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Hurricanes and Windshield Strength

Aug 18, 2020 6:35:35 PM / by Windshield Remedy Content Team

Hurricanes are no longer the rare display of force by Mother Nature they used to be. The number of hurricanes each year in the U.S. alone seems to be increasing. And whether or not the actual eye makes landfall, hurricane force winds need to be taken seriously. When it comes to hurricanes, you need to be prepared for all kinds of eventualities.

Property Damage From Hurricanes

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the expected yearly cost of hurricane damage is $34 billion for just households. The entire cost includes losses to commercial business and the public sector and reach $54 billion.

Household property damage from hurricanes includes wind and flood damage. Flying debris, falling debris and excess winds can make any sturdy structure seem like a house of cards in the face of a hurricane. Most of the windshield damage from hurricanes comes from falling trees, falling branches and miscellaneous falling debris. Many homeowners have had the unfortunate experience of having their car windshield damaged by a fallen tree branch while the vehicle was parked “safely” in the driveway during a hurricane. There are even rare occurrences when windshields have shattered under the wind forces of a hurricane.

How Much Force Does it Take to Shatter a Windshield?

All glass will eventually break if exposed to enough tension stress. Tension stress is the kind of force that runs perpendicular to a surface. In windshields, a stress crack can occur from large variations in temperature, such as when a car is parked for a long time in hot sun and then suddenly the air conditioner is blasted onto the windshield. Another example is when the windshield is frozen over with ice and hot water is poured over to melt the ice.

Normally, a windshield can withstand about 9,400 psi. Any windshield breach, like a crack, reduces that number to as low as 800 to 1500 psi. The bottom line is that whenever you have any kind of windshield damage, you should get it repaired or replaced. Restoring the windshield strength is the primary reason to get the windshield repaired.

What is Tempered Glass?

Tempered glass is glass that has been toughened up against variations in temperature, impact and other stressors. Manufacturers temper glass in order to prevent damage and injury and to make the glass last longer. Windshield glass is already tempered when it’s installed. However, hurricane force impact can still damage or even shatter tempered windshield glass.

If your vehicle’s windshield is damaged during a hurricane in any way—even if it’s just a small chip—it’s important to have the windshield either repaired or replaced. As explained earlier, even the smallest crack or chip significantly reduces the psi windshield strength. Windshield repair and replacement can be done in one day. For more information, please contact us today.

Tags: Windshield

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