Living in Sewell, New Jersey often means being exposed to the state’s unpredictable weather patterns that sometimes includes hailstorms. Although NJ does not receive as much extreme weather as other parts of the country, when inclement weather does happen, you can expect damages. Hail, for instance, can wreak havoc on vehicles, leaving behind unsightly dents and dings. If you’ve fallen victim to hail damage, it’s important to understand your options for repair. Let’s explore your repair options for dents and dings in Sewell, NJ, so you can address the issues and get them resolved as soon as possible.
What is Hail and How Can It Damage a Vehicle?
Hail is a type of precipitation that consists of frozen raindrops that are formed within thunderstorm clouds. When strong updrafts in a storm cloud carry raindrops upward into extremely cold areas, they freeze into ice pellets. As these ice pellets are lifted and fall within the storm cloud, they can accumulate additional layers of ice, resulting in hailstones of varying sizes.
Hail can cause significant damage to vehicles due to its impact force, even when the pellets are small. When these hailstones fall onto a vehicle’s surface, they can create dents, dings, and even cracks or shatter windshields and windows. The force of impact can also chip or scratch the vehicle’s paint, leaving it vulnerable to rust and further deterioration if not repaired promptly.
Fortunately, there are options for repairing these damages quickly and affordably.
Paintless Dent Repair
Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) is a specialized technique widely used for repairing hail damage. With PDR, the focus is on manipulating the dents from the inside of the vehicle’s panels without the need for repainting. Skilled technicians use a variety of specialized tools, such as metal rods and gentle pulling or pushing techniques, to carefully massage the metal back into its original shape.
PDR is highly effective for small dents where the paint is undamaged. Because PDR repairs dents without impacting the original factory finish, it is one of the best options for maintaining the value of your vehicle. Furthermore, your technician doesn’t have to worry about color-matching chaos.
Another advantage of Paintless Dent Repair is that it is non-invasive. There is no sanding, filling, or repainting required, making PDR a quicker and more cost-effective option compared to traditional repairs. Additionally, PDR produces seamless results consistently. Once your car is returned to you, you will be hard pressed to remember exactly where the dents were! However, it’s important to note that PDR may not be suitable for larger or more severe dents where the paint has been extensively damaged.
Traditional Body Shop Repair
In cases of more severe hail damage or when the paint has been compromised, traditional body shop repair becomes necessary. This comprehensive repair process typically involves several steps. First, the damaged area is sanded down to remove any chipped or peeling paint, as well as any uneven surfaces caused by the hail impact.
Once the surface is smooth, skilled technicians like those at Elmer’s Auto Body in Sewell, NJ use a filling material, such as body filler or putty, to level out the dented area. This step ensures that the repaired surface is even and matches the contours of the surrounding panels. After the filler has dried, the technician carefully sands it down to create a smooth and seamless surface.
The next crucial step is repainting the affected area. The hail damage repair technician will match the color of the vehicle’s original shade to the new paint. They take into account the hue, texture, and metallic content. Once the newly painted surface is complete, the technician then applies a clear coat to provide additional protection.
While traditional body shop repair provides a comprehensive solution for more significant hail damage, it generally requires a longer turnaround time compared to PDR. The process involves multiple steps and may take several days, depending on the extent of the damage and the workload of the body shop.
Here is an option you probably didn’t know you had. If your vehicle has been damaged by hail, it’s essential to review your insurance policy to determine the coverage you have for hail damage repairs. Many insurance policies include coverage for hail damage under comprehensive coverage in New Jersey. Contact your insurance provider to understand the process and any specific requirements for filing a claim. They can guide you through the necessary steps and recommend approved repair shops in Sewell, NJ.
Are DIY Options Worth Trying?
There are several DIY options out there (and also many myths, like sun exposure removing hail dents) that may potentially help, such as the hot water method for small or shallow dents. This requires pouring hot water over the dented area to make the metal more malleable then plunging it. Suction sometimes forces the dent to pop out.
Another option is using a hair dryer and compressed air. This method is effective for small to medium-sized dents. Using a hairdryer, heat the dented area for a few minutes, ensuring the paint becomes warm to the touch. Quickly switch from the hairdryer to a can of compressed air held upside down, spraying the dent for about 30 seconds. The sudden temperature change can cause the dent to pop out. It’s important to exercise caution while handling compressed air, wearing protective gloves and eyewear.
However, there is always a chance of such methods producing less than satisfying results. For larger dents, extensive damage, or if you are uncertain about DIY methods, it’s advisable to consult a professional hail damage repair technician in Sewell, NJ. They have the expertise and specialized tools required to safely and effectively restore your vehicle’s appearance. Furthermore, auto body shops can assist with the insurance claims process, especially if your insurance covers hail damage. They can work with your insurance provider to ensure proper documentation, accurate estimates, and a smooth repair experience.
Looking For Hail Damage Repair in Sewell, NJ?
When it comes to addressing hail damage on your vehicle in Sewell, NJ, it’s essential to explore the available repair options. Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) is a popular choice for smaller dents where the paint remains intact, offering a non-invasive and seamless repair process. For more severe hail damage or instances where the paint has been compromised, traditional body shop repair becomes necessary. This comprehensive approach involves sanding, filling, and repainting the affected areas to restore the vehicle’s appearance.
If you are unsure which of these repair options is best for you, be sure to speak with an auto body shop like Elmer’s Auto Body. Our repair shop has over 75 years of experience dealing with issues like hail damage and beyond. We offer traditional repairs and Paintless Dent Repair, alongside the added benefit of masterful technicians. Give one of our NJ locations a call or fill out the contact form today to schedule your appointment!