When you hear about a damaged windshield, what’s the first thing that pops in your head?
Let me guess.
You probably think it’s caused by accidental impact or a careless car owner. But did you know that you could be the best car owner and still end up with a damaged windshield? Or that windshield glass can get pits, scratches, and cracks from natural circumstances?
6 Things That Cause Windshield Damage and How To Avoid Them
The truth is, your windshield may be suffering right under your nose. And there could be several reasons behind it.
1. Scraping snow and ice off the windshield
It may look like an innocent cleanup, but using a scraper to remove snow or ice is damaging to glass.
Solution: Apply de-icing spray on your snow-covered windshield. You can create a DIY de-icer by mixing 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water. Use it in combination with your car’s defroster and wait for the ice to melt.
2. Improper cleaning methods
Cleaning your windshield can do more harm than good if you don’t know what you’re doing. Using a sponge to clean it is one example. Small rocks can get stuck in them and leave bad scratches.
Certain types of cloth and cleaning products such as rough towels, detergents, and household glass cleaners are too harsh for the windshield. They could cause scratches or streaks, or damage the tint.
Solution: Switch to a microfiber cloth and have at least two – one for washing and another for drying. Only use cleaning soap that’s specially made for auto glass.
3. Not cleaning your windshield
Just as cleaning can be damaging, so is the lack of it. Your windshield will collect dust and grime. They could get caught in your wipers and cleaning tools, resulting in nasty scratches.
Solution: Keep your windshield spotless with proper cleaning methods.
4. Extremes in temperature
Exposing your vehicle to heat and cold simultaneously, or to sudden shifts in temperature, is highly damaging. It causes car glass to immediately crack without warning.
Some examples include:
- Having your A/C in full blast while it’s 81 degrees outside
- Pouring boiling water on a snow-covered windshield in sub-zero temperatures
Solution: Do not expose your windshield to extreme temperatures.
5. Parking under trees
Branches and fruits can fall off a tree and result in impact damage if they hit your windshield. But your worst enemy is surprisingly bird droppings. High in uric acid, they could stain your windshield and damage the tint if left to dry.
Solution: Avoid parking under trees. If you see bird droppings, clean your windshield as soon as possible. Start by soaking the affected area in warm water. Use a damp and soapy microfiber cloth to safely remove droppings.
6. Using old wiper blades
The rubber inserts of wipers degrade with time, exposing hard plastic underneath. Continuing to use wipers in this state will surely scratch your windshield.
Solution: Replace the rubber blade refills of your wipers every six months or the moment you notice they’re not cleaning your windows as efficiently.