Hail can severely damage your vehicle and crack your windscreen in more places than one. Storms can hit at any time of the day or night. Quality Fit Windscreens has compiled a list of tips on preventing hail damage and how it affects your car.
Why is Hail a Hazard?
Summer storms can wreak incredible damage on your windscreens. In fact, in some areas of Australia, daily storm activity is highly likely. This includes cricket ball size hail. While a storm might be short, even the briefest storm can cause incredible damage.
Hail damage can be severe, causing chips, cracks, and even major structural damage to your entire wind screen. A chip or a crack is a major safety hazard when driving. A hole in your windscreen makes your car undrive-able.
Hail damage causes a large number of cracks and chips from different hail stone impacts. This makes driving with hail damage downright dangerous. Driving with a windscreen like this risks your life and the lives of other drivers on the road. This is due to reduced visibility. Even small chips or cracks can quickly double in size when driving over bumps or potholes.
While almost every comprehensive insurance covers hail and storm damage, hail damage is still a major inconvenience when your car is off the road.
What Should I Do When Driving in a Hail Storm?
When driving in hail you need to think about the safety of the other drivers on the road, as well as your own safety.
- Seek cover before a storm hits
- You will be able to find cover without competing with other motorists
- It is also safer
- If on a freeway, motorway or tollway, slow your vehicle gradually to avoid skidding
- You will also avoid accidents in the low visibility by giving other drivers plenty of warning that you are slowing
- If there is no shelter available, pull over
- A stationary car tends to get less hail damage than a moving car
- Keep away from car windows during any storm
- Park in a garage when the car is not in use
- If a garage isn’t available, invest in a special car cover that utilises a foam inner to protect against hail
How to Protect Your Car from Hail Damage
Australians are no strangers to storm damage issues. Ours is a nation of extreme climates, with storms throughout the year. This means we’ve all experienced our fair share of hail storms. Violent storms cause damage to thousands of vehicles each year. In many cases, this damage can be terrible, making repair expensive. As a result, planning and preparation is key to protecting your car from hail.
Where possible, get your car undercover – either in a garage or under a protective cover. It is important to ensure you get a cover on your car, if needed, as soon as you can. It will save you stress and ensure you are not exposed to the storm.
If you are driving, try to find the most immediate cover around, where you can wait out storms. If you can only pull over, and it is safe for you to exit your vehicle, you can lay a heavy blanket or floor mats over your windscreen to protect it from hail damage. However, if it is not safe to get out of your vehicle where you have stopped (like on a freeway) or if the storm is heavy, stay in your vehicle. Replacing a window is easier than risking your health and life.
Keep an eye on the weather and be proactive as possible. Forewarned is forearmed. And always respond according to your situation.
Assessing Hail Damage
When it is safe to do so, after the storm is over, take a look at your car to see the impact of the hail. If you have damage to your windscreen, it is important not to drive your car. Not only is visibility impaired by damage, you can also make any cracks or chips worse.
Once you have assessed the damage, you need to contact your insurance company and a qualified repairer like Quality Fit Windscreens.
What Kind of Repair Would You Need for Hail Damage?
When you encounter chips or cracks in your windscreen due to hail damage, you need to contact a local windscreen repairer. Chips and cracks, no matter how small, pose a threat to your safety. They weaken your windscreen, which is a large, structural component of your car. As a result, you are is no longer safe to drive.
By contacting a repairer, like Quality Fit Windscreens, will help get you back on the road as soon as possible.
If cracks or chips are small, and no in the driver’s line of sight, these are easily repaired by your technician. However, if the damage is within the driver’s line of sight, you will likely get the recommendation to replace the windscreen. This is due to the fact that repairs can leave a warped or blurry spot on the glass.
You may also need to replace your windscreen if there is extensive damage – normally caused by large hailstones.
No matter how small the damage may seem, it is best to take your car to a repair shop like Quality Fit Windscreens as soon as possible. You may not see the small, hairline cracks in the glass that can cause greater damage.
Do you have hail damage or suspect you might have hail damage? Contact the expert team at Quality Fit Windscreens today for help!