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Heather’s Weather Lab: How Extreme Temps Cause Cracks on Your Windshield to Spread

COLUMBUS, MISS (WCBI) – It may stop you from getting a new inspection sticker. It can also be the cause of car accidents. We’re talking about cracks in your windshield.

When a rock hits a windshield, often times it begins as a small chip, smaller than a half dollar. However, that small chip often times gets bigger by the day and spreads across the entire windshield.

That’s because in the winter, moisture gets in the cracks. That’s where the problem begins. It’s much like having a pothole on your windshield.

Kevin Williams is a glass technician at the Glass Doctor in Columbus. He’s worked on glass for about twenty five years. He has a simple explanation as to why extreme temperatures causes that little crack, to get really big.

“Due to cutting your defrost on, the heat and the cold combine and meet each other, will cause the glass to spread and break even further. It pulls the moisture out of it and the heat against it even in the summer time will make it spread out even further,” said Kevin Williams, Glass Technician at the Glass Doctor in Columbus.

Because of the recent cold weather that brought us record breaking lows, the Glass Doctor has repaired about 30% more windshields this year compared to last.

“A lot of times they don’t even know they got a repair until the weather hits and they turn the defrost on and look and they have a long crack,” said Williams.

If the crack is smaller than a 50 cent piece, you still have time to get it repaired before it spreads costing you hundreds of dollars to replace rather than about fifty dollars to repair it.

Once the crack spreads and crawls across your windshield, the only option is to replace it.

Experts say, if you notice the chip before it starts spreading, you can warm up your windshield gradually to minimize temperature differences on freezing days.