The windscreen glass on our cars is a little more than meets the eye. Technology has changed this over the years and now there is much to know about windscreens.
Did you know that cars were still driven even before windshields were invented? How did the drivers manage this though? They would wear goggles to protect their eyes from debris, sun glare, and wind.
Today, things are different, and auto glass is a must. Windshields also come in different types and sizes.
Read on below ast we cover all there is to know about the modern windscreen.
Windshields Are a Crucial Safety Element
To ensure that a windshield enhances the safety and comfort of the car occupants, it is specially designed. Unlike the side auto glasses, this particular one is made with laminated glass. It prevents it from breaking down into shards in case of damage.
PVB or polyvinyl butyral is inserted between two laminated glasses. Heat and pressure are then applied to seal the two together and ensure strength.
With this kind of technology, the glass absorbs impact from collision or hit better. Even when a rock hits it or the car is involved in an accident, the glass will stay intact despite the damage.
This is significant as it prevents injuries that may be sustained by the occupants.
Windshields Prevent Roof Collapse in Accidents
A car windshield and its roof complement each other. They support each other in different ways. If one of them is extremely damaged or removed, the other one will not perform optimally.
The windscreen supports the roof. This is one reason that whenever it is damaged, it should be repaired as soon as possible.
If this is not done, the roof could give in to the pressure and collapse. It would then turn into a disaster, and besides injuring the car occupants, it could also lead to fatal accidents.
Whenever a crack or chip is noticed, a technician should be contacted straight away.
Tinting Windscreens Enhance Safety
A tinted windscreen will not prevent it from cracking or getting chipped, but it enhances comfort. It also boosts privacy and heat that could be penetrating the car.
In some instances, windshield damage could result from UV rays. Too much heat can damage the glass, but with a quality tint, this can be prevented.
Types of Windscreen Damages
We asked our local windscreen repair expert Metro Auto Glass about the types of windscreen damages they encounter. You can read more about them here.
They told us that windscreen damages can vary greatly, and the techniques to repair them also differ. The type of repair needed also depends on the location of the problem.
If some pieces of glass fall from the windshield after an impact, this is known as a chip. Common damage to the windscreen is an edge crack that happens at the edge of the glass. If the crack lines seem to be leading from some central point, this is referred to as a star crack.
Half-moon chips are similar to a semi-circle, and just like a circular bullseye, they are caused by an impact. The latter radiates from where the impact was made.
At times, the damage could be a mixture of chips and cracks.
On the other hand, the windscreen could sustain stress or a floater crack. The latter is located at least 2 inches from the edge of the windshield. If pressure from temperature changes causes damage, then this is known as stress crack.
Extreme Temperatures Could Lead To Frequent Repairs
Extreme temperatures such as during winter could see you make frequent visits to a windscreen technician. It causes extreme pressure that can lead to expansion or contraction. It is even worse when there is rapid change.
Take, for example, there is heavy hailstones or ice on the glass. One mistake people make is pouring hot water to melt the ice. This is dangerous as it can cause damage. If it is hot, avoid pouring cold water on it.
Regardless of how defrosted the windshield is, do not use boiling water to fix it.
As a car owner, avoid leaving your car in direct sunlight especially, during summer. The glass may start cracking, and this means its quality is degrading.
It will be a matter of time before an expensive replacement is needed. By protecting your car from dramatic temperature changes, you will be preventing damages such as stress cracks.
Improved Windshield Repair Technology
Windscreens have come a long way from when there were none when they were invented now. In the early 20th century, a woman discovered windscreen wipers.
They are useful in clearing the glass and enhance clarity for the driver. Whether you are a careful driver or not, the glass could be damaged.
You could be driving, and a pebble hits it, or the car could be parked, and a tree branch hits it. Anything can happen and cause damage.
Damage repair was a challenge, but for the last three decades, it has improved significantly. Even when a crack is a foot long, it can be repaired in minutes. With the latest technology, some of the damages, such as half-moon and bullseye can be repaired.
Driving with A Damaged Windscreen Is a Crime
In most if not all countries across the globe, driving with a damaged windshield is a crime. Whether it has an edge crack, a chip, or a stress crack, it is a crime.
A traffic officer will not want to know if it happened last week or it just happened. It is worse when it is in Zone A or on the driver’s few.
The reason it is illegal is that it could interfere with driving. It would in turn lead to accidents that can be avoided. Other people on the road are exposed, and due to this, it should be repaired as soon as possible.
If it is irreparable, a replacement would be ideal.
There was a time a car having a windscreen was optional. It was a luxury that many car owners would do without. They would wear goggles to substitute the glass.
Today, every car being manufactured comes with one. Due to its nature, it can easily be damaged in case of an impact.
Drastic temperature changes, rocks, tree branches, and collisions cause these damages. It must be protected, and when there is a need for repair, a technician is hired right away.