This summer we have seen a lot of crazy weather including rain, storms, and often times hail. Though hail storms are typically brief, major damage can result from those punishing pellets of ice. Vehicles are at particular risk if they happen to be exposed at the time of a hail storm.
Hail is known to dent the roofs and hoods of vehicle bodies, and may even shatter windshields, headlights and side view mirrors. Hail is such a serious issue that an inventor in Texas has developed a hail protection system that has been featured on History Channel’s Invention USA and other programs.
If you do not have the cash to procure a hail protection system, here are some tips you can follow during hail season:
- Be alert for the weather conditions that lead to hailstorms. When a hailstorm is predicted, pull cars and other vehicles into a garage or covered area. If you must leave vehicles exposed, cover the hood, roof and trunk with thick blankets for protection against possible hail.
- If hail begins to fall while you are driving, try to find a safe area, like underneath an overpass, where you can wait the storm out. Otherwise pull completely off the highway to the side of the road, remain in the car, and turn away from windows.
- After the storm has passed check your car for dents and broken or cracked glass and headlights. Remove any broken glass from the car interior to prevent injury to passengers or damage to leather and upholstery.
- If you do experience hail damage to your vehicle, your vehicle insurance policy should cover hail damage if you have comprehensive coverage. Check with your insurance agent or company as soon as possible to report the damage and discuss the repair process.
- Discuss the repair options with your body shop. While hail damage to sheet metal often needs to be hammered and painted, sometimes paintless dent removal (PDR) may be an option. This involves the use of specially-molded metal tools on the underside of a damaged area that will not disturb the factory finish.
Lastly, for your own safety, remember to stay indoors or under cover once a hail storm begins to avoid harm or injury.