It’s spring in Michigan now, so that means the weather is gearing up to be unpredictable for awhile. Rain, snow, ice, and hail are all possibilities, and all of them present challenges for the well-being of your car. We know that slick roads mean more automobile accidents, but hail can mean cracked windshields, dented metal, and other problems. How do auto body professionals fix a car with hail damage?
What Kind of Damage Does Hail Do?
Hail may seem like it’s nothing to worry about when it’s pea sized, but golf-ball (or larger) sized hailstones can do a great deal of damage. In 2018, the average cost to repair hail damage was $2,500. That might seem high, but often the damage is spread across the entire car, and each dent can cost as much as $80 to fix. Hail can also crack your windshield and sometimes break other parts necessary for the car to function properly. All of that must be repaired.
Some people try to fix hail damage on their own. DIY tips are on the internet. In most cases, these DIY fixes don’t work because the people doing the fixing aren’t familiar with car repair, so they often do more damage in the process. The last thing you want is to further damage your car – or yourself! Take your vehicle to Star Collision or Star of Rockford, and we will erase the hail damage and make your car look great again.
How Do You Fix Hail Damage?
Typically body shops use two methods to repair hail damage: conventional and paintless dent repairs.
The “conventional repair” label is broad. It can involve replacing panels of your car with new panels that are then repainted to match the rest of the body. For less serious damage, we can lightly sand down the paint and fill in the pit with glaze putty that can be sanded and painted when it’s fully dry. We can also use body filler in a similar way to repair small to medium sized dents.
Another method, used for older vehicles or for ones with large dents, is heat repair. This involves heating the damaged section with an oxyacetylene torch to restore the original shape of the metal. Once the metal has cooled we can repaint the repaired surface.
Paintless dent repair is a newer type of fix that involves manipulating the damaged metal from the inside out to restore its shape. It’s used mostly to repair smaller dents and is becoming a more popular solution with car owners and insurance companies because it’s quicker, costs less money, and doesn’t involve hazardous chemicals.
For a windshield with smaller chips or cracks, windshield repair can involve treating the crack with a curable resin to try to stop the chips or cracks from spreading. A total windshield replacement might be a better option if there is considerable cracking. When we look at your vehicle we will tell you what your options are and if we think any minor damage will eventually affect your ability to see the road and drive safely.
Does Insurance Cover Hail Damage?
If you had comprehensive coverage on your vehicle when it was damaged by hail, your insurance should cover either repairing the damage or its total loss (depending on condition). Comprehensive car insurance covers damage that occurs not from a collision. This includes weather damage like hail. You will need to pay your insurance deductible, of course.
If you’ve experienced a West Michigan hailstorm and it has left your car with hail damage, contact Star Collision in Grand Rapids at (616) 364-6222 or Star of Rockford at (616) 866-2640. We will be happy to discuss with you what will be involved in getting your vehicle repaired and what it will cost. We can work directly with your insurance company to make the claims process as painless as possible from this point on. Call us!