Five Tips For Handling Damage During Hail Season
Hail can fall any time of the year, but according to National Weather Service statistics, May is the most common month in southeast Wisconsin for hail that's pea-sized or larger. It was exactly a year ago that dozens of vehicles were at River City Auto Body with damage from quarter-sized hail that fell late morning on Saturday May 7, exactly when there were a lot of cars out and about on family errands.
Hail damage is cosmetic. Your car still runs. But you have to look at the pockmarks and dents every time you're in your vehicle. Unrepaired cosmetic damage from hail is going to lower the resale value of your vehicle, or will cost you when your lease ends.
Here's how to handle hail damage:
- If you're driving, safely reduce your speed. A pea-sized hailstone can fall at as much as 20 mph on a parked car. If you’re traveling at 65 mph in a head wind, the velocity of that little dent maker is more than tripled. And you'll hit more of them by covering distance.
- If possible, get under an overpass in the breakdown lane with your hazards on until the storm passes. Hail episodes seldom last more than five minutes in a location.
- If you have hail damage, don't delay in calling River City Auto Body and your insurer. Most dents are small. They can, however, compromise the paint's ability to prevent corrosion or rust on the underlying metal the longer the dents go unrepaired.
- Hail damaged sheet metal may need to be hammered and painted. For lightly damaged surfaces, trained technicians may recommend paintless dent removal (PDR), which involves using tools on the underside of a damaged panel. Either process takes time. PDR takes less time, but usually in a hail event, a repair facility has several cars with the same damage awaiting repair.
- Check the repair thoroughly under daylight and fluorescent light from a few angles. If it's not done to your satisfaction, remember it is YOUR car, not the insurer's.
River City Auto Body is your expert for repairing hail damage!