We typically look forward to the seasons changing; a new season brings about different weather, highly-anticipated holidays, and a refreshing change of pace.
The turn of the season can be an exciting time, but it’s important to note that changing seasons also means changing temperatures and weather conditions– and with that can come stress or even damage to your car’s windshield.
Why is my windshield affected by the weather?
Your car’s windshield is made from laminated glass. This type of glass is used for car windshields because it’s made to hold together even when it’s broken.
That means that even in the event of impact against your windshield, the glass should avoid shattering and spreading tiny, dangerous glass particles into the inside of your car.
While laminated glass is safer than other types of glass in case of impact, it’s still susceptible to damage brought about by changes in temperature.
That’s because glass expands in hot conditions and contracts when it’s cooler– and a rapid change between the two extremes can cause it to break.
How is my car’s windshield affected by summer weather?
People look forward to summer weather all year; it’s an amazing time to enjoy the great outdoors or even take a road trip to explore a brand-new place.
However, summer also means dangerously hot temperatures. Cars tend to trap heat, and a car that’s been sitting in direct sunlight can reach temperatures as high as 170ºF.
If the inside of your car is 170º, and you get inside and immediately blast the air conditioning as high as it’ll go, you might enjoy a cool relief from the heat… but your windshield will rapidly contract in the cooler air, and could sustain a stress crack.
Even if the crack is small, we’d recommend having a glass specialist take a look at it. That’s because cracks spread over time, and a serious crack has the potential to become a major safety hazard.
To avoid stress cracks, you should make every effort to park your car out of direct sunlight. When you get in your car after it’s been parked outdoors for a while, try to let the air conditioning cool the car gradually, rather than all at once.
How is my car’s windshield affected by winter weather?
Rapidly changing temperatures in the summertime can cause rapid contraction and expansion of your car’s windshield, and the same holds true for winter.
If your car’s been sitting outside in freezing temperatures, you should try to avoid a sudden blast of heat, no matter how great it feels! Directing heat toward a very cold windshield puts stress on the surface of the laminated glass, and can result in stress cracks.
If you live in a climate where snow and ice are a common occurrence, you might be tempted to quickly melt the ice on your windshield by throwing hot water over the surface of the glass.
Some people might even recommend this “trick” to save time– but we highly discourage you from doing this, since it’s very likely to damage your glass!
How can I avoid windshield damage from changing seasons?
Aside from impact, the biggest problem that causes the most windshield damage is rapid temperature changes. Make sure you consider the risks of your windshield expanding or contracting too quickly, and make your choices accordingly.
This might mean using AC and heat gradually or parking your car inside a garage or in the shade whenever possible.
If you’ve experienced a stress crack in your windshield, it’s time to contact a glass specialist! Keep yourself and your family safe by repairing or replacing a windshield that’s sustained damage.
With our mobile repair and replacement services, you can even do it without leaving the comfort of your home or office! Give us a call today to get started.