full replacement. Give us a call today!