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STOP, LOOK and REPAIR. Why driving with a cracked windscreen can be dangerous!

Sometimes it seems like the world is out to get our windscreen. Windscreen damage is very common and very inconvenient. What are the main culprits that cause windscreen chips and cracks?

Rocks and debris on the road are windscreen-harming projectiles. We all cringe and hope for the best as we approach an area of unsealed road at speed (usually accompanied by an oncoming truck or two). There’s not much you can do to avoid stones and pebbles thrown up by other cars; but keeping a good distance between other vehicles and reducing your speed may help.

Mother nature also loves to throw us some curveballs in the form of hailstones and thunderstorms. Tree branches and windblown debris love to collide with our windscreens. Utilise a garage or undercover parking wherever you can, and try to avoid driving in poor weather events.

Sudden temperature changes. Extreme heat or cold can cause windscreen glass to expand or contract. Cracks may occur if you leave the car in the sun on a stinking hot day, then blast your aircon. Also, icy windscreens don’t like being defrosted with boiling water.

Stress cracks might appear if your windscreen is suffering a structural weakness in the glass. This could be caused by incorrect installation or even poor glass quality. Stress cracks will usually first appear around the edges.

Collisions. Whether it be another vehicle, animals on the road, birds, or the dreaded car thief with a brick colliding with our beloved windscreen, cracks and chips can occur quickly, and easily, jeopardising our safety.

Do you need to repair a chip before it turns into a crack?

It’s all too common for people to keep driving with a small chip in their windscreen. A tiny chip out of your line of sight isn’t too dangerous is it? Unfortunately it is. Once your windscreen integrity has been compromised, even in the smallest way, your windscreen is no longer efficiently protecting you. Chips will worsen over time, the longer they are left, the more expensive it will become to repair them. It’s common for a chip to progress to a significant crack, which would require a windscreen replacement rather than a simple repair. Repairing chips in your windscreen as quickly as possible can save you a lot of money.

How soon should you have a windscreen chip repaired?

As soon as you see a chip or crack you should seek professional assistance. Our NOVUS technicians are fully mobile and can come to you wherever you are. Most repairs can be completed in under 30 minutes and get you on your way safely.

If you leave a crack to worsen it can become contaminated by the elements, this makes the repair job more involved, and may reduce the optical clarity that can be achieved with the repair. Driving with windscreen damage is never safe. Your windscreen has a big job to do protecting you and your family, it needs to be looked after too.  

What are the types of windscreen chips and cracks?

You may be surprised at the variety of windscreen damage types, each requiring their own unique assessment and repair technique.

  • Combination Breaks are when multiple different types of chips and cracks occur on the one windscreen

combination breaks

  • Bull’s eyes are circular cracks usually caused by circular objects such as rocks

bulls eyes

  • Star breaks are small starburst cracks that lead away from the initial point of impact. These types of cracks can worsen very quickly.

star breaks

  • Edge cracks are common and occur near the edges of the windscreen

edge cracks

  • Floater cracks start in the middle of the windscreen, or at least 5cm away from the edges

floater cracks

  • Stress Cracks can occur from extreme temperature variations or poor installation

stress cracks

  • Half Moon cracks are (unsurprisingly) semi-circular cracks, usually caused by an impact with a round object, like a rock.

half moon cracks

How do you know whether you should repair or replace your windscreen?

If you act quickly, hopefully you can repair your windscreen before it needs replacing. As a general guide, we have patented the technology to repair windscreen cracks of up to 15cm long, which is approximately 5cm longer than most companies. If your crack exceeds 15cm, you’re likely looking at a replacement. It all depends on the severity, location and age of the damage, and the condition of the windscreen. Windscreen glass is the only autoglass that can be repaired. If damage has occurred on your side or rear window glass, it will need to be replaced. The best thing to do is to seek assistance by contacting us as soon as possible to have your damage assessed, and we will recommend the best plan of action to get you back on the road safely, as quickly as possible, and with the least amount of strain on your wallet.