auto hail repair
Floridians know a thing or two about hail damage. When a thunderstorm comes through quickly or unexpectedly, it can be a challenge to get your vehicle somewhere safe, like in a garage. Some people don't even have that option at all.
Post-storm, it's normal for auto repair shops to be overwhelmingly packed with damaged vehicles. The damage ranges from golf ball-sized dents to broken or cracked windshields and sunroofs.
If your vehicle has recently been the brunt of a hailstorm, you're probably curious about your options covered by insurance. What are the different ways to repair hail damage?
Paintless dent repair, or PDR, is one of the most common and preferable methods of vehicle hail damage repair.
This method allows specialists to smooth out one or more dents in your vehicle's exterior without impacting the paint or underlying structure. Starting from the underside, a specialist manually massages the metal, restoring the vehicle. Meanwhile, the original factory paint remains undisturbed.
This repair method is the only one that can restore your vehicle to its book value while retaining its original factory finish.
The benefits of PDR are many, including:
While it sounds easy enough, doing PDR on your own is risky. Without the proper knowledge, you might overcorrect the dent, stretching the metal of your vehicle. This mistake is not reversible, therefore inactivating your paint warranty, among other issues.
Another area that often sees damage from hail is the sunroof.
Damage can range from a small crack to completely shattered, determining whether you need repair or replacement. While sunroof glass is shatter-resistant, it's not shatter-proof.
Regardless, both of these problems should get addressed immediately to avoid further damage. If you put the problem off, it could result in interior damage to your vehicle, whether from the elements or broken glass. Further damage might not be covered by insurance.
Again, you might be inclined to repair or replace the sunroof yourself—but we encourage you to consider otherwise. Not only are sunroofs complex systems, but if you accidentally cause more damage, you could have a much higher bill on your hands. Insurance policies typically cover damage due to natural elements (such as the hailstorm), but not damage that comes as a result of your mistake.
Cracked windshields or damaged mirrors are another common problem post-hailstorm.
Even small cracks should get fixed right away, as they might spread over time. Let's say a hailstorm causes a small crack to form in your windshield but you decide to forgo repair because it's tiny. Now, your windshield is susceptible to further damage, like from an errant rock that hits it while you drive down the highway.
Once again, it's best to fix the problem while it's manageable rather than waiting. Not only is this safer for you as a driver, but it's the financially responsible thing to do. Insurance might not cover the repair or replacement if you fail to fix it after the initial crack occurs.
Additionally, it's legal in Florida for a police officer to pull you over if the crack impairs your view of the road. If the officer believes the crack creates an endangerment, they're allowed to stop you. This could result in even more money out of your pocket.
Depending on the extent of the hail damage, you might need to consider a body panel replacement.
Severe thunderstorms result in larger pieces of hail that fall even faster, which could result in damage that even PDR can't help. If that's the case, you still have an option with body panel replacement.
Body panel replacement means that an entire portion of your car or truck's body gets replaced. That could mean one or more doors, the hood, trunk, bumper, or fender.
While this type of hail damage repair doesn't sound ideal to some—especially for those with original factory paint—it might be necessary. The value of your vehicle goes down with the presence of visible damage. And while you can no longer boast that it has original paint, you can at least rest assured the value is kept intact.
Depending on your insurance company, body panel replacement should fall under the same umbrella of repair as PDR, sunroof repair, and windshield repair.
Hail damage knows no bounds.
Your vehicle might have one problem—like a spattering of gumball-sized dents—or several, like a broken sunroof to boot.
The best course of action is to seek out professional help. Whether you're dealing with a slew of problems or just one, the experts know what to do, from finding replacement parts to using the right tools to install them. They're experienced in all things hail damage, ensuring that something isn't improperly replaced or fixed.
Working with professionals isn't only something that benefits the value of your vehicle. It also keeps you safe. If you try but fail to properly replace your sunroof, you could find out at an inopportune moment—like when you're driving to work and the whole thing caves in on you.
In other words, call us.
Express Auto Hail Repair provides free estimates, fast repairs, and lifetime guarantees. We're respected and revered by our community, and we take our reputation seriously. There's no one better to repair hail damage to your vehicle.
Click here to schedule your custom estimate.