High temperatures and high humidity are a regular part of summer in Northeast Ohio, so protecting your vehicle from intense summer days should be high on your list of priorities. But what about your windshield? The fact is, while your windshield is designed to withstand heat, it can be vulnerable to extreme exposure and sudden fluctuating temperatures.

Changing temperatures will cause the windshield—and rear and side windows as well as a sunroof—to expand and contract. Normally, these changes don’t cause a problem, but heat can do damage in certain circumstances.

  • Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause the glass to become superheated as heat builds inside a vehicle. Over weeks, months, or years, this intense heat can weaken the glass, increasing the risk of cracks forming.
  • This same prolonged exposure can lead to UV radiation negatively impacting the interlayer in laminated windshields.
  • Sudden changes in temperature, such as exiting a cooled garage to intense heat and sunshine or hitting a superheated windshield with a cold blast of air conditioning, can cause cracking.

What you can do

Your windshield is most vulnerable to damage from the summer sun if it is chipped or cracked. As the glass expands and contracts to adjust to changing temperatures, those chips or cracks are weak spots that will begin to spread. A blast of cold air from your air conditioner can cause a tiny chip to spider web, rendering your car undrivable.

The good news is there are things you can do to protect your car’s windshield.

  • Get chips and cracks repaired right away to strengthen those places on your windshield.
  • Park in the shade whenever you can. Whether it’s in a garage, a car port, or under a tree, getting out of direct sunlight keeps your car cooler and prevents your windshield from becoming superheated.
  • Use a sunshade to reduce the heat buildup inside your car, which can be as stressful on the windshield as the sunlight beating on it.
  • Reduce the chance a sudden temperature change could crack your windshield by cooling your car gradually. Open windows and wait before turning on the air conditioning so your windshield is not impacted by sudden cold air.
  • Avoid automatic car washes if you suspect any small chips or cracks in your windshield. Excessive pressure from a car wash could make a crack larger and make the windshield more vulnerable to damage from expanding and contracting.

If your windshield has been damaged by excessive heat, or if you have a chip or crack that needs repair, contact Senneco Auto Glass for an appointment and quick, quality repairs that will help you avoid auto glass damage this summer.