Although hail is not a common occurrence in New Jersey, there is always a chance of some hail falling from the sky when you least expect it. Unfortunately, for the unsuspecting, that often means a vehicle left out in the hail. Left behind after the storm are unsightly dents and other damages that you probably want repaired as soon as possible. Perhaps you have read online that leaving your car out in the sun can repair the hail damage, but this is a misconception. Let’s delve into hail damage repair, including the sun exposure myth.
How Does Hail Damage a Vehicle?
Hail damage occurs when hailstones, ranging in size from small pebbles to larger projectiles, impact a vehicle’s body. The forceful impact causes dents and dings, often leaving the surface uneven and dimpled. Hailstones can damage various parts of a vehicle, including the roof, hood, trunk, doors, and even windows. The severity of the damage can range from minor cosmetic imperfections to more significant structural issues, such as cracked windshields or damaged paint.
Naturally, the size and speed of the hailstones when striking the vehicle will determine the severity of the damage to your vehicle. Additionally, the angle and direction of the hail’s trajectory can affect the areas of the vehicle that are most susceptible to dents.
Can Hail Dents Be Removed With Sun Exposure?
There is some advice out there suggesting that hail dents will disappear should your car be left out in the sun. This is incorrect. Hail dents cannot be removed with sun exposure. It is thought that this myth surfaced due to confusion between metal physical properties and thermal expansion. While some metals will expand when exposed to heat, saying that hail damages will vanish in the sun is oversimplifying what is truly happening with thermal expansion.
Hail dents are not merely a result of compression or contraction of the metal caused by the impact of hailstones. They involve complex deformations and stretching of the metal, altering its shape and causing visible depressions. While heat can cause expansion in metals, the dents caused by hail require targeted repair techniques to restore the metal to its original form.
In other words, relying solely on sun exposure to remove the hail dents and dings may only cause further complications. Your car may start to look worse, especially the paint. Exposure to UV rays can cause the paint to fade or peel, exacerbating the appearance of the dents and potentially compromising the vehicle’s overall aesthetics.
What Are Some Methods For Repairing Hail Damage in NJ?
Fortunately, there are far more reliable methods for removing hail dents, such as paintless dent repair, kits, and traditional body repair. The best choice will depend on how bad your car has been damaged, as well as the availability of the service. Here is a look at some ways to fix hail damage:
Paintless Dent Repair
Also known as PDR, this widely used and effective method works well on hail damage. Trained technicians make use of specialized tools to gently massage the metal panels back into their original shape. This technique is particularly suitable for minor to moderate hail damage, as it preserves the original paint finish and maintains the vehicle’s value. PDR is a non-invasive process that does not require repainting, making it a preferred choice for many vehicle owners.
If you are looking for hail dent repair in New Jersey, consider Elmer’s Auto Body PDR service. Our experienced mechanics can remove those pesky dents and dings, restoring your car’s exterior quickly and effectively.
PDR with Glue Pulling
In certain situations, glue pulling is combined with PDR techniques to repair hail damage. This method involves applying special glue to a small tab or a plastic adapter, which is then attached to the center of the dent. Once the glue has cured, a pulling device is used to gradually pull the dent outward, effectively restoring the metal’s original shape. After the dent is removed, any remaining glue residue is carefully cleaned off, and the panel is polished to restore its appearance.
Paintless Dent Repair with glue pulling is often used for dents that cannot be accessed from the backside or for dents with irregular shapes. It provides an alternative approach to the traditional PDR method, expanding the range of hail damage that can be effectively repaired without the need for repainting.
Traditional Body Repair
In the event that the hail damage done to your car is severe or if the dents are deep and irregularly shaped, it may be better for the mechanic to use traditional body repair techniques. Traditional body repair involves filling the dents in with body filler, a kind of putty or plastic. Once the filler has hardened, the technician sands the surface down until it is smooth. Priming is then applied, followed by paint that matches the vehicle’s original color. The final step is a clear coat and polish.
Traditional body repair is highly effective at restoring extensive hail damage, but it is also more costly and time consuming when compared to paintless dent repair.
Hail Damage Repair Kits
For vehicle owners who are comfortable with DIY projects and have minor hail damage consisting of small dents or dings, hail damage repair kits are available on the market. These kits typically include specialized tools, such as dent pullers, suction cups, and knockdowns, along with detailed instructions for performing PDR techniques at home.
It’s important to note that hail damage repair kits are suitable for minor damage only, and professional expertise may be necessary for more significant hail damage. Using these kits requires a certain level of skill, patience, and attention to detail to achieve satisfactory results. If in doubt or if the damage is extensive, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from the best body shops in NJ, like Elmer’s Auto Body, to ensure the best outcome.
Looking to Repair Hail Damage in NJ?
New Jersey car hail damage does not have to be the end of your vehicle’s aesthetics. Although leaving your dented and dinged car out in the sun is not going to repair the hail damage, there are methods that are highly effective. Paintless dent repair (PDR) and traditional body repair from Elmer’s Auto Body in New Jersey is a wonderful option, regardless of the severity of the damages. Our skilled technicians can use a variety of techniques and tools to restore your car to its original appearance. Why not give one of our auto body shops in South Jersey a call today to schedule your appointment?