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Pitted Windshields-What Can Be Done?


Does your windscreen cause you glare and eyestrain while you drive? It could be that you have small pits in the surface of the glass. The windscreen of your vehicle takes a lot of rough treatment when your drive, and gets damaged often. Regardless of how the damage is caused, windshields are hard to repair.

Although many vehicle owners may think that tempered glass is a hard substance, it is in reality quite soft. Even sandpaper can scratch the surface of tempered glass - and sand or small grit that is blown into the windshield can cause it to get pitted. Pitting usually happens when small hard particles like sand or gravel hit with force against the windshield, causing small craters on the surface of the glass. This is similar to the abrasion caused by rubbing with sandpaper.

This is especially a problem in desert areas, where dust storms cause extremely abrasive conditions - or in cold climates where sand is applied on icy roads to prevent slippage. If your windscreen wiper is damaged, and you continue to use it, pitting could result. Another cause of pits is tree sap - if your vehicle is parked repeatedly below certain types of trees, the sap that drips below can cause such damage over time.

However it is caused, pitting greatly reduces visibility as the holes will collect dirt and dust, which reduces the visibility and decreases the effectiveness of windscreen wipers. When the surface is pitted badly, sunlight that hits the glass at an angle can deflect and distort the incoming light. This can sometimes reduce visibility to near-zero conditions, which is dangerous to say the least. The glass will sparkle in the sun as each crater will reflect the sun's rays at a different angle. As the car ages, the glass can deteriorate further.

Some repair shops polish pitted glass with rouge compounds in an attempt to reduce the size of the pits. Mechanics will use automobile glass pit polish and a sander to get the pits filled in line with the surface of the glass, after which it can be polished for a smooth finish. Get an expert opinion as deep craters cannot be fixed easily this way.

Do remember - if the glass is very worn and badly damaged, these methods may not be acceptable and the only safe solution is complete replacement of the glass. In the case of a glass surface that is not pitted badly, but have cracks and scratches that are minor, repairing the crack is an acceptable option.

Most auto insurers will pay for windshield replacements in the case of a badly pitted surface, as they can be attributed to road damage. In all cases, such repairs should be attempted only if the damage is outside the critical viewing area in front of the driver. Also, make sure your mechanic is experienced, uses the best quality materials and does not hurry up the work. Your windscreen is there for your safety - and you do not want that to be compromised under any circumstances!

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