4 Common Types Of Windshield Cracks

Rock chips are a common issue on windshields, but cracks are another problem you need to be aware of. There are many different types of cracks, which can come from a variety of causes. Just like a rock chip, some cracks can be repaired. Although, cracks do tend to be more severe than a chip, so often repairing your windshield will be necessary.

1. Edge Crack

Edge cracks occur right along the edge of the windshield. They may not even be noticeable until they begin to spread out from the edge and into the field of view. Edge cracks can be caused by a rock strike, a minor car accident, or from stress on a windshield as the seal fails. An edge crack can be a hazard as it will interfere with the seal and the glass may begin to loosen in the frame. Furthermore, moisture may be able to leak around the seal if the crack reaches all the way to the edge of the glass. 

2. Floater Crack

A floater is a crack that is more centered in the window and doesn't reach all the way to any of the glass edges. Its origination point is typically 2 inches or more from the windshield edge, and it is most likely caused by a rock strike or similar impact. A floater crack will usually grow larger quite quickly due to the stress on it because of its location. If it remains small, typically under 3 inches, you may be able to get it repaired, but all too often, these cracks are large and will necessitate a windshield replacement.

3. Stress Crack

Stress cracks are not caused by an impact. Instead, temperature fluctuations are the main cause of the damage. Small chips or etching in the glass, which may not be easily visible, can trap moisture. When this moisture freezes and expands, a stress crack forms. Stress cracks can also form from temperature shocks, such as when hot water is poured over an icy window to defrost it. A stress crack tends to form quickly, but it may continue to grow after the initial cracking. It can sometimes be repaired if the crack is small enough.

4. Chip Crack

Sometimes a rock does more than chip a windshield when it strikes, it may also cause one or more cracks to form. These cracks radiate out from the central chip, and they may grow slowly or quickly. A small crack can typically be repaired, but larger cracks or multiple cracks will usually mean it's time for a new windshield. 

Contact an auto glass repair company near you, such as MS Glass Outlet, if you have any signs of cracking on your windshield.