How to Prevent Hail Damage to Your Vehicle
Prevention is Easier than Hail Damage Repair
It’s still hail season here in Billings, Montana. And that means every thunderstorm that rolls through the area carries with it the risk of damage to our vehicles and homes. There’s not a whole lot you can do to prevent hail damage to your home, aside from using higher quality roofing and siding materials. But there are a few steps that you can take to prevent damage to your vehicles.
Most storms come with a warning. Unless it’s a rapidly developing storm, you can count on at least an hour, sometimes longer, to move or protect your car. Here’s how to do it in order of effectiveness.
Get it into a Shelter
The obvious, and most effective, way to protect your vehicle is to get it under cover. For those that have a garage big enough to house their vehicles, putting them inside the garage is obviously the best way to make sure that they won’t be damaged. But for others, a garage isn’t an option.
Heading to downtown Billings, we have a handful of parking garages that are open to the public. Most don’t cost more than a dollar or two per hour. Since our hail storms generally only last 15 to 30 minutes, you can get by with a buck or two for protection. That’s a pretty good deal considering your deductible on your car insurance is likely going to be $500. You can avoid that out-of-pocket expense, and the hassle of hail damage repairs, by getting the vehicle into a shelter.
Use Padding to Deflect Hail
If there wasn’t enough warning before the storm came, or you simply couldn’t take the time to drive downtown and get your vehicle into a parking garage, your next best bet is to cover it with some sort of padding. The idea is that the hail will bounce off the padding and not dent your rig.
Thicker is obviously better in this case. Towels will work, comforters will be better. Large hail will still damage the vehicle, but it may not be quite as extensive as it would without some sort of protection.
Of course, there are other ways. Such as this inflatable cover and other similar products.
Park on the Leeward Side of a Building
Maybe you don’t want to spend the money on a protector, maybe the parking garages are full. As a final effort, you can use buildings to protect your vehicle.
Most of the storms that come through Billings roll in from the west. That means if there is a big storm coming, and you can park close to the east side of a building, there’s a chance that the majority of the hail will be blocked by the building. Closer to the building is better, just make sure you can safely leave your vehicle in case glass breaks.
Hail Damage Repair in Billings, MT
Getting out of the elements is key to protection from hail damage. But remember, never park under a tree as a means of protection. Storms are well known to rip branches off the trees, and a branch landing on your car is going to be worse than some hail landing on it.
If you do suffer from hail damage, Big Sky Collision Center is in the business of repairing hail damage. Some can be done through paintless dent repair (PDR), but big storms means that panels must be replaced. When a storm damages a lot of cars around, we get backed up. Fortunately we can take the vehicles to Livingston or Bozeman to one of our sister shops and get you in and out quicker.
Need an estimate on hail damage repair? Call 406-259-6328 to get set up.