Hail can happen at any time and without any warning. While there are often predictions of hail season, hail showers sometimes occur too spontaneously for car owners to carry out the ideal steps to protect their cars.

Hail damage on your car will cause you to pay thousands of dollars in car damage repair, especially if you do not have insurance. While the sensible thing to do in the instance of a hail shower is to take your car into a garage, what happens when you do not have a garage to park your vehicle in? No garage? No problem! Below, we have provided easy ways to protect your car from hail damage.

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How Much Damage Does A Hailstorm Do?

Residing in a country with heavy rain seasons means you probably witness more hail rains than you care for. This includes states like Texas, Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming in the United States of America. These states witness an average of seven to nine hail storms per year. While many states witness more hailstorms than others, hailstorms can happen anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you are in Canada (especially Calgary), China, Russia, India or northern Italy, chances are you will witness a hail storm… and be a victim of car hail damage.

Hail storms rarely happen at the convenience of car owners. While there are various ways to alert the residents of an impending hail storm, many car owners will be out running errands far from their house garage and will be caught in the middle of the storm. A study of hail data shows that between 2008 and 2014, US insurers paid roughly $5.37 billion for auto insurance claims. That’s a lot of money to pay for not having car protection from ice pellets. Worse still, there is no stopping it as hail is a natural disaster.

Hailstones are frighteningly devastating. They come in different sizes and can do various damage to any car. While a garage offers a great form of protection, a little defense against a car left without shelter can go a long way in the damage done to your car. So how do you protect your car from hail damage when you have no garage to offer protection?

There are various ways to shield your vehicle from bombardment during a hailstorm. While there is no preventing the damage that will be done without adequate shelter, a little defense can make all the difference.

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How To Protect Your Car

The first step to preventing damage to your car is information. Getting a heads up about an incoming hailstorm might provide just enough time to pull your car into the nearest carport or any other shelter. While weather reports might sometimes be inaccurate, it doesn’t hurt to act to protect yourself. Because hail is formed from frozen water, they are strong enough to pelt through windows and the body of your car. 

Hail can sometimes start spontaneously, but chances are your weather app, or new will warn you. Being aware can save you thousands of dollars. But what if you have no chance to prepare? Below, we have provided tips and tricks to defend your car against hail damage.

1. Buy A Car Cover

A car cover not only protects your car from chipping paint or getting wet in the snow. It is also a viable means of protection during a hailstorm. A car cover is a cheap investment that offers reasonable protection from small hailstones. It is a thick- sometimes padded- protective fabric that can easily be thrown over your car in times of emergency. Car covers are often made to car spec, making it a perfect fit without leaving any corners vulnerable. They also come in different designs for hail protection. 

All hail protector car covers are thick and waterproof with extra padding to provide an extra layer of protection. Some are even inflatable to form a balloon layer around your cars. Most car covers are affordable and your best bet to reduce hail's impact on your car. Although the inflatable covers are more expensive than other forms of car covers, they perform better jobs at protecting your car. The “hail bubble” covers, as they are sometimes fondly called, can be powered using your car battery.

2. Blankets

So you don’t have car covers, and you need emergency protection from hail? Blankets are an excellent option for you. Although there is nothing entirely novel about using blankets, especially since they are flimsy body protection from the unforgiving hail pellets, blankets are great for reducing car damage. Blankets, quilts, and comforters are readily available in your homes. By a rule, the thicker the blankets, the better the protection. It is also an excellent idea to gather as many blankets and quilts as possible and lay them over your car in layers.

 For many people, getting many blankets to form layers over the car is impossible simply because there aren't enough blankets to go around. In this case, it is easier to cover the more fragile parts of your car like the windshield, sunroof, and windows.  Layer your car up as much as you can with blankets. To secure the protective layers, use duct tape or any equally strong tape to hold the blankets in position. While this is in no way a match for inflatable car covers, any type of protection is better than none.

3. Moving Blankets

Moving blankets or furniture padding are heavy-duty clothes used to protect furniture and appliances when they are being moved. Other than this, they are also the perfect emergency care protection in a hailstorm. Moving blankets come in various qualities but are designed with the sole purpose of absorbing shock and providing an impact cushion. This exactly makes them a viable option for makeshift car covers. 

