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Windshield damage and heat: When to replace, what you should know

Posted: 5:09 AM, Sep 03, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-03 21:00:17Z

Before you put off replacing that cracked or broken windshield for another day, one Valley company is warning that Mother Nature could be working to make matters even worse.

Safelite AutoGlass has recently started moving their employees' work schedules in the summer. They now start doing repairs as early as 6 a.m. and try to be off the road by 2 p.m. 

District Manager Shawn McClain said employees asked for the change two seasons ago. He rode along with them to see what they were dealing with and decided there had to be a change, both for customers and for their employees. 

While these hours help keep employees out of the sun, it can also ensure a simple crack repair does not turn into a full-blown replacement. 

When a car is sitting in the sun while a repair is going on, that runs the risk of holding in a lot of hot air pressure inside the vehicle.

"It builds up pressure in the car," McClain said. "And it can cause the windshield to expand or contract and if someone has a chip in their windshield and it has extreme temperature change, then it can crack out and then, unfortunately, you have to replace it at that point."

If the crack is smaller than the length of a dollar bill, usually it can be repaired. But, if it is larger, a driver is looking at a full replacement. 

"If you don't have to remove the windshield, you're not messing with the integrity of the structure of the vehicle because the windshield really is a safety mechanism in the car, too," explained McClain. 

McClain warns that you should not wait on a repair. Not only is it dangerous, but is against the law .

While you are waiting, though, McClain suggests parking in the shade as much as possible. Also, crack your windows just a bit to relieve some of the pressure that may be building inside the vehicle. Finally, avoid car washes or power washing, as well.