The straightforward answer is yes. A cracked windshield is likely to worsen in winter, primarily due to thermal stress caused by temperature changes. When the glass gets cold, it contracts. However, when you use your vehicle’s defrosting system, it heats up rapidly, causing it to expand. This continuous cycle of contraction and expansion can lead to the spread of the crack. Furthermore, the crack can expand when snow or ice seeps into it and freezes, as freezing causes expansion. Let’s delve deeper into these factors. The deterioration of a cracked windshield in winter can be attributed to several factors, particularly in areas where the weather turns cold and harsh. Here are the primary causes:
The contraction of glass in cold conditions and its expansion when it warms up, a phenomenon known as thermal stress, can enlarge a crack in a windshield. This is particularly troublesome in winter, when there are larger fluctuations in temperature between day and night.
If you use your vehicle’s defrosting system on a cold windshield, the quick temperature change can cause a small crack to rapidly spread across the glass.
Snow and Ice:
When snow or ice, forms of precipitation, find their way into a crack and then freeze, they expand. This expansion increases the pressure on the glass and can enlarge the crack.
In regions where road salt is utilized to tackle icy conditions, it can infiltrate the crack and further damage the windshield.
Therefore, if your windshield has a crack, it is crucial to get it repaired or replaced immediately to avoid the risk of it worsening, especially during the winter months. A cracked windshield is more than just an aesthetic problem; it can pose a significant safety risk, as it can obstruct the driver’s vision and undermine the structural stability of the vehicle.
Is it possible to repair windshields in cold weather?
Fortunately, the answer is yes. Although cold weather presents certain challenges, windshields can indeed be repaired. However, to effectively handle these challenges, it is typically best to seek assistance from a professional service provider. Professional windshield repair services have the tools and expertise to handle repairs under various weather conditions, including cold weather. Here’s how they can assist:
Expertise and Experience:
Professionals possess the skills and knowledge to properly assess the crack or chip’s severity and to decide the most suitable course of action. They are adept at adjusting their repair techniques for cold weather, ensuring the resin sticks and cures properly despite the lower temperatures.
Proper Tools and Materials:
Professional repair services have specialized tools and top-quality materials that are designed to work effectively across a wide range of temperatures. They often use a more sophisticated resin that can cure in colder conditions where DIY kits may fail.
Repair services often have mobile units equipped with heaters to ensure the glass is at the optimal temperature for the repair. Alternatively, they may have heated service centers where the vehicle can be taken for repair.
A professionally conducted repair not only improves the windshield’s appearance but also restores its structural integrity. Professionals ensure that the repair is carried out in a way that prioritizes safety.
Many professional windshield repair services provide guarantees or warranties on their work, giving you confidence that the repair will last.
Keep in mind that while minor chips and cracks can often be repaired, more severe damage may necessitate a full windshield replacement, regardless of the weather. Consult with Auto Glass America to make the best decision based on your specific situation.