Windshield Rock Chips: What Causes Them?

Windshield rock chips usually occur suddenly and without warning, and they usually cause unsightly damage.

You’re just driving down the freeway by Salt Lake City, and out of the blue, a rock hits your windshield with a crack. It’s a startling experience, but what causes them?

Cause of Rock Chips

A small rock is the typical cause of windshield rock chips. They can occur anytime a small object impacts the windshield. Rock chips are more likely to happen in construction areas, on dirty roads, and on roads where cars are driving over 45 miles per hour. Vehicles tend to fling rocks and mud behind them as they drive, and when they’re going faster, the rocks are flung further and with more force. This is why most semi-trucks and construction vehicles have mud flaps behind their tires. Sometimes rocks will even tumble out of the back of a dump truck. Any of these rocks, whether flipped up behind a car or falling out of a truck, can hit a windshield and cause a rock chip.

What to Do When You Get a Rock Chip

Sometimes rock chips are small and barely noticeable. Other times they are large and distracting. Either way, it’s important to get a rock chip repaired quickly after the incident occurs. Fortunately, rock chips can be repaired instead of having to replace the whole windshield, but delaying the repair can allow dirt and debris to fill the chipped area. When this happens, it can be much more difficult and even impossible to make a repair.

The chip can look cloudy or discolored when the rock chip is exposed to other elements before the repair is completed. The best repair results will come when the rock chip is treated as soon as possible, leaving your windshield looking clear and smooth.

If you absolutely can’t get the repair completed immediately, there are a few steps you can take to protect your windshield until you can take your car to a professional windshield repair shop:

  • Clear packing tape can be applied over the chip to keep out dirt and debris.
  • Avoid washing the car, especially with cold water.
  • Do not touch or push on the rock chip from the inside of the vehicle, as this can cause the chip to spread.
  • Do not attempt DIY repair. Do not apply any glue or adhesives to the rock chip or any other materials. Do not buff out the chip with a scratch repair kit.
  • Have the chip repaired before any major weather changes because these can cause the chip to grow.

Utah Mobile Auto Glass Can Help

It’s essential that windshield rock chips be repaired quickly by professionals. Utah Mobile Auto Glass is here to help, and we’ll even come to you. We offer free mobile rock chip repair to our clients within 25 miles of our location in Sandy, Utah. Our windshield repair professionals are here to help from Saratoga Springs to West Jordan, and everywhere in between. Contact us today to schedule your repair!