Moving blankets bolster your car protection during a hailstorm by cushioning the impact of the pellets. All you need to do is layer as many moving blankets as you can over your car and weigh them down with an object, so they are not blown off. Cushioning blankets are affordable and can be kept in your car boot for when you might find them helpful in an emergency hailstorm.

4. Floor Mats

Are you caught in the middle of a threatening hailstorm without a car cover or direct access to blankets? Don’t freak out- you can still protect your car. Floor mats are often thick, rubbery, and the perfect protection for your car during a hail storm. If your floor mat is of the fabric rug kind, it is still helpful but does not provide as much protection as the latter. However, in a hailstorm, any layer of protection is welcome. With floor mats, you cannot protect every inch of your car, especially since most cars come with four floor mats at most.

In this case, all you need to do is identify the fragile parts of your car and protect them. The glass parts of your car are often the first parts to be damaged during a hailstorm. Those parts should be your priority. Place your floor mats on the windshield and some of the windows with the spiky portion of your mat in contact with the glass to provide friction. Cover the windshield, and rear window as those are most likely to take the hit first.

5. Cardboard

Cardboards are an unlikely form of protection, but they serve their purpose regardless. Cardboard boxes are simple to use, cheap, and can prevent hail from totaling the fragile parts of your car. Simply find some cardboard boxes, flatten them, place them on your car, and bolster them down with heavy objects. While they are great, wetness will probably reduce the protection. Cardboards can be combined with blankets or floor mats to provide maximum protection.

6. Potting Soil

Potting soil is an atypical solution to car protection during a hailstorm. It might not be the first thought that pops in a car owner’s head, but it serves its purpose when done correctly. Bags of potting soil are not only great for your plants but also bolster your car from extreme damage. The bags are thick and will play a huge role in preventing hail from destroying the fragile parts of your car. Place the bags of potting soil on the fragile parts of your car like the sunroof, windshield, and rear windows. While this will leave the other parts of your car open, it protects other fragile parts.

How To Keep Your Car Safe During An Hailstorm 

Keeping your car safe during a hailstorm goes farther than what kind of shelter you can find for your car. The little actions you carry out matter a lot in not only keeping you safe but also ensuring the damage done to your car is minimum.

1. Find cover

The most obvious way to protect your car is to find cover. Finding cover doesn’t only mean pulling into the nearest garage or carport (although that will be best in the heat of the moment). Finding means making do with any structure- any building at all- that you can park next to. Hail rarely falls in a straight line, they hit the floor at an angle. Finding cover opposite the direction the wind blows during a hailstorm can make a difference in protecting your car. Avoid trees and parking under bridges. Tree branches might break and do worse damage, while bridges might get congested with traffic trying to avoid the storm.

2. Pull Over

Experiencing a hailstorm while driving is disorientating, and you can easily find yourself making the poor decision of trying to outrun the storm. While it might seem like a good idea to get as far away as possible or reach home to the safety of your garage, you are doing more harm than good. Hailstones fall at a frightening speed and if your car is moving fast, the combined speed will increase the impact of the stones. So instead, it is essential to pull over somewhere safe. Most windshields are shatter-resistant, and if you happen to have any of the covers mentioned above, it’s even better. You can sit in your car and wait out the storm, or you can park your car and take cover. 

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3. Get Insurance

It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to fixing car damages. Without a garage, your car cannot be 100 percent protected from the wrath of a hailstorm. It is essential to have a plan you can fall back on in case of car damage of any kind incurred during a hailstorm. Get comprehensive auto insurance against hail damage. There are various coverage policies ranging from full coverage by the insurance company to policies that drastically reduce the amount you’ll pay for repairs.

Protecting Your Car From Hail Damage

Taking little steps to provide your car with protection from hail damage doesn't always have to cost a lot of money. Blankets and moving blankets can be gotten from as low as $10, potting soil could be acquired for $12 per bag, and quality car covers can range anywhere from $500.

If you consider the thousands that will be asked for car repairs, this is a fair price to pay in exchange for safety. When caught in a hailstorm, it is essential to act quickly. With these tips and tricks, you can guarantee your car’s safety to some extent.

April 18, 2022 — Russ Hennings