How Hail Damage Repair is Completed
There are a Variety of Hail Damage Repair Methods
Hail damage repair is on everyone’s mind right now. With two major storms sweeping through Billings just about a month ago, many of the auto body repair shops are still trying to catch up with all of the work that needs performed.
It seems like a straightforward job, you pop out the dents and send the vehicle on down the road. But there is often a little bit more to it than that. Hail damage repair can take on a variety of methods, and depending on the severity of the damage, it can end up taking quite a while to make sure everything is done the right way!
Traditional Hail Damage Repair
Before Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) was a common practice, there were a few different methods available that are considered to be traditional repair.
Total Replacement: Some of the storms that rip through here drop a lot of really big hail stones. These cause so many dents in the vehicle, that it’s not worth the time to go through and do PDR on all of them. Instead, anything that can be unbolted and removed is replaced with a new panel. Some must even be cut off and a new piece welded in place. A paint job blends it all together.
Use of Filler Material: Using filler material, often called by the brand name Bondo, is a last resort. It doesn’t last and it shouldn’t be spread more than 1/8 inch thick. With this method the paint is sanded off, the dent filled with putty, then it’s sanded flat and repainted.
Heat Repair: Traditional heat repair requires the use of a torch, and manipulation of the metal. The metal is heated up with the torch, and the dents are “massaged” out. When the metal has cooled, the auto body is sanded and repainted to match the undamaged areas of the vehicle.
These traditional methods of hail damage repair almost always take longer, and end up costing more, than paintless dent repair. But they’re necessary when PDR isn’t an option.
Paintless Dent Repair
When possible, PDR is the way to go. There is no sanding required. No filler material, no holes drilled in the auto body. It’s fast and cost effective when there aren’t too many dents that need to be removed.
To complete the PDR process, the repair technician uses specialized tools to get behind the metal panel. They then manipulate the metal and “pop” out each dent individually. What you get:
- A faster turnaround time than traditional auto body repairs
- No use of hazardous chemicals and fillers
- Longer lasting dent repair
Glass Hail Damage Repair
When the hail gets big enough, or when it hits from just the right angle, glass can break. On the windshield, there are two ways to repair the break.
Chip and Crack Repair: There are times when the chips and cracks are small and they can be repaired quickly. This is done with a resin that is suctioned into the crack and dries clear. It’s usually undetectable once cured.
Total Replacement: Too many cracks and chips, or when they’re too big, mean that you have to replace the full windshield. This is often the preferred method so the integrity of the windshield can be restored.
Big Sky Collision Center Offers Hail Damage Repair in Billings
Every other year, it seems, we get hail storms that cause a lot of damage. People need to have their vehicles fixed.
It can be tempting to try a DIY method, many of them involve waiting until a hot day and using ice or dry ice to pop the dents out. While they can work, they usually cause more problems than they solve.