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Chip Today, Crack Tomorrow: A Look at the Progression of Windshield Damage

Last updated 6 years ago

Because your windshield is located at the very front of your car, it is the first in line to get hit by rocks and other road debris that cause small chips. But even though you may not notice these chips at first, they can quickly expand into cracks that spread throughout your windshield. We’ll take a look at how barely visible chips will turn into cracks and what you should do to prevent windshield crack expansion.

Although windshields may not seem to change at all, they are constantly expanding and contracting due to changes in the weather. As temperatures increase, your windshield expands against the frame of your car. As temperatures decrease, your windshield and the car’s frame contract. Typically, this fluctuation does not result in visible damage in your auto glass.

However, a small chip in your windshield causes changes in your windshield during temperature fluctuations to become slightly exaggerated. Over time, fluctuations around the chip will expand into cracks. Quicker temperature fluctuations, such as sudden exposure to cold water or letting your car sit in the hot sun, can cause small chips to expand into cracks at a faster rate than normal weather exposure.

It’s important to note that auto glass is actually not a single piece of solid glass. Instead, it’s actually two pieces of glass sandwiched around a clear layer of plastic, which binds glass together to keep it from shattering. This explains why many cracks that appear on the outside of your windshield can’t be felt on the inside of your car. Repairing small chips in your windshield can actually help to prevent chips from spreading into cracks, which means greater visibility, safety, and aesthetic appeal for your vehicle.

For mobile on-site chip repair and auto glass replacement services in the Oakland area, contact Glass on the Move by calling (510) 338-4791.


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