It's a terrible feeling to step outside in the wake of a major storm and find huge chunks of hail everywhere. Although larger hail can potentially do much more significant damage, it does not take much to put minor dents and dings into a car. In fact, hail the size of a quarter or even smaller can potentially result in hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars' worth of damage.
Once the storm has passed and it is safe to go outside, it is important to immediately check your car for damage, especially if you have comprehensive insurance and intended to file a claim for repairs. When evaluating your car, there are three main types of hail damage you should be on the lookout for.
Hail usually needs a diameter larger than an inch to seriously damage the glass on a vehicle, although hail that is being blown by high-speeds winds has the potential to do more damage than you might expect. In most cases, any damage to a vehicle's glass will mean that the entire windshield will need to be replaced. Small chips can potentially be filled, but larger chips or cracks cannot be repaired. Since glass damage has a tendency to spread rapidly, avoid driving your vehicle if the windshield or other windows have been damaged.
Dents and Dings
Minor dents and dings are by far the most common form of damage that vehicles suffer during hailstorms. Even relatively small diameter hail can potentially dent a body panel if it hits it at the right angle or if it is being driven by high-speed winds. It can sometimes be difficult to evaluate the condition of your car's body panels in the immediate aftermath of a storm, so it's a good idea to clear off any ice or other debris as soon as possible so that you can determine if your car has suffered damage.
Luckily, the types of dents created by hail can usually be repaired using paintless dent repair. As the name implies, this is a process whereby dents are worked out of the body panels without the need to repaint them. If your car's damage is a good candidate for this type of repair, then the final result should be indistinguishable from the panel's pre-damage condition. Paintless dent repair will not work if the body panel is creased or if the paint has been damaged, but hail rarely causes damage of this kind.
Although uncommon, hail can damage the paint on your vehicle as well. Hail paint damage usually takes the form of minor scratches or scuffs, however, and if you believe this is the case it may be worth attempting to buff the damage out yourself. Basic buffing compounds and polishes will work to remove the types of surface imperfections that may be caused by hail impacts, potentially saving you a lot of money. Deeper scratches are the worst case scenario and expect to pay a tidy sum if any of your car's body panels need to be repainted.
For more information, reach out to companies like Superior Dent Solutions.