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Have you noticed your windshield getting harder to see through lately? If so, it may be due to something called sandblasting. While this is a very common issue drivers face, many are completely unaware of what it is, how to spot it, or what to do about it. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about sandblasted windshields.
What Is Sandblasting?
Sandblasting occurs when tiny pieces of sand or other abrasive materials hit your windshield at a high velocity. This can happen due to driving on a gravel road, being behind a truck kicking up dirt and debris, or even just driving in windy conditions. Over time, this constant hitting will wear down the glass and make it opaque.
This is a serious problem because it significantly reduces your visibility while driving. Imagine trying to see through a frosted glass door- that’s basically what you’re dealing with. And like frosted glass, sandblasted windshields are very difficult to see through clearly.
How to Spot It
The best way to spot a sandblasted windshield is to look for these three signs:
1. Hazy or Frosted Appearance
If your windshield looks like it’s been dipped in milk, then it’s most likely due to sandblasting. The glass will appear hazy and opaque, making it difficult to see through. You may even notice a frosted appearance, similar to what you’d see on a frosted glass door.
2. Cracks and Chips
Another sign of sandblasting is cracks and chips in the glass. This happens because the abrasive materials hitting your windshield can cause small fractures in the glass. Over time, these fractures will become bigger and bigger until they eventually turn into cracks or chips.
3. Wiper Blades Wearing Out Quickly
If you find that your wiper blades are wearing out much faster than usual, it could be due to sandblasting. The abrasive materials hitting your windshield can also damage your wiper blades, causing them to wear down more quickly.
What Causes It?
There are three main causes of sandblasting:
1. Gravel Roads
One of the most common causes of sandblasting is driving on gravel roads. When your tires drive over the gravel, it kicks up small pieces of rocks and debris that can hit your windshield at a high velocity.
2. Dirt and Debris
Another common cause of sandblasting is dirt and debris kicked up by trucks in front of you. When these large vehicles drive on the road, they often kick up small stones and other debris that can hit your windshield and cause sandblasting.
3. Windy Conditions
Windy conditions can also cause sandblasting. If there’s a strong wind while you’re driving, it can pick up small pieces of sand and debris and blow them into your windshield.
What Are the Best Repairs?
If you have a sandblasted windshield, it’s important to get it repaired as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will become. Eventually, the sandblasting will cause cracks and chips in your windshield, leading to more serious issues.
There are two main types of repairs for sandblasted windshields:
1. Replacing the Windshield
If the sandblasting is severe, you may need to replace your entire windshield. This is usually the best option if the damage is too great to be repaired.
2. Resurfacing the Windshield
If the damage isn’t too bad, you may be able to get away with resurfacing your windshield. This involves sanding down the damaged area and then polishing it so that it’s smooth again.
Why You Should Avoid DIY Repairs
While replacing or resurfacing your windshield may seem like a simple enough task, it’s actually quite complex and should only be done by a trained professional. Attempting to do it yourself can lead to serious problems, such as:
1. Making the Problem Worse
If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could easily make the problem worse. This is especially true if you try to repair a crack or chip yourself. You could make the damage worse, which would then require a more expensive repair.
2. Voiding Your Warranty
Many windshields come with a warranty that covers damage from sandblasting. However, if you attempt to repair the damage yourself, you could void this warranty.
3. Risking Injury
Repairing a windshield is not a simple task. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could easily injure yourself in the process. And since windshields are made of glass, there’s a risk of cutting yourself on the sharp edges.
It’s important to remember that sandblasting is not a problem that will go away on its own. If you have a sandblasted windshield, it’s important to get it repaired as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could be facing more serious problems down the road.
Contact a Professional Auto Glass Company for Windshield Replacement
If you have a sandblasted windshield, the best thing to do is contact a professional auto glass company for replacement or repairs. They will be able to assess the damage and recommend the best course of action. And since they’re experienced in this type of work, you can rest assured that your windshield will be repaired properly.
Many auto glass repairs provide a warranty on their work, so you can be sure that your windshield will be protected from future damage. You don’t want to take any chances when it comes to your safety, so make sure you get the problem fixed as soon as possible.
Sandblasted windshields are a common problem, but they can be easily repaired if you know what to do. Be sure to contact a professional auto glass company for replacement or repairs and avoid attempting to fix the problem yourself.