Can the Summer Heat make your Windscreen Crack Worse? Yes!

Can the Summer Heat make your Windscreen Crack Worse? Yes!
Posted by Darren Pay on Mar 11, 2021

Picture this - one bright summer morning you step out and are getting into your car to head to work. That's when you notice a seemingly small crack on your windscreen. It does not look very alarming and so you decide to get the damage repaired later during the week. You start your drive to work and somewhere in the middle of your drive and the scorching temperature outside, you see the crack start to increase to a worrisome size.

Now, it seems to be interfering with your line of vision, making you fear the possibility of having a life-threatening accident. How did something so simple go from (manageable) bad to worse? Who is to blame? The plain answer is, the summer heat! And as unbelievable as it may be to digest that, that's the truth.

Fast-forward to the windscreen technician examining the glass and telling you that what could have been solved with a repair now requires a complete replacement. Any skilled repair professional will tell you that the above situation has been a reality for many car-owners. Heat can have an alarming effect on a windscreen that already has a chip, crack or scratch, if not examined and taken care of in time.

How does Your Windscreen Develop a Chip, Scratch and Crack?

The best way to understand the difference between a chip, a scratch and a crack is by understanding the anatomy of the glass. Your windscreen glass is different from the one on the rear and side windows. The windscreen is made up of 2 layers (internal and external) stuck together with adhesive vinyl in between.

Chips mostly refer to grooves that have affected the external layer of the windscreen. Scratches usually refer to abrasions that are light and shallow and also tend to affect the external layer. Cracks are most prominent and can be located in a small space or run like a noticeable line along your windscreen.

In general, small chips and cracks only affect the external layer, however, they can be dangerous if they are in the line of vision.

When Your Cracked/Chipped/Scratched Windscreen Comes in Contact with Heat...

Heat causes glass to expand. If your windscreen's structural integrity is naturally compromised because of a major chip or crack this could lead to a hazardous situation. When exposed to intense heat the chip or crack could expand, leading to a dangerous situation on the road where repair is no longer possible. The same issue could arise if the weather outside is extremely hot and the air conditioner inside the car is set to the lowest it can go. These opposing temperatures can put immense pressure on the windscreen, and any pre-existing scratch chip or crack will only get worse.

Do All Windscreen Chips Turn into Cracks?

All chips don't necessarily turn into cracks if they are in a location where repair is possible and also if taken care of at the earliest. The best way to contain the problem is to seek professional help immediately and not use the car until you've done so.

A word of caution from experts is also not to attempt any DIY solutions as this might worsen the problem or maybe serve as a temporary solution that could give way at any time and cause hazardous situations.

Is It Possible to Repair All Kinds of Windscreen Chips?

Car at WorkshopAs mentioned above, it needs the eye of a licensed professional in order to discern whether the chip or crack can be repaired. The professional will need to study the extent of the damage, how long it's been there for as well as its positioning before deciding what solution is the best fit.

Bear in mind, repair is only possible in the case of your windscreen. If your side windows or rear glass have a chip, scratch or crack, it will need replacement.

The above information will equip you with the ability to discern the difference between a chip, a scratch and a crack. However, after reading the above you also know you have to assess the gravity of the situation based on the location of the chip, crack or scratch on the windscreen as it could interfere with your line of vision.

More importantly, it highlights the importance of having the damage seen to by a certified professional so that you don't have to incur a bigger blow to your pocket. A timely visit can save you a huge expense and also from having an accident. The bottom line - summer or winter, get a professional evaluation of the problem because your safety and the safety of your loved ones depends on it.


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