We’re a country of extreme weather and every now and then hail makes an appearance, causing most Aussies to cry on the inside (or on the outside if the damage is extensive enough) – because when the weather storms hail, it storms hail. No tiny pieces of ice here, a hail storm can mean golf balls raining from the sky. And if those golf ball sized pieces of raining ice hit your precious car, there’s sure to be damage.
Thankfully, damage caused by a hail storm is not normally irreparable. In fact, there are a few different methods which can be used to get your car panels back to their normal shape. Some of these are DIY methods found on YouTube which include hairdryers, dry ice, and sun exposure – none of which we would recommend trying. Then there are DIY repair kits which are a more reliable solution. Just remember, the professional skills and expertise of a panel beater will not fall into your hands the moment you pick up a tool.
The final option is to hire a professional panel beater to do the job which, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. And you’ll have the added bonus of your car being returned in top condition. But how will they fix your hail-damaged car?
There are a few different methods which can be used to repair the hail damage, each dependant on how serious the damage to your car is:
Finish glazing – This is a technique used when the damage is small. First the paint is sanded lightly (so not all the way down to the metal) to ensure the glaze putty sticks properly. Then they’ll clean the surface with compressed air, blowing the debris away. This is then followed by cleaning the surface with degreaser and wax. Once this is complete, a thin coat of finish glaze is painted onto the small dents and – voila – your car is back to its old, undented self again.
Traditional repair – This is very similar to the finish glazing technique however, repair body filler is used and that requires the paint to be sanded all the way down to the metal.
Paintless dent repair (PDR) – This is the most common, cost-effective, and sustainable way to fix a dent. This is especially good for areas where the damage is to parts not easily removed such as the roof or quarter panels. The panel beater will quite literally beat the panels – they’ll beat them from behind the dent so as to leave the paint undamaged.
Removal and replacement – Sometimes the hail damage is so severe, the only solution is to remove and replace the parts / panels that have been affected.
Traditional heat repair – This would be used in instances where the dent is large or the car made of thicker metal. It’s essentially using heat to reshape the metal by heating the metal around the dent. This then allows the panel beater to shape the heated metal back to its original shape. Then, once the metal has completely cooled, all that’s left is to prime it and paint it.