Although rain can be a nuisance in our everyday life, the chances of it damaging our cars are slim. However, when that water freezes in the atmosphere and forms into hailstones as big as 6 inches, the damage to your car can be extensive, especially when you find yourself facing a hailstorm.
From dented hoods and trunks to cracks in the windscreen and smashed taillights, you could find yourself facing a car you hardly recognize if it wasn’t appropriately protected during the storm. Fortunately, it is possible to rectify the situation and return your car to a brand new state once again.
Assess the damage
Before you start trying out the following repair options, you will first need to assess the damage. The severity of the storm and the size of the balls will often dictate the outcome.
In some cases, you might be happily relieved to see that the storm did little to no damage simply because the hailstones were too small. Although they can reach a colossal size of 15 centimeters, some stones can be as small as five millimeters. Therefore, they might bounce off without denting, smashing, or cracking when up against the surface of a car. The worst damage you might notice on your car is small scratches and marks on the paint.
Unfortunately, this ideal situation doesn’t happen all the time. You might face dented hood, roof, and trunk; other people might find their windows or windscreens smashed or with hole shaped balls. You might find yourself facing a combination.
The main thing at this point is to check over your car thoroughly. You don’t want to assume everything is fine and drive off only to find it isn’t. You would also benefit from taking pictures of the damage when you discover them to help with your insurance claim.
Once you have determined the extent of the damage, you should make the steps for repairing your car.
Seek the help of professionals
Changing the bulbs in your taillight and being able to jumpstart your car are pretty easy repairs to make yourself, even if you are not a car expert. However, hail damage is a different ballpark altogether.
It is a complicated area because hail can sometimes damage the car’s entire surface, leaving you with hundreds of dents to fix. How many dents, their severity, and where they are will impact the repair job and the cost consequentially. While you might be tempted to contact your local mechanic, if you reach out to an auto hail repair company, such as StormWise, who specializes in hail repair, the job will be more cost-effective. Your car will be transformed into that brand new state, and the process will be much simpler.
There are usually two forms of professional repair: Paintless Dent Repair and Conventional Dent Repair. A good repair company will be able to recommend the best form of repair that will allow your vehicle to not only look brand new but still maintain it’s trade value.
If your windows and windscreen were damaged in the hailstorm, they’ll be replaced during the repair – another reason to use specialized auto hail repair companies.
Keep in line with your insurance
If your insurance covers hail damage and you keep in line with your insurance policy, then choosing to hand your car over to the professionals is an easy one. Some repair companies might be able to keep in touch with your insurance company to ensure you can file a claim and receive suitable compensation to pay for the repairs. By having the money, you don’t have to sacrifice one repair over another, and you can transform your car to brand new again.
Dent repair kit
Of course, nothing is stopping you from doing it yourself. If the only damage you have is a couple of dents on the hood or roof and you have a bit of know-how about cars, then by arming yourself with a dent repair kit, you could solve the problem yourself. However, a word of warning: if you have not thoroughly researched how to carry out the job correctly, you could make the damage worse.
The way a dent repair kit works is simple. A car dent puller will straighten the mental out by pulling the dents from the outside of the car, which is the opposite technique to Paintless Dent Repair that pushes. There are two main car dent pullers you could use. A suction dent puller will work like a plunger. Meanwhile, a glue dent puller will require gluing a flat pulling tab to the dent before pulling.
Dent repair kits can be found online on various sites and automotive stores, but it is often the most expensive way of repairing your car yourself. Often with kits like this, you get what you pay for. A cheap repair kit might not fix the dents and could result in you having to pay more money to find another solution. Plus, if you cause more damage trying to fix it yourself, when you then take it to professionals, it may be more costly than it would have been to start with or, in worst cases, be unfixable.
Note: When your car is pounded in a storm, it’s dented from bumper to bumper. Depending on where the dents are, you often need to remove the damaged panel before using the dents’ kit tools.
Apply extreme heat or cold to the dents
Another popular DIY solution online applies extreme heat to the dents to make them more flexible, allowing you to easily shape the bodywork. Metal becomes a lot more flexible and malleable of a material when applying heat treatment, this is why any metal construction or repairs often undergo quality heat treatment before reaching the next process of the build. Applying heat to your cars bodywork is an old-school method for dent repair, back when the cars were made with thick metals. Extreme heat on modern cars could cause damage to metal, paint and surrounding materials. Make sure to research the car beforehand, but older car owners should be able to use the Pro-Tect Plastics heat gun and compressed air to remove dents from cars.
Some people claimed success by simply leaving their cars out in the sun. Theoretically, the bodywork heats up, expands, and the light dents pop out. This won’t be possible for deep dents, though, so a repair kit or professional help will be necessary. Too much heat, though, could affect the quality of your car, discoloring the paint or causing bubbling.
Alternatively, some articles suggest do the opposite and apply dry ice. Rub the dry ice onto the surface, smoothly, and the dents should pop out. However, you must wear gloves and be cautious about using this method for your safety.
DIY or Professional Help
There are certain repairs that you could perform yourself as long as they are minor. However, some damage cannot be solved through DIY repairs, like hail damage. If a car is more than a vehicle for you, or if you have comprehensive insurance to cover such damage, bring it to a professional company to transform your car to its brand new state.