If you are like most Houston drivers, your windshield likely bears a few cracks and chips from the rocks thoughtfully kicked up by the cars and trucks of fellow drivers. A cracked or chipped windshield is a frustrating problem that can force you to replace your entire windshield if you do not seek prompt repairs. If you do not have anywhere to go, you can minimize the spread of damage by not driving your car until after you can schedule a trip to a local Houston windshield repair shop. However, if you must drive your car before you can get the damage fixed, you can use a few techniques to stay safe and help keep the crack contained.
Analyze the Damage
When you first notice a crack or chip, take the time to analyze the severity of the damage. If the damage has spread over much of your windshield and blocks your view, avoid driving your car until you can replace the windshield. Less severe damage, however, can usually be dealt with at a later date and may not require a windshield replacement for your Houston vehicle. Smaller cracks, especially those less than 12 inches, can usually be fixed without replacing the entire windshield. Chips that are smaller than a quarter can also be repaired in most cases.
Protect the Damage
Left untreated, cracks and chips can easily spread. Putting a seal on the crack can prevent it from spreading and causing more damage to your windshield. Even a simple piece of clear tape can help keep the crack sealed and prevent dirt and other debris from accumulating in the crack until it can be repaired properly. Be sure to align the tape carefully so that it does not interfere with your view as you drive. If the tape would interfere with your view, try using clear nail polish instead. Before sealing the crack, clean it out as thoroughly as possible using a dry towel.
Avoid Extreme Temperature Changes
Subjecting your car’s windshield to extreme temperature changes can cause cracks to spread, putting your entire windshield at risk. In the summer, avoid washing your car with cold water. If you must wash your car, let your windshield cool down in the shade or wash your car during a cooler part of the day. You should also avoid running your car’s air conditioner at full blast on a really warm day.
During the winter, use your car’s heater and defroster cautiously. A sudden blast of heat could stress the crack. To defrost your windows, warm them up indirectly with the car’s heater. Point the vents for the car’s heater towards you instead of towards the windshield.
Use Care When Touching Your Windshield
If your windshield is damaged, do not apply too much force to it. On a cold and snowy day, for example, do not press too hard when trying to clear your windshield of ice or snow. Using too much pressure with a snow scraper can stress the fracture and cause the entire windshield to break. You should also use care when trying to clean dirt and other debris from your windshield. Rubbing too hard on a stubborn spot near the damaged area may cause the windshield to buckle.
Avoid Rough Driving and Sudden Jolts
Although it is usually difficult to miss an unexpected pothole, avoiding obstacles may help your windshield survive longer. In addition, slamming your car’s door every time you close it can put unnecessary stress on the crack or chip. You may need to remind your family members to resist slamming the car’s doors until the repairs are complete.
Taking your car to a Houston auto glass repair shop is the best way to stop a chip or crack from spreading in your windshield. If you cannot immediately get your windshield fixed or replaced, exercise caution to prevent the damage from growing worse and compromising your entire windshield.