How You Damage Your Windscreen without Realising It
Your windscreen is there not only to shield you from debris and other environmental hazards when driving, it also provides up to 30 percent of your vehicles strength. Part of its role is to ensure that in the event of an accident the airbags deploy properly, and the roof of your vehicle is supported.
Maintaining it should be an important part of your general vehicle maintenance. But even if you diligently have all cracks and chips taken care of as soon as they occur, there are other ways in which you could be damaging your windscreen without realising it.
Not Cleaning Your Windscreen Regularly
Your windscreen is exposed to a lot of grit and grime, both when you are driving, and when your car is parked. Some is blown straight off, but some will stick and accumulate more dirt. Small particles in any accumulated dirt will move about whenever you drive, scratching the glass. Even though many of these scratches will be microscopic at first, over time more scratches build up on top of each other, making the glass less clear. The longer you go without cleaning your windscreen, the faster these scratches build up, making it more difficult to see clearly through sections of your windscreen.
Try to clean large patches of dirt off your windscreen as soon as they appear, but also build a habit of properly cleaning your windscreen every week, even if there is no visible dirt on it.
Cleaning Your Windscreen with the Wrong Products
Harsh chemicals, especially cleaning products with ammonia, will also damage your windscreen–and other auto glass–over time. If you have tinted glass, the harsh chemicals can cause cracks and bubbling in the tint, requiring them to be replaced. And the chemicals can also leave a small film or streaks behind. These won’t always be immediately visible, but appear when it rains or sunlight hits the windscreen at the right angle, affecting your ability to clearly see through your windscreen. Harsh chemicals can also damage the moulding and seal around the windscreens edge, weakening the bond of your windscreen to the frame of your vehicle.
Besides making sure you only use products designed for cleaning windscreens and auto glass, avoid using any old cloth or sponge on your vehicle too. Clean microfibre cloths are always recommended as they are soft enough to not scratch the glass, and also less likely to trap small particles that also scratch the glass as you wipe it down. Replace the cloths regularly.
Not Checking and Replacing Your Windscreen Wipers
Whether you use them regularly or not, the wiper blades of your windscreen wipers do break down. When this happens they don’t only do a poor job of keeping your windscreen clear during a rain storm, they also increase the chance of the metal parts of the wiper arm and blade housing to come into contact with your windscreen. Ignore this long enough and your windscreen is going to get scratched, and always within your line of vision. Windscreen wipers should be checked–and replaced–every six to twelve months, but make sure you also check the wiper arm for any lose parts or visible wear-and-tear.
Also get into the habit of having your wiper fluid topped up regularly to ensure that if you ever need to clean your windscreen while driving, there is enough fluid to do so without reducing your vision more.
At Instant Windscreens our auto glass technicians are trained to properly assess windscreens for any damage and recommend repairs or replacement when necessary. Call us today to schedule your car.