Texas is prone to intense hail storms, with some storms dumping hail as large as grapefruit, as happened in Fort Worth in 1995. Cars, roofs, plants, and glass all suffer greatly when large hail falls. The more protection you provide to property like your car, the less damage you’ll suffer.
Texas Hail Season
Hail can occur all year round, but it’s a particular problem in late winter through early summer. But don’t think you’re in the clear during the rest of the year — a hail storm in El Paso in November of 2016 caused $200 million in damage.
Many hail storms don’t cause damage at all. Smaller stones can bounce off cars and not leave a mark. But hail can quickly get larger and more jagged, resulting in stone sizes that rival softballs with points like axes.
Tips to Protect your Car from Hail
Protecting your car can take a few forms depending on the location of the car and how much warning you have.
- For general protection, keep your car in your garage. If you need to reroof your garage, go for metal with high impact resistance as rated by UL. You might still have to deal with broken windows on the garage and dented garage doors, but the roof should keep hail from busting through and hitting the car.
- Carports are better than nothing, though the open sides allow hail to hit the car at an angle or bounce off the ground and up to your car. This can cause your sides to get dented and your lights to get broken. Treat open carports as partial protection, but take similar steps to what you’d do if you didn’t have a carport.
- Regular car covers are meant to protect against dust – they don’t really protect against damaging hail. The cover may keep smaller hail from scratching your paint, but it will do nothing against the larger hail. What you need to find are stronger covers made specifically to protect cars from hail and storm damage. These include thick, padded covers and even inflatable covers. Be warned that you need to practice placing these covers on the car quickly so that, if a surprise storm appears, you can get the cover on without much trouble. However, you should never go out and try to cover your car if the hail storm has already started — avoiding injury is more important than avoiding car damage. Also remember to park away from trees, which could send branches down in severe storms, and banners, which could fly down onto your car and be difficult to remove.
- If you’re driving in hail and can’t get to a parking garage, park the car so that hail tends to hit the windshield instead of the side windows. The side windows are often made of thinner glass that could break more easily. If you have time, get out of the car and get into a safer, sturdier building before the hail starts.
Dodging hail in Texas can be dicey, and it’s possible that, even with the best attempts at protection, you could end up with some damage that you need fixed. It’s not possible to cover every conceivable situation, so you must provide some non-physical protection for your vehicle. Make sure that you have solid insurance coverage for your car that allows for thorough repair.
If you do end up with hail damage, you have options. Paintless dent repair saves you money on new paint if the hail hasn’t damaged the top coat or paint layers; in fact, in many moderate storms, you’ll see dents but no scratches or chips.
Regardless of the level of damage, repair centers in the Arlington area know exactly what needs to be done to get a hail-damaged car back into drivable shape. City Collision Center can repair dents, scratches, chips, broken glass, missing taillight covers, and more. Do not let hail keep you off the road for long; give City Collision Center a call today.