What is a “Sandblasted” Windshield?

Everyone has had a chip or crack in their windshield before. It’s a frustrating experience but luckily most insurances cover this. Auto glass shops usually only replace windshields that have huge breaks or cracks. But few people fail to realize there are other cases that warrant a windshield replacement. Sandblasting happens to be one of them.

What does that even mean?

A sandblasted windshield refers to what happens when tiny sand particles repeatedly hit your windshield. Super scientific, I know. They aren’t big enough to cause a crack, but after a while, the tiny holes they leave in your windshield become very noticeable.  Despite its inevitability, there are ways to slow this process down, lengthening the life span of your windshield.

Back Off

The main cause of rapid sandblasting is tailgating. When you follow close behind other vehicles, sand, rocks, and dirt are kicked up by their tires and flung into your windshield. The closer you are to the person ahead of you, the more damage the sand and dust will do to your windshield. If you are further behind them, then the little road particles will be less likely to strike your windshield or do any damage at all.

Get Inside

Another way to slow down the sandblasting process is to park your car in a garage or use a car cover. Strong winds can pummel dust and sand into your windshield hard enough to create small pits in your windshield. Parking inside or using a car cover will obviously prevent this from happening since the winds will pummel a wall or cloth rather than your windshield.

Why do I Care?

Well, you’re probably wondering why you should care if the marks are tiny and insignificant. Okay, but when the sun glares in the morning and evening, those tiny little pits become EXTREMELY noticeable and it becomes very difficult to see. These small pits can also turn into much larger chips and cracks and already formed cracks are more likely to spread because of the pits. It’s just like serrated paper, the crack will run along with the most prominent pits until you have a much bigger problem on your hand.

Now You Know

Alright. There you have it. Now you know what sandblasting it, how to prevent it, and why it’s important to protect your car. There really isn’t that much to it, but it is a major cause of windshield replacement and you should know most glass coverage will replace the windshield if the pitting gets too intense. That’s all for now. Happy adventuring and safe driving!

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Author: B. Delamater