Windscreen Stress: How The Inside Of Your Windscreen Can Crack
How many of you knew windscreen damages can also occur from the inside? While most windscreen damage is caused by a collision by something on the outside layer of the windscreen, surprisingly this isn’t the only way your windscreen can become cracked and require a prompt repair. An internal crack is something called a stress crack, and it happens on the inside layers of your windshield. Now that you’re aware, there may be a day when you’re cleaning the inside windshield and feel the damage on the inside of the glass. Luckily the team at Novus Autoglass typically uses resistant laminated glass to replace windscreens. Made of two layers with a layer of Poly Vinyl Butyral (PVB) in between, making any glass shards more likely to adhere to the layer of PVB when windscreen damage does occur, increasing your safety. Whilst this glass type is certainly a stronger option and increases the safety of a cracked windscreen, cracked glass is still at risk for further internal damage. Although laminated glass can usually be amenable to a windscreen repair if the damage is accessed quickly, internal cracks affect windscreens differently than external and may need to be treated differently. As internal cracks are most commonly caused by stress cracks which usually begin from the edges of the windscreen that can quickly spread and become large, it means a replacement windscreen is the most likely solution. A damaged windscreen has a greater chance of shattering upon impact and is less likely to protect you. The team at Novus Autoglass want your safety as a priority and have put together a guide on the causes of stress cracks to be aware of and how to prevent internal windscreen cracks from happening to you.
What Are The Causes of Stress Cracks?
1. Temperature Changes
Temperature changes are the most common cause of internal stress cracks. These stress cracks occur when there’s an extreme temperature change. If it’s the afternoon and your car has been heating up whilst outside, it’s a good idea to hold off on blasting the air conditioner as soon as you get in. This is due to cold air coming into contact with glass which will cause it to contract. This also goes for when it’s very cold outside and the heater or defroster is suddenly put on high inside the car. The hot air will heat and expand the glass, causing it to crack.
2. Manufacturing Defects and Poor Installation or Glass Quality
Manufacturing defects and poor installation or glass quality are all defects that cause windscreen cracks. As a result of structural weakness, these cracks often appear around the edges, where the screen is most susceptible to damage. As a common reason for internal cracks, this is why it’s vital to have your windscreen fitted by a professional technician who uses high quality, safety approved materials. If you find yourself needing a windscreen repair or replacement, you can feel confident with all Novus Autoglass technicians, who are certified and trained to use the most cutting edge technology in window repair, abiding by strict Australian standards.
3. Wear and Tear
Like all cars, over time the internal structures will begin to break down. When the sealants that hold the windshield in place get old, the glass can begin to flex and crack from the inside. Whilst it most commonly affects older cars, it’s still possible to happen to certain younger car models. To prevent internal windshield cracks, Novus recommends you seek technical advice and services to your car to identify if your windscreen needs to be repaired before imminent damage occurs.
4. Loud Noises
Metalheads, we regret to be the bearer of bad news, but loud internal music is also responsible for creating stress cracks. This goes for anyone who has the habit of playing loud music.
Although blasting your radio from inside your car isn’t likely to single-handedly cause damage on its own, the risk is there. This is particularly true if your windscreen has been damaged already, and your loud music acts like the final straw that breaks the camel’s back.
How Can I Prevent an Internal Windscreen Crack?
We’ve often heard the saying prevention is better than cure. This also applies to windscreen damage. Knowing and following these windscreen tips can help reduce the likelihood of needing a windshield crack repair.
1. Use a Windshield Cover
Something we all likely already have, but may not religiously use. A windshield cover is one of the easiest, fastest solutions to preventing stress cracks in your car. As shaded parking isn’t always available you must remember to use your cover. While you may think you only need this during the summer months, you’re wrong. Even on a cool day, the temperature can be over 20°C hotter inside a car, and the heat up occurs mostly within the first five minutes.
2. Invest in Window Tinting
Investing in window tinting adds strength to your windows by rejecting heat which will prevent your car from overheating, and internal cracks. Whilst tinted windows are an investment, their installation could reduce the need for future repairs due to rapid and extreme temperatures changes that occur with aircon use and weather changes. Depending on the glasses level of protection, tinted window film can block anywhere between 35 to 65 per cent of the suns heat. This also has the added benefit of requiring less fuel consumption used for air conditioning.
3. Change Your Habits
Whilst many of us are conditioned to open the car and immediately put on the air conditioning on full blast, we recommend you allow the car to gradually warm-up or cool down before driving, to prevent glass expansion or contraction, which increases the chances for stress cracks. To help the process, you can roll down your windows whilst the car is cooling down in hotter weather, or if your car is parked in a secure location, leave a small crack in the window to promote air circulation.
4. Lower Your Music
Lowering your music at a reasonable level will be an easy solution to decreasing your car’s risk for stress cracks. With the radio lowered, you prevent extreme sound vibrations that are capable of damaging your windscreen, as well as having the bonus of keeping you safe. Prolonged exposure to noise above 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing damage, and also be a driving distraction.
5. Repair Windscreen Damage Promptly
When it comes to windscreen cracks, seeking a repair sooner is better than later. Having a qualified professional repair your windscreen damage early will prevent your windscreens crack from getting worse and requiring further repairs, or even a new windshield installation that can be more costly. Financial reasons aside, damaged windscreens do a poorer job at protecting you and your passengers from accidents, which is why industry professionals are adamant about prompt repairs.
6. Seek a Professional Technician
To prevent the likelihood of having a poor windscreen service, you should ensure to choose a qualified technician that uses only high quality, industry-approved products. Windscreens are an important part of vehicle safety, and shouldn’t be compromised for a cheaper deal. Ensuring you use a technician who uses the correct glass and installation process will also help you minimise faults and the need for second repairs.
While crack repairs can be done from the inside, it must be done with great caution and isn’t recommended to attempt unless you are a qualified technician. As internal cracks affect the structure and curvature of a windshield, repairing them is difficult, with some damages warranting a replacement. Driving with a cracked windscreen that is small may not reduce your ability to see, but it does impact your safety. Which is why we recommend you seek a professional qualified technician as soon as you notice windscreen damage. At Novus Autoglass, our specialists are mobile for your convenience. Don’t put your safety at risk any longer, and call our team today at 13 22 34 or make an inquiry online to get a free quote or book your windshield repair today. In the meantime, to prevent your windscreen damage from getting worse, avoid any extreme temperatures or noise for extended periods. To learn how to properly protect your windscreen from damage you can read our blog, which is frequently updated on industry news, advice and information.