Hail damage costs the United States over $2 billion dollars every year.
Giant chunks of ice falling from the sky can quickly dent your car up like nothing else. If you’re dealing with hail damage or preparing for stormy seasons, then this article is for you. We’ll go over the top car hail damage repair tips, so you can get your car back out on the road.
You don’t have to live with hail damage, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to fix it. Read on to learn the truth about how to fix car dents from hail.
Talk to Your Insurance Company
The moment you see hail damage on your car, you’ll want to reach out to your insurance provider. Find out if your current policy covers hail damage. You’ll probably have the insurance you need if you carry comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive insurance usually pays for all types of storm damage, including hail. However, every provider has its own rules, so you’ll need to double-check how your policy works.
Once you verify that you have hail coverage, you can ask your insurance agent to walk you through filing a claim. You can also file a claim yourself online; the process is very straightforward.
After filing your claim, you’ll need to get your vehicle’s damage appraised. Your insurance provider will either send somebody out to inspect your car where it is or ask you to take it to a nearby shop.
Get a Fair Estimate
Do you know how much your car is worth? We suggest cleaning your vehicle before the insurance company sends them out to appraise it. That way, you’ll be able to get an accurate estimate of the vehicle’s value.
The insurance estimator is going to go through a systematic checklist. They’ll need to identify the severity of the dents and the impact it’s had on your car’s body panels.
The estimator will probably ask you questions about your vehicle and its condition. The repair costs will vary depending on how bad the hail damage is. The field inspection itself will take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.
Go to a Repair Shop
After receiving an appraisal, you can let your insurance provider know who you’d like to repair the hail. You could also have the insurance provider suggest a repair facility.
After paying your deductible, you’ll be able to get your car fixed. If you’re not receiving an appraisal, you can still go to a repair shop to pay for things out of pocket. Do an online search to see what car hail damage repair shops near you have a good reputation, and then schedule your appointment.
Heat Things up for Auto Hail Damage
What if you don’t have insurance or your auto hail damage claim is denied? Does that mean you have to keep the dents in your car? Not at all!
There are a lot of great DIY dent repair approaches that you can take. For instance, you can try the hot to cold method.
Let your car sit in the sun for a few hours and then rinse it off with cool water from the hose. In certain situations, a sudden change from hot temperatures to cold temperatures can cause the metal in the car’s body panels to pop back into place. However, the hot to cold method will only work if the damage is mild.
Mild hail damage can also straighten itself out just by letting your car sit in the sun. Sometimes the heat will make the metal more flexible, allowing the minor dents to pop out. You can try heating up the minor dents with a hairdryer if this doesn’t work.
Keep the hairdryer about 3-5 inches from the car’s surface. Pay attention to your car’s paint to ensure it’s not becoming discolored. As long as you’re not using an industrial hairdryer, you probably won’t have to worry about damaging your paint.
If the hairdryer method doesn’t work, you could even heat the metal up with a lighter. Tape aluminum foil over the dent, and heat up the foil with the lighter. Transferring from the foil to your car, the heat may be able to pop out the dents without damaging the paint.
Pushing and Pulling Tools for a Hail Damaged Car
If you don’t want to use heat on your car, you could try a variety of pushing or pulling tools. Many professional body workshops, like Vivid Auto Body Shop, will use long-handled pushing tools for hail damage repair.
You can buy one of these kits online to reach deep under the body panels. Carefully applying leverage, you’ll be able to gently push the dent out from the underside. You’ll need to continue pushing the dent out until it entirely disappears.
However, you won’t be using continuous pressure. Pushing tools usually require a gentle pulsating action. It’s kind of like plumbing your car from the inside out.
If pushing doesn’t work, you could even try pulling tools. There are dent removal kits to help with pulling, or you can use certain household items.
For instance, a plastic plunger can be a great way to get small to mild size dents out of your car. You’ll anchor the plunger to the dented area of your vehicle and then use suction to pull out the dent.
For the plunger method to work, it has to be the right shape and size. Also, don’t try to pull the dent out in one swift motion. A series of small, gentle pulls will help you get the dent out.
Find Car Hail Damage Repair Services Today
The last thing you want to do is wait to fix your hail damage. Whether you’re getting an appraisal from the insurance company or taking things into your own hands, you’ll want to take action today.
You can look for a car hail damage repair shop near you or try your hand at one of the DIY options. As long as you’re careful and you don’t rush into anything, you should be able to have your car back to normal in no time. For more ways to keep your life on the right track, read another one of our articles.