Causes of windscreen stress cracks

Windscreen cracks can be highly inconvenient when driving, and can even make driving more dangerous. In fact, depending on the placement of the crack, your car may fail its MOT. Stress cracks are a specific type of windscreen crack, but what are the causes of stress cracks?

What are the common causes of windscreen stress cracks?

There are a number of reasons why stress cracks can form on windscreens. These include:

  • Thermal fluctuations- Extreme temperature changes, such as sudden exposure to hot sunlight after being in a cold environment or vice versa, can lead to thermal stress on the windshield. Washing your car with cold water on a hot day can be enough to cause these cracks to appear, while using hot water on a frozen windscreen is more commonly the reason. This happens because the temperature change causes the glass to expand, and over time, this stress weakens the glass, resulting in cracks.
  • Road debris- When driving, gravel, rocks, and other objects kicked up by other vehicles can hit the windshield, creating chips and small fractures. If left unaddressed, these minor damages can grow into larger stress cracks due to constant vibrations and pressure on the glass while driving. The pressure can even be caused by a strong wind, especially when driving at speed, on the motorway for example.
  • Structural weakness- Windscreens are essential for the safety of the car, and the passengers, as the windscreen supports the roof and the airbags. As a result, a very strong adhesive is applied to install the windscreen. The heating and cooling process of this adhesive can be enough to cause stress fractures and cracks on your windscreen.
  • Uneven roads- Potholes and uneven roads can exacerbate existing damages or initiate stress cracks. The constant jolts and vibrations experienced during driving can add stress to the windshield, leading to further cracking.

If you have a windscreen in need of repair, get in touch with the experts today, here at Red Rose Windscreens.