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Winter and Cracked Windshields: Preventing Further Damage

July 18, 2023

To answer the question clearly, yes, a cracked windshield can get worse in the winter. This happens due to the thermal stress caused by fluctuating temperatures. When it’s cold, glass contracts. If you then turn on your car’s defrosting system, the sudden heating can cause the glass to expand. This continual contraction and expansion can cause a crack to spread. Moreover, precipitation like snow or ice can also seep into the crack, and when it freezes, it expands, which can further widen the crack. Let’s look at this elaborately.

A cracked windshield can get worse in the winter due to several reasons, particularly in climates that experience cold and inclement weather. Here are the primary factors:

Thermal Stress: Glass contracts when it gets cold and expands when it warms up. This continual expansion and contraction, known as thermal stress, can cause a crack in a windshield to get larger. This can be especially problematic in winter when the temperature fluctuations between day and night are often more significant.

Defrosting: Using your car’s defroster can exacerbate the issue. If you have a hot defroster blowing on a cold windshield, the rapid change in temperature can cause a small crack to spread quickly across the glass.

Snow and Ice: Precipitation in the form of snow or ice can seep into the crack. When this moisture freezes, it expands. This expansion can put additional pressure on the glass, causing a crack to get larger.

Road Salt: In areas where road salt is used to combat icy conditions, this can be another factor that may worsen a crack. The salt can make its way into the crack and cause further damage to the windshield.

For all these reasons, if your windshield has a crack, it’s important to have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid the risk of it getting worse, especially in the winter months. A cracked windshield is not just a cosmetic issue; it can be a significant safety concern, as it can impair the driver’s vision and the structural integrity of the vehicle.

Can Windshields Be Repaired in Cold Weather?

The good news is yes. Windshields can certainly be repaired in cold weather. However, due to the challenges associated with cold temperatures, it’s often beneficial to enlist the help of an expert service provider. Professional windshield repair services are well-equipped to handle repairs in various weather conditions, including cold weather. Here’s how they can help:

Expertise and Experience: Professionals have the expertise and experience to properly evaluate the severity of the crack or chip and to determine the best course of action. They understand how to adjust their repair techniques for cold weather, ensuring the resin properly adheres and cures despite the lower temperatures.

Proper Tools and Materials: Professional repair services have specialized tools and high-quality materials that are designed to work effectively in a wide range of temperatures. They often use a more advanced resin that can cure in colder conditions where DIY kits might fail.

Temperature Control: Repair services often have mobile units equipped with heaters to ensure the glass is at an optimal temperature for the repair. Alternatively, they may have heated service centers where the vehicle can be brought in for repair.

Safety: A properly conducted repair not only fixes the cosmetic appearance of the windshield but also restores its structural integrity. Professionals ensure that the repair is carried out in a manner that prioritizes safety.

Guarantees: Many professional windshields repair services offer guarantees or warranties on their work, giving you peace of mind that the repair will last.

Remember, while minor chips and cracks can often be repaired, more serious damage may require a full windshield replacement, even in warmer weather. Nuvision can guide you in making the best decision for your specific situation.

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