Hailstorms are a terrifying sight to behold. While most people will never have to deal with this type of natural disaster, those who do may be left wondering what the damage will look like on their vehicle.
If you live in an area that sees a lot of hail, you need to understand how hail can affect your car and what steps to take if your car sustains damage from hailstones. In this blog post, we will discuss some specifics about hail and its effects on cars so that you know everything there is about the subject.
How Big Must Hail Be to Damage Your Car?
Hail is created when a thunderstorm develops strong updrafts. These updrafts suck droplets of water high into the atmosphere, where they freeze into balls of ice that are then carried around by the violent winds associated with thunderstorms. When these hailstones grow to be at least one inch in diameter, they’re large enough to cause significant damage.
Factors That May Impact the Severity of Hail Damage
Although hail can cause significant damage to cars, the severity of that damage will be influenced by a number of different factors. These include:
1) Speed of Wind:
Wind speeds will directly impact how much damage hail causes to your car. According to some estimates, wind speeds of up to 29 miles per hour can cause minor damage, while anything greater than 74 miles per hour may result in catastrophic damage that requires extensive repairs.
According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meteorologist Greg Forbes, wind speed and the size of hail are the two most important factors that determine how much damage is caused.
2) Size of Hail:
Another key factor that plays into hail damage is the size of the hailstones falling from the sky. A good rule of thumb is that if you can fit more than three quarters in your hand, then it’s likely large enough to do some serious damage. However, sometimes one severely damaged area may result from numerous small hailstones rather than just a few larger ones.
3) Duration of Storms:
Hail storms can last for several minutes up to several hours; however, they usually only last about 10-15 minutes on average. The longer a hail storm lasts, the more likely it is that you’ll sustain damage to your vehicle. There will typically be three waves of the hail; the first is usually not as intense as these later on, but if there’s still ice on the ground after 30 minutes or so, then it’s time to start worrying and consider taking cover.
Types of Car Hail Damage
There are four main types of car hail damage that you may experience:
1) Severe Damage With Cracked Paint:
In some cases, small dents and scratches may not crack the paint. However, in other cases, large hailstones may create a significant enough force to crack the paint on your car. If you see this kind of damage, then you must have your car professionally repainted as soon as possible so that rust or other blemishes don’t cause further damage to your vehicle.
2) Severe Damage With Intact Paint:
There are many cases in which a hail storm is so intense that it results in severe damage to the outer layer of paint on your car. If this happens, you can have your vehicle repainted, but in some cases, it’s not necessary, depending on the state of the metal underneath. You’ll need a professional inspection to determine whether or not this will be necessary.
3) Dents & Scratches:
This type of car hail damage is different from cracked paint because there aren’t any deep grooves or cracks. Instead, small dents and scratches are caused by multiple hailstones impacting your car at high speeds. If there’s no cracking involved, then these types of dents and scratches can be removed by a professional body shop.
4) Cosmetic Damage With No Paint Issues:
In some cases, your car may experience cosmetic damage without other issues. This occurs when the hailstones are small enough to avoid doing too much damage but large enough to cause a few dents and scratches here and there. In these cases, you can have your car repaired at a local body shop if you want it to look new again.
Things to Consider When Getting Your Car Repaired For Hail Damage
There are many different things to keep in mind that make up the steps to getting your vehicle’s hail damage repaired. These following are important things to consider:
Getting a Free Estimate With Repairs Made on Site:
Some paintless dent repair companies in Austin will provide you with a free estimate of the cost for any potential hail damage repairs that might be necessary after recovering your vehicle from the storm. This is more common when there’s minor hail damage involved but may also be an option in some cases of severe car hail damage. A professional inspection by a reputable body shop will determine how extensive the needed repairs are. If no extensive damage was done, removing anything more than a few dents might not be necessary. However, if the paint has been damaged or rust is an issue, you’ll likely need a more comprehensive repair.
Making an Insurance Claim:
In some cases, your insurance policy may cover hail damage to your car, even if you want to go the paintless dent repair route at a shop in Austin. If this is the case, you’ll need to work with your insurance company to have the necessary repairs done and paid for. Often, the insurance company will work with a designated body shop to get the best rates for their customers.
Getting a Rental Through Your Insurance:
Many times, when extensive hail damage is done to a car, the owner isn’t able to drive it until it’s been repaired. This can be a major inconvenience, but thankfully many companies offer rental car coverage as part of their policies. This means that you won’t have to worry about finding a rental car and paying for it out of pocket. Simply call the company, and they will take care of everything for you.
Getting a Towing To the Repair Shop:
If your car is inoperable due to hail damage, you’ll likely need to have it towed to a body shop. This can be a huge hassle, but thankfully many insurance companies offer towing coverage as part of their policies. This means that you won’t have to worry about finding a tow truck or paying for the tow yourself. Simply call the insurance company, and they will take care of everything for you.
In conclusion, many different services are available for repairing hail damage on a car. If your vehicle has been damaged in a storm, then be sure to contact your insurance company and see what options are available to you. Many times, the hail damage repairs can be done quickly and easily without too much hassle with a process available in Austin Tx called PDR. Paintless repair is used for repairing hail damage and is done so without needing to have your car repainted. If you are interested in learning more about solutions for your hail damage in Austin or Round Rock, contact Dingz Happen, or visit our website!