Wrap it in bubble wrap and leave it in the garage…OR, keep your precious windscreen in mind as you go about your daily driving business. It’s a pretty special part of your vehicle and well worth your care and attention.
Windscreen glass is constructed differently to normal glass. It’s often thought it would be some kind of magic impenetrable mega-tough super glass! But really, it’s still glass and prone to breaking under force or pressure. What does make windscreen glass quite special, however, is how it is constructed. It is made specifically for enhanced driver and passenger safety. How so? We thought you’d never ask! Well, in the event of an accident, your windscreen it won’t shatter into dangerous dagger-like shards as you would expect from normal glass. It will often-times ‘spider-web’ or crack in several places, while retaining its shape, or break into smaller, safer pieces.
Windscreen glass is constructed using two sheets of heavy-duty glass fixed together with a thin laminate film between them. It is this film that helps hold the glass together when it is damaged.
There is no such thing as indestructible glass, unfortunately, so we all have a duty of care to maintain our windscreens as effectively as possible, for the safety of our own families, and fellow road users.
Here’s how to keep your windscreen glass in tip-top condition (or at least try your best).
Be careful when driving in gravel
We all love a good off-road adventure; but when the road is rough and loose, it’s a recipe for damage and obstructed driving. When the dust clears just enough for us to see that flying gravel headed straight for our windscreen, it’s all too late. The best thing to do on rocky surfaces is to drop your speed considerably as this will reduce the likeliness of gravel spinning up and causing a collection of chips or cracks across your windscreen. No one likes a tailgater so we recommend maintaining an extra safe distance from the vehicles in front of you as well. It’s common and very easy for vehicles ahead to collect rocks and stones in their tyres and send them hurtling towards you at speed. If you’re driving too close, you’ll not only have debris to contend with; but the dust that always accompanies a dry dirt road. Steer clear, and keep your vision and windscreen safe.
Be aware of temperature fluctuations
Extreme temperatures cause all glass to expand and contract – windscreen glass included. If you’ve ever spent a week in Melbourne, you would know first hand how dramatically environmental temperatures can rise and fall in a matter of hours. If you know you’re in for a very hot, or very cold, or just a very normal day in Melbourne, there are precautions you can take to protect your windscreen from buckling under the extreme temp pressure.
Make sure to avoid parking your car in direct sunlight – it’s bad for everything, your windscreen, interior, paintwork and wipers. Not to mention your core temperature when you have to clamber into the cabin and are forced to crank the AC on full blast. Extensive heat directly applied to your windshield will weaken the glass, it’s susceptible to cracking especially when you blast the air con on a hot day – the quick change in temperature too much for your poor windscreen. This includes putting hot water on freezing frost-covered glass during winter to remove any ice as the extreme change in temperature could result in an ugly, expensive crack.
If you’re stuck parking in the sun, please use window shades or front sun shades to protect your dash and interior from sunburn. If you’re willing to spend a little extra, consider investing in window tinting for your vehicle. Depending on what state you’re in, there are different laws on how dark your tinting is allowed to be. However, whichever level you decide to choose, you can drive away happy knowing they will better protect you and your family from UV rays, lengthen the life of your upholstery and increase privacy.
Repair windshield chips immediately
You spot a little chip in your windscreen and think, “Oh it’s just tiny, it doesn’t matter.” Ignoring it is the worst thing you can do because a windshield chip is like a magic bean. DO NOT avoid chips in your windshield. As harmless as it may seem, it will inevitably grow into a gnarly great beanstalk crack right across your windscreen.
When small chips or cracks occur you may not even notice it until much later; but the sooner you identify a nick in your glass and fix it, the less likely you are to have to replace your windscreen altogether. Repairing a small chip or crack is a fast, inexpensive way to restore the safety and integrity of your windscreen glass. When you engage the services of Novus, we have a lifetime guarantee our work too! What have you got to lose? Nothing.
Replace windshield wipers
If you start noticing your windshield wipers leaving marks and streaks of water on the glass, it is time to get your blades, or even your full wipers replaced. When wipers crack or become brittle, they’re unable to effectively clear all the water from the glass surface, they exert unnecessary pressure on certain areas of the windshield. Not only this, when they start to lose shape, it is likely that small debris like rocks and twigs can get stuck underneath the blades and scratch the windscreen.
Poor wiper blades in combination with other small vehicular problems can lead to a weaker glass in certain spots making it even more prone to cracks and chips. What?! Even our wipers are out to get us! No not at all, when wipers are well maintained they’re a windscreen’s best friend.
Take it easy and drive like you love your car
We all lose our temper sometimes; but try not to take it out on your car, your precious four-wheeled possession. When you slam doors shut, the extra unnecessary force can send shockwaves through the glass and cause damage. Sometimes unseen.
You should always drive your vehicle the way it was intended. Don’t overuse the brakes or speed up/slow down erratically. We’ve all seen that person that drives like a maniac weaving in and out of traffic and stressing themselves out…they arrive about one second faster than everyone else does and just look silly. Don’t be that person, your car really doesn’t like it. And you might have to spend extra at your next car service.
Use the right chemicals when cleaning
It’s a common mistake to buy the strongest heavy-duty cleaners for your car. They should work the best right? Not necessarily. It is really important to get a cleaner that is compatible and safe for your car and car windows. Harsh chemicals can lead to colour fading and discolouration and can even strip away the protecting coating on your glass. If you do find that your products have caused fading or discolouration, we offer Plastic Polish solutions which will help repair and restore your car’s exterior. Look for automaker cleaning products. You could also easily make a DIY cleaner, just remember to look out for chemicals like ammonia, which is often an ingredient found in indoor cleaning products – it is not a favourable ingredient for your auto glass.
If you have a problem with your windscreen, get in touch with us. We’ll get you back on the road worry-free with a lifetime warranty on our windscreen repairs and replacements.
Why risk further damage and compromised safety when it’s not necessary? If you’ve been ignoring your minor windscreen damage this summer, you better get cracking and call us today. We’ll recommend the best plan of action to get you back on the road as quickly as possible with the least negative impact on your wallet.