How to Stop a Windshield Crack from Spreading

Avoid repair or replacement with these tips on how to keep a windshield crack from spreading, from the experts at Glass Doctor.

Have you ever been driving down the highway, minding your own business, when suddenly a flying rock smashes into your windshield? You’re glad to be safe, but now you must act fast to prevent that chip from growing. Here’s a look at the hazards of cracked windshields and how to stop windshield cracks from spreading until you can seek professional windshield repair.

Why a Cracked Windshield is Dangerous

Rock chips are frustrating, no doubt about it. But even if your schedule is hectic, you should make windshield repair a priority. The longer you wait, the more likely the crack will spread. Dirt buildup also makes it more difficult to perform a successful repair.

If you allow a rock chip to grow into a full-fledged crack, it’s too late to repair it, but you should still have your windshield replaced as soon as possible. Here’s why:

  • A cracked windshield makes accidents more dangerous. The windshield contributes to the structural integrity of your vehicle. If you get into a rollover accident, the roof is more likely to cave in if the windshield is cracked, increasing the chances of a serious injury or fatality.
  • A cracked windshield is distracting. Cracks in the glass reflect light into your eyes, which can distract or even blind you. This is why police officers can ticket you for driving with a cracked windshield.
  • A cracked windshield is unattractive. Whether you plan on selling your car or not, you want it to look its best! Replacing the windshield when it gets cracked shows you take pride in the car you drive.

How to Stop a Crack in the Windshield

There are a couple of methods car owners can try to stop or slow the spread of a windshield crack.

Apply Superglue or Clear Nail Polish

Before you attempt to fill the crack, clean the windshield with auto glass cleaner and paper towels. Then, as a low-fidelity solution, apply clear nail polish or superglue to the chip. Allow the polish or glue to dry, and then place a piece of clear packing tape over the area to help keep dirt out until you can have the chip repaired. Who knew you could temporarily fix a windshield with such everyday items?

Use a Windshield Repair Kit

Bona fide windshield repair kits are available for purchase at local hardware stores. To use this, you must be comfortable boring a small hole into the top layer of glass with a 1/16-inch drill bit. Next, force the specialized resin from the repair kit into the hole to seal the glass, reduce stress on the windshield, and stop cracks from forming. If you do the job well, this may be the only repair you need.

Avoid Sudden Temperature Changes

Glass expands in hot weather and contracts when it gets cold. If you direct a heating vent at your chipped windshield in cold weather, this may cause the crack to spread abruptly. Then you’ll have no choice but to replace the windshield. To prevent this from happening, park your car in the shade when possible and avoid using the window defroster until you have the chip repaired.

Schedule Windshield Repair or Replacement

Having a rock chip filled is a quick, easy, and affordable service. It’s always best to repair your windshield if you can. However, if the crack spreads longer than three inches, a repair may not be possible. Fortunately, Glass Doctor® performs repairs and replacements to make your car roadworthy once more.

To learn more about our windshield repair and replacement process, or to schedule services, please contact Glass Doctor today.