Yes, Paintless Dent Repair can fix most hail damage. In fact, Paintless Dent Repair is usually the best approach for hail damage since hail usually leaves visible damage that reduces a car’s value without damaging the structure of the car.
Studies in our industry say about 80% of hail damage can be repaired using paintless dent repair, or PDR. The goal of our repair is always to get your car back to the pre-storm condition, paintless dent removal is the best way to repair your car. It preserves your car’s original paint which helps keep the car in the best shape possible.
Traditional body shops will sometimes use Paintless Dent Removal but they can also sand the dents, fill the dents with Bondo, then paint, or they can replace and paint the panel altogether.
Replacing a panel is necessary sometimes, but not often.
Paintless Dent Repair should always be the optimal method to repair a car that has been damaged in a storm, but there are factors that prohibit us from only using paintless dent removal, but this does NOT mean your car is NOT repairable, we call this combination work. Work that is done with us and then repairs that are done with our partnered body shops.
Cracked Paint is the first type of damage that PDR can not fix. When hail hits your car very forcefully or at exactly the right angle, paint cracking can occur. We see this most on your roof rails, hood, and decklid, or trunk. When the paint is cracked we can team up with a body shop. Any good body shop will want to minimize the amount of repair time, and product to repair the car. To minimize the amount of acrylic skim (we used to call it Bondo, it’s come a long way…) Read our info on Bondo and your car here. A combination repair of body shop work and Paintless Dent Repair can be very normal depending on the size of the hail and the duration of the storm.
Structural or severe damage is the second type of damage that PDR cannot fix.
When hail happens, it’s usually for a couple of minutes, but some storms are long, and they make a panel too damaged, or a panel is so damaged it is irreversible. When this happens we are forced to put a new panel on your vehicle. Although this is not our first choice, we have teamed up with body shops in our area to partner with us to make this repair flawless. They guarantee their paintwork and know that our goal is as close to perfection as we can get.
Hail damage can also “total” a car. What is a total loss? Your car could be a total loss if any of the following apply:
1. Your vehicle can not be safely repaired. This isn’t something we see often in a hail damage situation. Our repair process is minimally invasive and typically it is not structurally damaged unless a large tree also fell on you in the hail storm.
2. The repairs would cost more than the vehicle’s estimated value, or the salvage value. What’s salvage value? Salvage value is the value of the vehicle that an insurance company puts on a vehicle. Basically what they can get for the car at auction with the hail damage unrepaired. When the insurance company believes that it is in their best interest to “total” your vehicle because they can retain more money if your car is sold at auction or isn’t repairable, they will buy your car out from you. This is a process that can be very confusing and a lot of information. Please call us if you have questions, or read more in-depth about total loss vehicles here.