As Texans, we’re no strangers to the risks that come with unpredictable weather. It’s not uncommon to have a crystal clear sky in the morning, followed by thunderstorms and hail in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the latter can be damaging to our cars, causing dents and pockmarks that are not only unappealing to look at but also hurt our wallets. However, we don’t need to let Mother Nature get the best of us! By taking a few preventative measures, we can keep our vehicles safe from hail damage and keep our minds at ease.
Invest in a Car Cover or Hail Protector
While there’s no way to predict when hail will hit, you can prepare yourself by purchasing a sturdy car cover or going a step further and investing in a Hail Protector. Quality covers are often made with thick materials like polyester and vinyl, which can absorb the impact of hailstones. Do your research and find one with good ratings and reviews that will work well with your type of vehicle.
Wrap Your Car in Thick Blankets
If you don’t have a car cover or Hail Protector, another option is to use thick blankets to protect your vehicle from hail damage. This method will require several people and some heavy-duty blankets, but it can be effective in a pinch. Start by parking the car in an open area away from trees or other tall structures that could cause additional damage. Then, have as many people as possible gather around the vehicle and start layering on the blankets until every inch of the car is covered. Make sure there are no gaps where hail might sneak through! Once everything is secure, wait for the storm to pass before removing the blankets and inspecting any potential damage.
Use Card Board Boxes
Cardboard boxes are a great way to protect your car from hail damage. The thickness of the boxes can act as a cushion, helping to absorb some of the impact from hailstones and keep them from damaging your vehicle’s paint and body. It’s important to use thick, durable boxes—like those used for shipping fragile items, and to secure the boxes on your car so they don’t blow away in strong winds. You can lightly pad the cardboard boxes with something like bubble wrap or foam for extra protection.
Fold in the Side Mirrors
One great tip for protecting your car from hail damage is to fold in the side mirrors. Not only can hailstones cause dents and pockmarks, but they can also shatter the glass on your side mirrors. Folding them in provides an extra layer of protection against the hail.
Utilize Covered Parking
If you’re lucky enough to have access to covered parking, it’s a great alternative to the car cover. Outdoor parking exposes your vehicle to the elements, but a garage, carport, or even a covered parking lot can add a layer of protection from hail, UV rays, and other natural occurrences that can take a toll on your car’s exterior.
Be Mindful of Weather Forecasts
It can be easy to get caught up in our busy lives and forget to check the weather, but this small step can save you hundreds of dollars in hail damage. Before heading out or parking your car for the day, take a minute to check the local weather forecast. The National Weather Service sends out alerts and updates when hail or severe weather is predicted in your area. Remember, better safe than sorry!
Know Your Insurance Policy
Last but not least, review your insurance policy and make sure it covers hail damage. If you have comprehensive coverage, it may help cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle’s body, interior, and windshield caused by the hail. However, if you just opted for auto liability coverage you may be left to cover the cost of repairs on your own. If you’re unsure about your policy, check in with your insurance agent and clarify any doubts you may have. It’s always better to know ahead of any troubling situation that may occur what your benefits are.
Seek Professional Help
If hail damage has already hit your vehicle, don’t panic. Several body shops and dent repair companies specialize in repairing hail damage. Some techniques do not require the need of repainting or doing any exterior alterations. However, we recommend you research and compare prices and warranties to make the best decision for your budget and needs.
By following the tips above, you can have peace of mind and save yourself from the headaches of costly damages. Although we can’t control the weather, we can take advantage of the resources available to minimize the effect it has on our vehicles. Be proactive, stay safe, and keep that car looking brand new!