It’s summertime again! Time for sunny days, flip flops, trips to the pool, and maybe, unfortunately, a few hail storms. Hail’s heyday falls between May and September, so if you don’t have a garage or some other form of coverage and you don’t know how to protect your car from hail damage, read on. It will be worth you and your car’s while.
To give you a quick refresher course—hail is formed when strong, upward motions of air during a thunderstorm are combined with lowered heights of the freezing level. Most hail (thankfully) is somewhat small, but larger hailstones can reach up to 7.9 inches in diameter. The number of hail storms varies greatly by state, with Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming seeing the worst of the damage (the area where they meet is known as Hail Alley). Last year, our own state Missouri placed in the top 10 states for frequency of hail storms—there were 246 hail storms in Missouri in 2012.
If your car’s ever been hit by those irksome lumps of ice, you know what a pain they can be. So instead of dealing with the dents hail creates after the fact and having to call up your insurance agency, learn how to protect you car from hail damage before it even happens.
How to Protect Your Car from Hail Damage
- Car Covers
Always a safe bet, purchasing a car cover is a pretty fool-proof way to keep your car safe. You can even purchase covers that are specially designed and fitted to match your car’s body. However, these covers can be expensive to buy and time-consuming to apply. Depending on your preferences and your car’s value, it may or may not be worth the investment.
And if you’re wanting to try something new in the car cover department, you could always look into the Hail Protector, an external airbag that inflates to protect your car from hail damage. It can be packed up tightly and inflates in less than five minutes.
- Floor Mats
If you’re in a time crunch and it’s not windy out, you could remove the floor mats from inside your car and use them to cover the outside. Will they cover the car completely? Definitely not. Could they fall off or blow away? Yes, certainly. But if you’re short on time and resources and you want to know how to protect your car from hail damage, this might be your best solution.
- Utilize Surroundings as a Shield
This solution is very dependent on your parking situation and nearby buildings. But if you’re at work, for example, and the hail is coming down in one direction, you might want to park your car close to the building in such a way that the building guards your car from some of those nasty bludgers.
- Thick Blankets and Towels
If all else fails and you’re frantic, wondering how to protect your car from hail damage during a particularly bad storm, start searching your house. Look for thick, tough blankets and towels. Depending on the size of the hail, one layer or several might be enough to keep your car protected. If not, they will at least minimize the damage.
So how do you protect your car from hail damage? Cover it, move it, or if all else fails, just cross your fingers and hope for the best. If your car does get damaged, contact your insurance agency and a repair shop like Dings N Things. We would love to help you get your car back into shape.