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Types of Windshield Cracks


Most often, windshield cracks are caused by an object hitting the glass, and this often happens when you drive too close to the vehicle in front of you. If you don't keep enough of a distance behind the other vehicle, then your windscreen could be impacted by objects falling off a truck in front, or something that is kicked up by the tyres of the vehicle ahead.

The type of damage caused depends on where the object strikes the glass. Floaters are fractures that can start small but spread - they start anywhere away from the edge of the windscreen. Edge cracks form within two inches of the edge, and may be ten inches to a foot in length. Such damage cannot be repaired and will necessitate replacement of the entire glass.

Another cause of a windshield crack is stress due to large temperature variations that causes the glass to expand or contract. When your vehicle is left in the sun for long periods of time, the glass overheats. If the air-conditioning is turned on suddenly, the sudden temperature difference causes a stress crack. To prevent this, never switch on the AC immediately after getting into an overheated car. Leave the windows open, and let the temperature cool down a bit before turning on the AC. Similarly, if there is ice on your windscreen in winter, it should be scraped off or melted using cold water- never with hot or even warm water. Again, the sudden heat can cause a stress break.

These are some of the common types of windshield cracks that can form:

Chip: Damage that causes a small portion of the glass to fly off.

Crack chip: This is a small chip that can be covered with a quarter.

Edge crack: is one that starts within two inches of the edge. It is typically long, starting at 10 inches approximate length, and cannot be repaired.

Floater: is a fracture that starts in the middle of the glass, not within the 2 " edge of the windscreen. It can spread in any direction.

Bull's Eye: Circular damage to the glass that is caused by a rock-like object, and typically has a cone in the outer layer. It resembles a bull's eye and hence the name.

Half moon, or Partial Bulls Eye: This is similar to a Bull's eye break but is half- moon shaped

Long windshield crack: is one over 6 inches long which cannot be repaired

Combination: Multiple types of breaks.

Pit: A small area where a tiny bit of glass is missing.

Star Break: short radial cracks from the impact point, which look like a star and hence the name.

Stone break: This is a small chip that occurs when a stone-like object hits the glass, and can become large if neglected.

Stress break: is one caused due to sudden temperature variation. There is no single point of impact and any damage caused due to stress will normally be in a long or bending line.

Whatever may be the type of damage, do get an experienced auto glass technician to have a look at it immediately!

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