Hail damage is one of the most commonly repaired types of damage at auto body shops. When there are hail storms, shops see an increase in customers because people’s cars were damaged by hail balls. These hail balls can cause dents, chips and other damages to a car’s exterior.
There are several ways that auto body shops fix hail damage.
The Quick-and-Easy Method
Hail damage repairs primarily by using specialized tools that can gently push dents back into place. This is called “paintless dent repair” (PDR) or “paintless dent removal” in that it repairs dents without damaging the paint, meaning there is no need for paint-matching and spot painting.
More Advanced Techniques
Sometimes dents can’t be repaired in this way and so auto body shops will use more powerful techniques to push the dent back. They then sand the area to prepare it for paint, and using a touch-up gun to apply fresh paint.
The hail damages don’t have to be very big at all—many hail dings are only about half an inch in size, although some can be larger than two inches across.
Auto body shops may also use filler materials like Bondo or glaze putty to fill in any other minor scrapes or scratches that occurred during the hailstorm before painting the damaged areas. Once this is done, crews smooth out rough surfaces with sandpaper. Finally, they prime and repaint the vehicle’s fender or hood as necessary before touching up individual marks or scratches with a special brush known as a “touch-up” gun.
One last step in the car hail damage repair process is applying a clear coat to give the vehicle’s body even more shine and protect it from rusting, chipping or fading.
Problems With Trying to Repair Hail Damage Yourself
DIY methods of repaire a hail damaged car are possible, but not advisable. Touching-up paint like this is better left to experts who can ensure that the color match and clear coat finish will be seamless, resulting in a repair that passes car dealer inspections for resale purposes.
There are also mechanical steps people can take to prevent hail damage from racking up in the first place if they live in an area where high winds often bring down clouds of large ice chunks. One option is installing cladding on windshields that deflects hail away from cars, including products made by Acrypol Enterprises Inc., which specialize in making protective films for aircraft without compromising performance or safety features, according to the company’s website.
Overall, doing this yourself can be incredibly time-consuming and expensive. It’s typically better to bring your vehicle into a professional auto body shop. The processes auto body shops use to repair hail damage are:
1) Sanding off shallow dents/dings; 2) Repairing any cracks or breaks with filler materials; and 3) Priming and painting.
Does Insurance Cover Hail Damage?
Many insurance policies will cover hail damage, but it’s important to read your policy carefully.
When an insurance company says “collision damage coverage” this means coverage of damage caused by collision with a vehicle or another object—however, while this does technically include hail, hail damage is often not covered in basic collision damage coverage plans. Comprehensive coverage, on the other hand, will often cover hail damage repair.