Assessing Hail Damage
All vehicles requiring hail repair will need to be assessed beforehand by a Dent Force associate for time and cost estimates. These assessments can take up to one hour and are provided free of charge. The client may then schedule a convenient time to have their hail repair booked at one of our Calgary, Airdrie or Red Deer Alberta locations, as well as any other Western Canadian city through our affiliated partner body shop locations.
How Does Hail Damage a Vehicle?
Hail Damage affects mostly the horizontal panels on a vehicle: the hood, the roof, the trunk, the tops of the front fenders, and the tops of the rear quarter panels. The size and depth of the dents are determined by the size of the hail stone. If the storm includes strong blowing winds, the side of the vehicle facing the wind will also be hail damaged and require hail repair.
The Process of Repairing Hail Damage
In providing hail repair, most trim components must be removed to allow access to the backside of the metal. The headliner on the interior of the vehicle must be removed or dropped down for the roof panel access. The hood and trunk are sometimes removed and attached to a portable stand for easy dent access and removal. Front headlights are removed to provide access to the backsides of the front fenders. Rear taillights are removed to provide access to the backside of the rear quarter panel. Access on the side doors is done through the window opening, an area between the door glass and the door skin.
Most hail stones are shaped like golf balls, so they make a round dent in the metal. The dent is removed by using our massaging process, where little pushes are made to move a small portion of metal at a time. This massaging process starts in the center of the dent, and is used over the entire diameter of the dent, until the metal is returned to its original position on the panel. Each dent is removed by the same process one at a time.
Some areas of the vehicle do not allow access to the backside of the metal, and a different process is required for those types of dents. A pulling process, which uses plastic tabs, shaped to fit hail dents, and hot glue, pull the metal back into position from the paint side. This process is designed for use on factory paint, as the paint is more durable that what a body shop can provide.
Hail does not just limit itself to the body panels; it damages mouldings as well. Today’s vehicles have a lot of mouldings that add to the car’s overall look. These are made out of a thinner gauge of metal, and can damage very easily. Hail damaged mouldings are not repaired in the massage method, but are removed and replaced with new ones.
The hail repair process on a vehicle is very time consuming, and repairs are estimated in days.