The short answer is no, but it can cause further damage to an existing crack or chip.

Have you ever woken up in the winter to a chip in your windshield being larger than the previous night? This isn’t unheard of in Winnipeg, and the reason behind it is partly due to the cold weather. Defrosting your windshield too quickly can cause more harm than good and can further damage an existing crack or chip.

How can cold weather cause windshield damage?

Glass is sensitive to weather and will expand in extreme heat and shrinks in the cold. This leaves the windshield vulnerable to severe weather, causing it to expand and contract when the temperature suddenly changes. When this happens, it weakens the glass, making it more susceptible to damage. In the winter, ice and snow melt on your windshield when your vehicle heats up. Existing cracks can fill with this water, and when it refreezes, it can cause the crack to expand. This can also happen with condensation from your windshield. The best way to prevent further damage to your windshield is to fix the chip as soon as possible!

Illustration of a male auto mechanic pondering while looking at a vehicle with a cracked windshield

Why do I get more cracks in my windshield in the winter?

The windshield is more susceptible to chipping in extreme temperatures if it is weak or damaged already. Cracks can expand from blasting your vehicle’s defroster, and the sudden temperature change can cause a small chip in your windshield to grow into a larger crack. Now picture stones and debris from the road hitting your windshield – it wouldn’t take much to cause further damage.

Illustration of a car interior in winter with the heat and air turned high

How do you defrost your windshield without damaging it?

The key to safely defrosting your windshield during the cold winter months is to remember to go slow! Instead of blasting your defroster, start your vehicle sooner than when you would leave. Heating your windshield gradually can help keep its integrity – especially if a chip is already in the glass. Another good tip for clearing your windshield is to scrape off any snow with a plastic scraper.

Winter Windshield Tip:

You should never pour hot water on your windshield to remove ice or frost, as this can damage your windshield. The reason is that the quick temperature change could cause the glass to expand rapidly, weakening it and compromising its integrity.

If your windshield has a crack, it’s best to fix it as soon as possible. Bring it to ACR Auto Glass, and we will have it repaired within 20 minutes! There is no appointment necessary, and it will be free with comprehensive insurance coverage. Contact us today!