While most windshield damage is caused by flying debris, some cracks appear out of nowhere, and have no visible point of impact. These are called stress cracks, and may appear over time after your windshield has been weakened by the elements. This article will help you understand what causes stress cracks and how they can be repaired.
Causes of stress cracks
Stress cracks typically start from the edge of the windshield and stretch out toward the middle. Though seemingly mysterious, these cracks usually have specific underlying causes.
The most common cause of such damage is temperature fluctuations. Alternating hot and cold temperatures cause the glass to expand and contract rapidly, leading to some cracking. Using hot water to melt an icy windscreen or turning on the air conditioning after your car has been in the sun for a while could result in stress cracks.
Wind pressure is also a silent, but potentially disastrous force that constantly bombards your windshield, causing it to gradually weaken. Any minor impact on the car, such during a collision, is often deflected onto the windshield, causing stress cracking especially on the edges of the glass.
Poor installation could also cause one side of the windshield to remain loose, allowing it to vibrate when the car is in motion. This causes stress to build up along the edges of the glass, causing it to crack over time.
Finally, the glaring sun is also notorious for stress cracking. As the sun rays hits your car's exterior, the metal around the windshield expands and pulls the outer edges of the windshield, causing the glass on the edges to expand faster than the glass at the middle, thus leading to cracking.
How stress cracks are repaired
Stress cracks can spread within a matter of days, which is why attentiveness is crucial in checking for any sudden damage. Any cracking that is too long, runs into the driver's line of vision, or that has been contaminated by debris is usually irreparable.
Stress cracks that are discovered early can usually be repaired, restoring the clarity of the glass and halting the crack from spreading. The repair process involves drilling into the damaged area and filling it with a special resin that hardens into the crack, restoring the glass.
Even with regular maintenance, a windshield is bound to get stressed over time due to fluctuating pressure and temperature, and may eventually require replacing to maintain the structural integrity of your car. However, care and maintenance will ensure that any stress cracks are avoided or repaired on time, extending the life of the entire windshield. Visit sites such as http://www.centralglassutah.com for ideas on windshield replacement and more.