Windshield damage is very common. Whether you’re in a wreck or you’re dealing with gravel getting kicked up off the road, any impact on your windshield can cause your problems. If you can identify the four most common types of cracks, you’ll be in a much better position to determine how to take care of them.

The Stress Crack

The stress crack is perhaps the most frustrating type of windshield crack because it doesn’t always have an obvious cause. This type of crack generally occurs because of temperature fluctuations, with wild swings between hot and cold being the typical culprit. This type of crack can be fixed by a professional if you get to it quickly enough, but only if it is less than three inches in diameter. Any bigger than that and you are likely looking at a full replacement.

Edge Cracks

An edge crack is any crack that occurs within two inches of the edge of a windshield. Unfortunately, these cracks are common and they are incredibly difficult to fix. In fact, most shops will recommend that you completely replace your auto glass in this kind of situation, as cracks near the edge of the windshield can compromise driver safety. These cracks can happen due to impacts but changes in weather can make them worse.

Floater Cracks

Floater cracks are cracks that occur more than two inches away from the center of your windshield. These cracks can grow in time and they can make it difficult for a driver to see. Fortunately, floater cracks of up to eighteen inches in length can be repaired so long as it is properly identified and the crack itself isn’t too deep. The longer and deeper the crack, though, the more likely you are to need a replacement windshield.


Chips are small cracks that are usually caused by debris getting kicked up on the road. A chip in and of itself isn’t actually a very big deal—most can be filled in quickly and many insurance policies will cover the cost with no deductible. With that said, a chip can be dangerous because it can spread into a much larger crack over time. If you notice a chip, your best choice is always to get it filled in as quickly as possible.

These four types of cracks constitute the most common types of damage to your windshield. If you notice any of them, make sure you visit a professional to see about repair work. With luck, you can get the crack quickly repaired and you can get back on the road.

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