Late spring and summer may be a time for vacations and fun in the sun, but summer also ushers in the season for severe thunderstorms. Hailstones can wreck havoc on a parked car. So what do you do in the event your car is damaged by hail? Here are a few tips on how to go about repairing the damage.
First, assess the overall damage. Depending on the depth of the dents, you may want to ask your insurance company to have a claims adjuster come out and inspect the damage. If your deductible is higher than the damage, you may decide to skip filing an insurance claim.
You’ll have different options on how to go about repairing the damage caused by hailstones. Sometimes the dents will disappear simply by parking your car in the hot sun for a few days. That’s because sunlight warms the metal on your car’s body. As the metal warms, it expands, and if you’re fortunate, expanding metal may cause the dents to pop back out and disappear. Parking your vehicle for just one week in the hot sun may eliminate up to 90 percent of the dents caused by hail.
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, there are also a couple of other remedies for getting rid of those dents. Applying a hair dryer to the dent will have much the same effect as sunlight. However, be careful when using a hair dryer because it can cause your vehicle’s paint to discolor.
If heating hasn’t eliminated the dents, add a cube of dry ice to the dent. Then wait for the frost to accumulate on the sides of the ice. Remove the dry ice and use a hair dryer to heat the dent.
Sometimes the hail damage is too extensive for any of the do-it-yourself home remedies to work. In that case, you may need to take your vehicle to a professional auto body shop. There are two options when it comes to repairing the damage: Paint-less dent repair or conventional auto-body repair. Paint-less dent repair is a process that entails removing dents with rods and picks that push the dents out from the inner side of the panel. Conventional body repair requires sanding and repainting and can take up to two weeks to finish. Paint-less dent repair usually can be done in one or two days and will have your car looking like new in no time.
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