A cracked or chipped windshield is something all car owners want to avoid and we do our best. If you think that windshield damage can occur only from a direct impact, you should thing again.

Yes, direct impacts manifest almost immediately, while other things take time. But you should not discard them. So here are the 7 most common things you do that damage your windshield.

Temperature

Rapid oscillations in temperature can be really harmful for your windshield as well as two opposite temperatures competing against each other. If it’s freezing cold outside, you will most likely have the heating on in your car. And if it’s really hot outside, you will have your AC on in your car. When these temperatures interact with your windshield, it expands and contracts. So make sure that you don’t go overboard with either hot or cold. This could prevent windshield damage in the long run.

Grime and dirt

You most likely noticed a little dust and grime on your windshield and didn’t think that it’s a big deal. Well actually, it can be quite dangerous. When a pebble or small rock hits your windshield, the effects should be equally distributed. But if the windshield is covered with dirt, you risk windshield damage. So make sure that you keep good care of your windshield and keep it clean.

Poor wiper blades

With use, wiper blades degrade over time and they become tattered. The surface of your wiper blades wears off, hard plastic gets exposed and can cause windshield damage. Even if the blades seem to be in working order to your naked eye, they could possibly cause damage to your windshield gradually. So we recommend changing the wiper blade when season change. A new set of wiper blades is a far lesser expense than repairing or replacing a damaged windshield.

Parking

No matter how unusual it sounds, your parking choices can impact the integrity of your windshield. For example, if you frequently par under a tree, your windshield can become a target for bird droppings. Yes, it doesn’t sound serious. However, keep in mind that bird droppings are rich in uric acid and that causes blemishes on your windshield. Especially if they are left to harden. So when you notice bird droppings:

  • Clean the windshield right away. If not, the droppings will harden, making them difficult to clean later. You might end up scratching your windshield trying to clean it.
  • If the droppings do harden, first soaks the area with a wet sponge. This should soften the droppings and make them easier to remove
  • Don’t start scratching the surface immediately after you’ve soaked the droppings. Wait for a minute or two, to make sure that the droppings have softened.
  • Instead of scratching the area, gently rub it with a soapy sponge.

Cleaning routine

You’d be shocked to know how much windshield damage is caused by improper cleaning. The most common mistake car owners make is use sponges. Sponges are not suited for cleaning windshields and can be harmful over time. However, if you must use a sponge (like in the example with the bird droppings) don’t scrub the surface. Another common household item people use to cleaning their windshield is towels. Household towels are quite rough for glass surfaces and will scratch the windshield in time.

You should also stay away from household cleaning products as they contain chemicals that can leave streaks on your windshield. Streaks will often create glare and will compromise your visibility while driving. Those said chemicals are also harmful to tinted windows, so it’s best to avoid household products altogether.

We recommend using cleaning fluids specifically designed for cleaning windshield and car windows and also to use a microfiber cloth since they are soft enough to be used on glass surfaces.

Driving style

Daily driving also causes windshield damage, no matter how diligent you are. Depending on where you usually drive, the damage can be minimal (well-maintained roads) or serious (poor-maintained roads). Take time once in a while to visit your local auto glass shop for a check-up and to keep your windshield in top shape.