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Causes of Chips, Cracks and Windshield Damage

Calgary Common Causes For Windshield Damage

Windshield cracks aren’t only caused by car collisions. Calgary-based auto glass repair specialists explain common causes of windshield chips and cracks that result in damage to your auto glass.

This post will outline a few main causes of windshield cracking and chipping, which can require Calgary windshield repairs or replacements. There are several ways a windshield can become damaged, including:

  • Debris
  • Temperature and weather change
  • Manufacturing defects

Debris damage

Damage such as gravel ricochet can contribute to windshield chips and dings. This can be especially true in the winter when road salt and sand can come into contact with the windshield either due to the wind, or from the back of vehicles carrying dirt, salt, and sand.

Tip: Most vehicles carrying gravel, dirt, or other materials that may cause damage to vehicles behind it have warning signs. Even if a vehicle doesn’t have a sign, exercise caution and follow at a safe distance if it seems that a truck is carrying gravel or sand that could damage your windscreen. Not only can it prevent windshield damage, but maintaining a safe and reasonable following distance is also safer and can help prevent accidents. This can help you avoid a trip to a Calgary chip repair and windshield replacement shop, which saves you time and money.

Temperature fluctuations 

Significant changes in temperature can be the cause of windshield cracks. If you’re not certain how a crack appeared on your windshield but your car has recently been subjected to a significant temperature change, this may be the cause.

  • Temperature changes can occur when a car that has been sitting in the hot summer sun for a while before the air conditioning is turned on, or when a very cold car has the heat turned up to melt ice on the windshield.
  • Since windshields are made of two layers of glass, if moisture gets into a small chip or ding, cold winter temperatures can cause the moisture to freeze. This can cause severe damage to a vehicle's windshield, eventually requiring a replacement.

Tip: Never use hot water to melt ice off a car. Use cold water or a scraper.


Hail and falling ice can be another cause of windshield damage, especially in colder climates. Hail can be more difficult to avoid than other kinds of seasonal debris (such as ice-laden tree branches) because a storm can occur while you are on the road.

Tip: Preventing hail damage can require some preparation, but can prevent significant amounts of damage:

  • To prevent hail damage, park your vehicle in a sheltered area or garage before a storm hits.
  • If you are caught in a severe hail storm on the road, specialized items such as protective padded tarps or car covers can be useful.
  • If you are caught in a hail stormwithout specialized items, a thick blanket (such as the kind found in car emergency kits) can provide your windshield with a degree of protection.

Manufacturing or repair defects

In some cases, a vehicle’s windshield may become damaged due to the way the original windscreen was installed or the way a windshield repair was conducted:

  • The windshield could be installed loosely during the original manufacturing process, or during a replacement. This can cause the windshield to vibrate and become more damaged with time.
  • The outer edges of windshields are also be more prone to stress cracks, due to the way that they are manufactured. Many cracks begin in this area of the windshield and then spread outward. Your auto repair and glass repair specialist can help you determine whether the best option in this situation is to repair or to replace your windshield.

Tip: If you are having your windshield replaced, make sure that the technician is highly qualified and check reviews to determine how they conducted repairs similar to the one your vehicle required.

Want to Learn More?

For more information about windshield damage, repair, or replacement, contact our Calgary windshield repair and stone chip repair specialists by phone at 403-863-8529.

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