Types of Cracks
Cracks are either straight or crooked lines that often extend across the entire windshield. Cracks will grow quickly and should be repaired immediately.
Starbreaks or starbursts are a series of long cracks that extend from a central point of damage. This central point can be extremely small, which is why you should take every chip in your windshield seriously. Starbreaks will continue to grow over time which makes repairing them as soon as possible incredibly important.
2. Bulls Eyes
A bulls eye crack are the circular style cracks that look more like circular fractures similar to a concentric circle. These types of cracks are often repairable, but will never completely disappear. Bullseye’s often develop because an object strikes the windshield with incredibly force, like a rock or stone.
How Do Cracked Windshields Happen In the First Place?
More than 95% of the time, those giant cracks that you see in windshields often start from the smallest of chips. However, these chips were not repaired right away and soon turned into a giant crack. This often happens in the “frit”, which is the black edge of the glass, which makes the chips incredibly difficult to see in the first place.
The reason that cracks often start on the edges of the windshield is because the edges are the structurally weakest area. The frit is on the glass because it keeps the ultraviolet light from the sun away from the polyurethane seal that holds the windshield in the frame. Without the frit, the windshield would quickly start leaking or just pop out of the frame of the car.
Once I Have a Cracked Window
There are two quick tips that often go unsaid. The first is that if you get two separate cracks at the same time, you will often have to simply replace your windshield. That is one of the reasons that you should get chips and small cracks repaired right away. The second is that if you get a chipped or cracked windshields, avoid using a Rain-X type product until the crack is repaired. Rain-X leaves a wax or paraffin film on your windshield, which is what makes it so effective. However, if this wax gets into the crack in your windshield, it will be much harder to repair it.