auto hail repair
With hail events up by 15% in 2022 alone, the possibility of needing hail damage repairs has increased by the same amount. While vehicle repair after an accident can be frustrating, needing to do it after a natural event is even worse. So, to put you at ease and set expectations, what will it entail?
Below, you will find a step-by-step breakdown of everything you need to do to get your vehicle back to being good as new. It also runs through the different types of repairs you can expect a repair shop to perform.
After a hail storm, you should start by examining your vehicle when you have access to good lighting conditions. This could be either outside, or in a well-lit garage. You will need to check both the vehicle's functions as well as its outer body.
You should document all the damage you receive, both in written form as well as by photographing it. When there is serious damage, take closer-up photos from several angles along with an item such as a coin for size reference. Then, put these photos and documents somewhere safe for when you need to talk to the insurance company.
If you notice any areas where hail has pierced the body or any canvas covering, such as a roof, also inspect the interior in the same way.
Look into auto repair shops in your area that might specialize in repairing hail damage. Take a look at online reviews to see how they have interacted with customers in the past and to ensure they offer you high-quality service.
Contact them and set up an appointment to take your vehicle to them and get an expert inspection. At this point, it might also be useful to ask them about the amount of time they would expect the vehicle to be in the shop so you can plan around it.
Take your vehicle to the repair shop you decided on. They'll then assess the state of your vehicle and the amount of harm the hail caused to it and offer you an estimate for the work they can do.
They may offer you many different options for methods they might use. So, make sure to listen to their expertise and find out what they recommend based on your budget.
The repair shop will then give you all the details on what the repair will take as documentation for you to take home. Once you have completed an insurance claim and your repair appointment comes up, you can take it back to the shop.
The process should only take around 48 hours at most, after which, you can take it home. If your insurance cannot cover the whole payment, you must cover any extra, although many of the best repair shops will pay deductibles for you.
Many smaller dents are fixable without damaging paint or replacing panels. Paintless dent repair involves gaining access to both sides of any body part that has damage. This might involve removing the panel, or the use of specialized tools that can find the area.
The repair specialist will then manipulate the dent with care to push it back to its original shape. This does not involve striking or heating the surface, and thus, shouldn't scratch the surface of your vehicle. It can ensure you retain as much of the vehicle's original value as possible.
If you find more serious damage, such as holes in the body or severe dents, the technician may have to remove the part and repair or replace it. For this, they may need to disassemble the vehicle, taking the body panel away for extra work.
They'll usually use body filler to fill in the medium-sized dents and smooth them out. They will then repaint the area to return it to as close to the original look as possible. In the most extreme cases, they might need to replace the entire panel if the damage is severe enough.
In some cases, a technician can repair minor cracks using resin to fill in chips in the glass. Although, they will only do this if the glass will not cause harm should it fail. As such, more extensive cracks or damage that might affect the vehicle's safety will demand a full pane replacement.
If using resin, they will start by cleaning the affected area, removing any dust and debris. They will then inject the resin into the chip and shine UV light on the area. The material reacts to UV light and will then harden, allowing the technician to smooth its surface out so it retains its utility.
After fixing the area, the repair team will inspect the vehicle and carry out a set of tests to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy. They'll check the vehicle's body panels still fit, that they sit aligned with one another, and that any paint matches with the rest of the vehicle. The team will also ensure your vehicle's mechanical and electrical components continue to work as they did before.
If they discover further issues, they may call you to discuss them if the fix is not simple enough to take only a few seconds.
When you take the vehicle back, you should understand the full extent of any warranty the repair company offers. This will allow you to drive away with the assurance you have received a good job. Check to learn whether the warranty covers the repair's quality, how long repairs should last, and what happens if they do not.
After checking through each of the above steps, you're likely ready to handle organizing any hail damage repairs you might need. Still, it's good to know who to go to if you want the best service. This is why you should come to us.
We have several years' dedicated focus on hail damage repair and can help you ensure your vehicle looks pristine after only a short time. So, get a repair estimate today and learn why we are spoken of so highly.