auto hail repair

Hail Damage Can Lead to Rust Vehicles: The Dangers Explained

Hail Damage Can Lead to Rust Vehicles: The Dangers Explained

There are several ways hail damage is bad for your vehicle. This guide explains how it can lead to rust vehicles along with how you can fix this issue.

You know that preventative maintenance and timely repairs can keep your vehicle looking great and running safely. However, it's easy to forget how much damage can occur due to unforeseen circumstances, such as hailstorms.

From dents and dings to cracked windshields and rust, the impact of hail can reach farther than most drivers anticipate. Left untreated, it can even compromise the safety and structural integrity of your vehicle.

For instance, moisture from the hail can seep deeply into cracks and crevices, causing rust. Today, we're taking a closer look at rust vehicles and explaining how hail is often the culprit. We'll also share where to go when it's time to clean up the damage and get back on the road!

The Real Extent of Hail Damage

In states like Texas and Colorado, hailstorms aren't weather anomalies. Rather, they're common occurrences, especially during the springtime. From May 18-19, 2023, these storms were part of 12 separate weather-related disasters in the Lone Star State alone, causing more than $1 billion in damage!

When hail happens, it can cause a host of issues for drivers. Not only does it make the roads slick and unsafe, but it also impedes visibility and can wreak havoc on exposed areas of your vehicle. This can range from small dents on the hood to large impacts all along the metal exterior.

This damage can be extensive and expensive to repair, depending on the scope and severity of the impact. Yet, allowing it to sit untreated can cause even more problems. That's why most drivers opt for more affordable and effective repair options, such as Paintless Dent Repair, or PDR.

A Look at PDR

With PDR, highly trained repair specialists will smooth out dents along a vehicle without making any impacts or changes to its original paint. This saves time and money by leaving the underlying structure intact.

To do so, they will massage the metal from its underside, beautifully restoring your vehicle without affecting its original factory paint. This allows you to repair the damage, retain the finish, and maintain the full book value of your vehicle, which can drop if you change the paint in any way.

In addition to those benefits, PDR also allows you to smooth out your vehicle's paint to its pre-impact state. This prevents moisture from accumulating in any cracks that the hail might have formed. Allowing that water to sit in the cracks for an extended period can lead to rust, which will decay the underlying metal over time.

Note that while the PDR method is ideal for minor to moderate hail damage, more extensive impact may require all-new paint, panels, or windshield glass.

The Risk of Rust

When we talk about PDR, why do we focus on rust prevention? The reality is that this seemingly small problem can snowball into a much larger issue. If you decide to put off auto hail repair for a later date, your vehicle can start to rapidly depreciate right before your eyes.

At first, rust might look like small bubbles or blisters in your vehicle's paint. You might think the issue is minor but don't wait to schedule a repair. In time, those bubbles will grow much larger and eventually, they'll burst.

When this happens, you'll usually see a reddish-brown spot underneath. This alerts you that the oxidation process has already started. Once this happens, the rust will start to spread, eventually eating away at the metal and weakening the structure of your vehicle.

While some manufacturers build their vehicles with plastic, fiberglass, or carbon fiber bodies, most use a combination of steel and metal alloys. This makes the vehicle body extremely susceptible to rust. Oxidation occurs as a result of the chemical reaction that occurs when water and oxygen meet steel.

This reaction is especially common (and detrimental) in humid areas or coastal regions, where the salt content in the air also mingles with high levels of moisture. When the metal within your car is exposed due to a scratch or dent from hail, it initializes the oxidation process.

If you don't address this issue promptly, it can cause significant damage and result in costly repairs. In some cases, rust can weaken a vehicle to the extent that it's even rendered unsafe to drive.

Why Paint Matters

Conventional hail repair methods normally require the technician to scrape off the factory-finish paint. Once that's complete, they'll add extra filler to smooth out the dent, and then add new layers of paint.

While that might restore the look of your vehicle, there's one issue that many drivers miss.

The factory paint on your vehicle is guaranteed to protect it from rust and other issues for a certain number of years. Yet, in most cases, this warranty immediately becomes invalid when you remove that paint. This leaves you responsible for covering any additional issues that occur, even if the damage isn't your fault.

Then, there's the issue of stability and reliability. If you experience a hailstorm again (which is likely), then the moisture could seep through the new paint, leading to more damage. There's no guarantee that this new coat of paint will be as durable or long-lasting as the first.

If water is allowed to soak through, that excess moisture can lead to rust. Now, you've not only lowered the resale value of your vehicle by altering it in this way, but you also have an even bigger problem on your hands.

Find Help for Hail-Damaged Rust Vehicles

Hail can damage and rust vehicles, but you don't have to deal with the issue alone.

Our team at Express Hail Repair can provide a range of expert services, including PDR, to restore your vehicle to its original glory. If you need repairs beyond PDR, we can also install new panels, paint, or windshields as required.

Don't wait to visit us soon. The longer you allow moisture to sit untreated inside your vehicle, the greater your risk of deterioration. We're here to make this next step easy, so request your custom estimate today!


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