As a car owner, you know your car could be vulnerable to significant damage when severe weather comes roaring in. But you may have overlooked or underestimated the mayhem that a hail storm can unleash on your car. Depending on the intensity of the storm and the size of the hailstones, it can get ugly fast when these chunks of ice are hurling towards your vehicle at high speeds.
This article will discuss preventative measures you can take to protect your car during a hailstorm and how you can repair your car roof if it is damaged by hail.
How to Avoid Getting Hail Damage on Your Car
Your car is only at risk of hail damage as long as it is left outside during a storm. So the most surefire way to preserve your car is to keep it covered, either in your garage or in a public parking area.
If you have a garage at home, your car will be safest while parked in it until the storm passes.
Even without a garage to park in, you can still protect your car at home. There are covers you can purchase which are made specifically to shield your vehicle from hail damage. In a pinch you could use thick blankets—just make sure they are held down by duct tape or a rope so that they don’t get blown off by the wind.
Of course, you will always need to be conscious of the most up-to-date weather forecasts in your area so you can get your car out of harm’s way before a storm arrives. Even if you are aware of your local weather conditions, they could change in an instant and leave you driving through a nasty hailstorm unprepared.
When caught in a downpour of hail, your best option is to find shelter as quickly as possible. A nearby parking garage is your best option if you can locate one. You could also pull into a covered gas station or under a bridge.
How to Fix Your Car Roof After Hail Damage
Sometimes it just isn’t possible to get your car sheltered during a hailstorm. If you’re lucky, the storm is mild and the hailstones are relatively small. If you’re not so fortunate, your vehicle will get pelted with thousands of golf-ball-sized ice chunks that will leave craters on your hood and roof.
Once your vehicle is clear of the storm, you will need to inspect your car for damage. You should do this even if the storm is seemingly mellow, as even a relatively light hailstorm can still damage your car.
The cost to fix hail damage on your car will depend on the severity of the damage. If there are a few or possibly even several small dents left by the hail, you can save a boatload of money with a DIY repair.
To fix the dents yourself, you’ll need some relatively inexpensive dent-removal tools that are designed specifically to repair hail dents. Dent-removal tools are generally either pulling style or rod style.
Rod Style Tools
Rod style tools push outwards on the metal from underneath or behind the dented vehicle panel.
One of the most effective tools for this is a hail rod, which is a long, metal rod with a ball-shaped tip to push out large chunks of metal and a sharper tip that serves as a finisher to set smaller amounts of metal back into place.
For harder-to-reach spots, you can use a brace tool, which is a metal rod of varying sizes designed to reach dents from difficult angles and tight spaces.
Pulling Style Tools
Pulling style tools are designed to pull metal back into place. You can generally get these in a kit that includes a glue gun, specialty adhesives, plastic pulling tabs, and dent lifters.
To get each dent out, you will apply hot glue directly to a plastic tab and then push it into the dent. After allowing the glue to dry for a few minutes, you will attach the dent lifter to the tab and pull until you hear a loud “pop” which signifies that the metal has been raised back into place. Any leftover glue residue can be removed using a bit of rubbing alcohol and a plastic chisel.
Are There Any Car Insurance Coverages That Cover Hail Damage?
When hail damage is so extensive that making repairs yourself is either impossible or not worth the effort (such as cracked windshields and windows or large dents) it will need to be fixed by a professional at an auto body shop. This can potentially run you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
These major costs can be covered by your insurance provider as long as your plan includes comprehensive coverage. Though not legally required, you can purchase comprehensive insurance to keep you protected when hail and other extreme weather events wreak havoc on your vehicle.
If you live in an area where hail storms and other extreme weather aren’t rare, you may want to strongly consider purchasing comprehensive insurance. Protect yourself and your car with LOOP!
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