Avoiding Hail Damage
If you live in an area where hail storms are common, then you know how damaging they can be to cars and other property. Hail arrives quickly and can be especially violent on cars, resulting in paint fractures, cracked windows, broken tail lights, and hood and roof denting, which can tally up to thousands of dollars in repairs.
But say you’re visiting or new to a locale where hail is common. Here are some ways to minimize damage during a hail burst and ensure you and your car stay safe:
Find Covered Parking
While garaging your car during a hail storm is an obvious choice, not everyone has access to personal garages. But with enough advance warning, you can drive to a public location such as a mall, gas station, or public parking garage and find covered parking there. An indoor mall is especially convenient—catch a movie or shop while your car is protected and the storm passes.
There are also many relatively inexpensive portable carports for sale online. These can be assembled fairly easily and provide coverage for an otherwise exposed driveway or parking spot.
Buy a Protective Car Cover
Amazon and other online retailers offer plenty of options for inflatable or thickened car covers that provide hail protection and can be thrown on quickly. If you neglected to think ahead and need a makeshift cover, heavy blankets, tarps, sleeping bags, and even your cars floor mats may be used in a pinch. Unlike a manufacturer-made car cover, however, these household items aren’t windproof. Securing them with weights or bungee cords may work, but such items could become dangerous projectiles in high winds, so be mindful of their use.
A building or solid structure may be used as a makeshift shield in the event you have no other options and no time to find adequate shelter for your vehicle. Assess which direction the hail storm is approaching from and, if safe to do so, move your vehicle to the opposite side the building, parking as close to it as possible to minimize exposure to the oncoming storm.
Check the Weather
Information is always your best friend in a dangerous weather event. Warning systems such as AccuWeather SkyGuard can provide timely alerts that give you critical info about storm time, speed, and direction. Explore smartphone apps and know where to find your local radio station on the dial.
If you live in a locale where hail is common, it’s a good idea to dive into your insurance policy to understand your options. Comprehensive insurance often covers damages from weather-related events, so consider this option if you haven’t. Preemptive protection is always smart.
Use Common Sense!
Always protect yourself first. Never go outside in the middle of a violent hail storm to try to secure your car or home. Property can be replaced.
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