Some things are out of our control, such as big storms, and these things can wreak havoc on your vehicle. Here is what you need to know about hail damage repair for your car.
Most people are usually giddy when they see hail, especially on a seemingly sunny day. This is until they remember their car is parked outside and could potentially suffer hail damage. Hail may seem harmless, but it’s usually quite hard and can reduce your beautiful car into a dimpled shell.
What do you do then? Should you start looking for an auto hail damage repair specialist, or can you do the repairs yourself? How much will it cost you, and does your insurance company cover auto hail damage?
In this article, we’ll discuss everything about hail damage repair and what to do when it happens.
What Kind of Damage Does Hail Leave?
This is quite hard to answer because it highly depends on the size and type of hail.
Hail occurs when water freezes in storm clouds and can be anything between 5mm to 20mm in size. Occasionally though, hail can be as large as 50mm, and if your car is parked outside during a storm, it’ll be susceptible to damages.
Essentially, the larger the hail, the higher the chances it’ll leave a dent on your car, and if too large, it could leave more damage than just dents.
Hail Damage Car Repair
It’s unfortunate that your car was outside during a hail storm, but now that the damage has already been done, what should you do? To begin with, you must have comprehensive insurance for the insurance company to cover any auto hail repair costs.
Hail Damage Car Insurance
Insurance companies don’t offer specific hail damage insurance, but with a comprehensive cover, the insurance company has no reason to refuse you.
If you have the coverage, you need to inform your insurance company about the damage before proceeding with the repairs. The first thing you should do is clean the car surface to ensure all the dents and cracks are visible for the insurance adjuster.
Once the insurance adjuster arrives, they’ll examine all the dents and list all the characteristics. Everything they observe will determine the costs of the repairs. Once done, they will provide you with an estimate of all potential repairs.
This will not be set in stone, though, because the technician could find more dents under special lighting.
If they do find more damages, they will make a report and take it to the insurance company for additional funds to cover all the repairs. This means that you won’t have to pay anything at all.
Can You Do DIY Hail Damage Repair?
If you do a Google search, you’ll find numerous DIY hail damage repair ideas. Some of these include leaving your car in the sun, applying ice cubes to the dents, or even using a hairdryer. However, you’ll find that most of these ideas are not effective and don’t work at all.
Some of them might even cause more damage to your car and leave you with very low resale value. The best thing to do in this case is to get in touch with your insurance company so they can pay for professional hail repair at an auto shop.
Professional Hail Damage Repair
As emphasized, professional hail damage repair can be the best way to ensure your car is repaired properly and that the damage doesn’t recur. Professional repair shops have the experience and expertise to remove dents without damaging the paint, and they can also blend the repaired area so that it’s not noticeable.
In most cases, local body shops can repair minimal hail damage and remove dents and dings using one of two ways. The first method is the conventional way where they remove and replace bolted-on panels and repaint them to make the car look great again.
They can also do finish glazing, which is usually more suitable for minor hail damages. It involves sanding the paint and filling the area with glaze putty to even it out. The putty is sanded after drying completely then repainted.
They can also do a body filler, which is quite similar to glazing. Body filler involves removing all the paint from the metal and filling it with filler, sanding it, and repainting it again.
This works very well for minor and medium-sized hair damages. Beyond this, they can also do the traditional heat repair, a technique used on large dents or vehicles with thick metal, like older versions.
For these reasons, getting your car fixed by a professional after hail damage is a good idea. When choosing a professional hail damage repair shop, seek recommendations from family, friends, or your insurance company. Check online reviews and ask about the shop’s experience with hail damage repair. Also, get estimates from several shops before making a decision.
The Paintless Dent Repair
The paintless dent repair is a newer method of fixing auto hail damage, and it eliminates any need to fill, bond, sand, or repaint the vehicle. The auto technician usually reshapes and restores the damaged panels by manipulating the metal.
This method works best for smaller dents, though. It has gained a lot of popularity because it costs a lot less compared to other methods, it’s fast, and has no potential effects as there are no fillers and chemicals involved.
Moreover, using paintless dent repair from shops like Precision Dent has several other benefits. It’s much less expensive than traditional dent repair methods that require repainting. It can be completed in a fraction of the time needed for conventional dent repair since it doesn’t require the drying time associated with painting.
Therefore, if you have dents in your car, look for a reliable PDR shop immediately. Seek referrals from the people you trust or check online resources for more information.
What About Windshield Damage?
If hail is large enough to leave dents on the body, it’s likely it may also damage your windscreen and leave chips, pits, and cracks.
Regardless of how minor it is, ignoring it is not advisable because a small chip could cause serious damage if you are involved in an accident. Taking your car to an auto repair shop is the best thing to do so they can work on that small damage before it gets worse.
If your windshield suffered a crack, the technician would fill the area with curable resin that would match the glass and restore the windshield’s structural integrity and strength. If the crack is too big, the technician may recommend a total replacement.
How to Protect Your Car From Hail Damage
Now that you have gone through all the repairs, you don’t want this to happen to your car again.
If you live in an area where hail is a common occurrence, you should try to learn what weather patterns are likely to lead to hail so you can avoid it. You could also check your local weather updates.
Having a comprehensive auto policy also helps, so if you don’t have one and have to pay for the repairs yourself, it may be a good idea to get one. Beyond that, keeping your car in the garage when not in use is an excellent way to protect it. When traveling, park your car in a covered area or carry a cover with you to protect your car.
If you’re driving and hail starts to fall, pull over to the side of the road and wait for the storm to pass. Driving in hail can damage your car’s windshield, headlights, and other parts. Inspect your vehicle after a hailstorm. If you see any dents or cracks, take it to a body shop as soon as possible. The sooner you repair the damage, the less likely it is to rust.
Hail Damage Repair: Everything You Need to Know
There you have it! This is all you needed to know about hail damage repair. Now you know the best repair methods and what kind of insurance converse hail damages and what to do when it happens.
If you’d like to read more informative posts like this one, please check out our other articles.