1) Always maintain a safe distance from other vehicles while driving.
To protect your windshield from unexpected chips and cracks while driving, maintain safe distance from other cars, especially trucks and construction vehicles. The tires of these vehicles are infamous for flicking pebbles and small objects at windshields while traveling at high speeds on the highway, and they may also have loose cargo that can fly out. Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC are always busy with construction and high traffic, so the chances of your windshield chipping are very high if you are not careful. Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles at all times, and your auto glass will be protected from these unexpected situations.
2) Avoid construction zones when possible.
Construction sites can pose a significant danger to a vehicle’s windshield due to the presence of debris and other hazards. Heavy machinery and construction vehicles can kick up rocks, gravel, and other loose materials, which can fly into the air and strike a passing vehicle’s windshield. Additionally, construction workers may be working at heights, and if they accidentally drop a tool or other object, it can fall and damage a vehicle’s windshield. Construction sites are also often dusty and dirty, and the dust and debris can scratch a vehicle’s windshield, making it more susceptible to damage. Therefore, it’s essential to take precautions and avoid driving through construction zones whenever possible to prevent windshield damage.
3) Park in a shaded area or garage.
Park in a shaded area or garage (garage being the best option) during extreme temperatures and/or weather events. Parking in a garage is especially safe, because you don’t have to worry about tree branches falling or other objects flying around in the wind, ultimately hitting your window or windshield and damaging your auto glass. On a very hot and sunny day, however, we recommend that you park wherever you can find shade so that your vehicle and its windshield are protected from the extreme heat.
4) Avoid slamming doors or placing objects on the windshield.
It is very important to avoid slamming doors and placing objects on the windshield. This is something very easy to overlook, which can turn into a bad habit. Over time, this will cause micro fractures within the glass, which make it very weak and highly susceptible to breaking.
5) Avoid gravel or unpaved roads.
Avoid gravel roads. While cars are driving on gravel and the wheels are spinning, the tires can kick objects around very powerfully and possibly crack/ break your auto glass. Avoid these kinds of areas if possible. If you have no choice, drive slowly and avoid driving too closely to other cars, and your car should be fine.
6) Keep the windshield, wipers, and surrounding area clean.
Always ensure that your windshield, windshield wipers and the area surrounding it are completely clean and that there are no leaves, sticks, rocks, pebbles, dirt, etc. hanging around. It is possible for an object to get stuck to your windshield wipers and completely scratch up the windshield glass. Loose dirt and particles on the windshield can also leave very bad scratches on the glass. Keeping the front of your car clean is an easy way to make sure you never have to deal with issues regarding your windshield, and it is a good habit to always maintain.
7) Change your windshield wiper blades every 6–12 months.
It is very important to change your wiper blades when necessary, depending on the brand specifications and amount of wear/use. Wiper blades are exposed to a range of environmental factors that can cause them to wear out, including heat, cold, and UV rays. Additionally, using wiper blades that are past their useful life can cause them to become brittle and crack, leading to potential damage to your windshield. Old, worn out wiper blades can result in deep scratches in your windshield that may not come out. Wiper blades play a crucial role in maintaining a clear view while driving in rainy or snowy conditions, and having a cure view of the road and obstacles in front of you is crucial to avoid accidents. Over time, wiper blades can wear out and become less effective, leading to streaks, smudges, and reduced visibility. This can be particularly dangerous when driving in heavy rain or snow, and will make it difficult to see the road and other vehicles. Using old wipers can be dangerous in many ways, and replacing them is generally very easy and cheap. For these reasons, we always recommend making a habit of changing them every 6 months.
8) Repair windshield chips or cracks immediately!
If your windshield has a small chip or crack, don’t ignore it! It’s easy to just assume that a small chip or crack on your front windshield is nothing to worry about, but this is not at all the case. There are countless reasons to get it fixed immediately! 1) It is much cheaper than a replacement and takes half the time. 2) The crack can grow and impair your visibility, increasing your chances of having an accident. 3) In some counties and states, having a chip or crack on your windshield can get you a ticket. If the chip is smaller than a quarter (coin), you can get a simple, low cost chip repair to prevent it from spreading and having to replace the whole windshield. However, you have to act fast and get that done as soon as possible. You may wake up the next morning to find that the crack has grown, or even spread across the entire windshield. Once the glass has been damaged, it will almost certainly spread. This mainly happens because of the widely varying temperatures from day to night, which causes shrinking and expansion within the glass and cracks it further. If you allow it to get to this point, your windshield will require a full replacement—which can be very expensive.
9) Invest in windshield protection.
If you live in a very busy area, you may want to consider installing a protective layer on your windshield or applying a windshield-specific-wax to protect the outer layer of your windshield. We highly recommend this if you live in the Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia area or any busy/growing city or town. The DMV is constantly growing, which means there is almost always constructions on the highways and inside the city. By investing in some windshield protection you can avoid many of the chips, scratches, and cracks that may develop on your windshield just by driving around.
10) Be cautious while washing your car.
Be very cautious around auto glass if you are washing your car with a high-pressure spray or washer. If you are planning on doing so, perhaps take a few steps back or lower the pressure of the water while washing the windows, back glass and windshield. The auto glass will not be able to take the same force as the metal body of the car. Using high enough pressure can result in the glass shattering and flying everywhere.