auto hail repair

Common Types of Hail Damages: How to Recognize and Repair Them

Hail damages properties across the U.S. every year, with an average price for repairs reaching almost $9,000 including harm to vehicles. This is not something anyone wants to pay for, so knowing what hail can do to your vehicle can give you a better idea of why taking precautions is important. Are you up-to-date on the most common types of hail damage and how to recognize them?

This article lists many of the most frequent forms that damage from a hail storm might take. As you read through, make sure to check whether you can repair these yourself, and also why talking to an expert could get you the best outcome.

Dents and Dings

While these might sound similar, there are distinct differences between these types of damage. This is for the most part limited to the severity of the strike.

Dings are the smallest form of harm, up to around the size of a quarter. A ding is visible in the form of a shallow depression on the surface of the vehicle's body. It may be hard to see these and as such they usually end up lumped in with dents.

Dents are more severe impacts. While there is no agreed definition of the difference between them, you can usually discuss them relative to one another. If you need to differentiate them, dents tend to be larger than a quarter in size.

Assessing the Damage

You should go over every impact site you find and measure its depth and size, as well as note if any paint is chipped. If the resulting bulge is rounded, it will be easier to repair, although a sharp edge would mean a costlier process.

How to Repair Dents and Dings

There are many forms of repair you can use on vehicle dents and dings, including:

Traditional repair methods such as using resin body filler. You usually follow this process by sanding and repainting the surface to make it look as close to the original as possible.

Paintless dent repair (PDR) involves using dedicated tools to access and manipulate the rear edge of any dent. Over time, you can massage it back to its original shape. Although be aware such dent removal methods will not work for the largest impact sites you might find.

Why Might You Need an Expert?

Not only will an expert team have access to tools such as PDR equipment, but they will also have a lot of practice in its use. This will prevent any accidental harm from coming to your vehicle during repairs.

Scratches and Scrapes

Again, there are differences between these two similar concepts.

Scratches are small, linear marks caused by hail scraping across the surface of the vehicle.

Scrapes are wider and often mean the hail gouged out more paint, usually due to a heavier impact.

Assessing the Damage

One of the simplest ways to work out if the paint needs special attention is to run your fingernail across it. If it catches, you will need to take action to prevent further damage.

Inspect the impact site and work out if you can see the paint primer or even bare metal underneath. If so, the scrape is deep enough to need a more involved process.

How to Repair Scratches and Scrapes

For shallow damage, all you need to do is polish the area using a microfiber cloth and an appropriate polishing material for your vehicle. This will often remove the lighter scratches and leave it looking pristine.

For deeper vehicle scratches, you might need to sand the area down and repaint it. If the metal has received damage, you might even want to look into filling the scratch or scrape before you can do further work.

Why Might You Need an Expert?

While you may have the capability to paint a vehicle, a practiced expert will understand how best to match paint to the original color. This will prevent you from creating an obvious section on your vehicle that does not appear like the rest.

You might also need to get someone to inspect the area to advise you on preventing rust from forming. This is especially important if metal is visible in the scratch.

Damaged Glass

The sudden impacts of large hailstones are notorious for their ability to crack or shatter glass. Knowing what you need to do after this happens, as well as how to recognize the difference between chips and cracks, is important for your safety.

Assessing the Damage

In general, you will find that glass is either chipped, cracked, or shattered.

Chipped glass is when there are small, round chunks taken out of the surface of the glass. These are somewhat safe to drive with for a short period, but you should still seek out repairs.

Cracked glass has thin lines running along it. These may be a single line or they may fracture into more directions. You should avoid driving with this glass if possible as it may get worse fast.

Broken glass is when it has completely shattered.

How to Repair Damaged Glass

If you are not completely replacing the glass, you need to use either a professional repair service or a specialist glass repair kit. Such a kit will contain resin that can fill in any holes or cracks, tools to smooth out the material, as well as a UV light to harden said resin.

Why Might You Need an Expert?

Glass is very fragile compared to the rest of the vehicle. If you do not complete any repairs in the right way the first time, you may find the glass ends up damaged further. This is a serious safety issue and may cause legal trouble for you if you do not resolve it fast.

Who to Call When Hail Damages Your Vehicle

You do not want to be left out-of-pocket when hail damages your vehicle as it sits in your driveway or you drive down the road. For this reason, we want to help you out.

We offer a comprehensive inspection you can then use when talking to your insurance company about a possible hail damage claim. We will also pay your deductible, meaning you might end up not needing to spend a single cent. So, get in touch with us and find out what we can do for you.


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Team member using specialized tools to work on dent repair on a bright orange 4-door sedan