Destructive storms with hail, wind gusts and perhaps even tornados, can wreak havoc to your vehicle. How can you protect your windshield from bad weather? And what should you do if your windshield is damaged?
The Insurance Council of Texas estimated the total damage cost from the 2016 hailstorms at nearly $1.4 billion, according to a Texas affiliate of ABC News.
In a Texas town, many stores and vehicles had their glass damaged or blown out, according to YourBasin.com.
Windshield Damage from Hurricanes
Another big storm occurred in late 2016, when Hurricane Matthew hit North Carolina struck North Carolina. It took glass companies some time just to get back into their shops after all the damage. The storm caused 43 deaths, with 26 of them in North Carolina.
State Farm reported a 120-percent hike in claims after the hurricane.
Once a severe storm rolls through, glass company technicians could be replacing glass on dozens of vehicles a day, doing their best to keep up with demand.
What Causes Damage?
During a big storm, it isn’t just the hail that can wreak havoc on your vehicle. The wind can kick up and fling all sorts of materials that damage your glass, such as:
- Phone poles;
- Power lines;
- Trees and tree branches;
- Building materials;
- Children’s toys left in yards;
- Sign poles; and
- Roof shingles.
And in a truly catastrophic storm, flying debris can include vehicles and pieces of buildings that have torn away from their structures.
If a dangerous storm is heading your way, collect tools, toys, outdoor furniture and potted plants from outside and place them in your home or garage.
Secure larger items such as large pots, heavy tables, or children’s play sets as much as you can.
It is also a good idea to keep your trees trimmed and away from your home, as flying tree limbs and knocked over trees can cause significant property damage.
If you are aware a severe weather storm is imminent, move you vehicle to shelter.
Here are some tips on how to be as ready as possible and avoid the need for windshield repair:
- Move your vehicle to covered parking. DisasterSafety.org features a map highlighting the states that usually receive the most hail.
- If you don’t have access to covered parking, find a temporary shelter. Think about driving to your local mall if it has a parking garage.
- If you can’t find cover, use blankets or a hail car cover. Some companies sell car covers to help protect your vehicle from severe storms, but you can use your own blankets, as well. Just make sure you duct tape them down—as the winds can pick up pretty quickly during hail storms. The tape can leave a sticky residue on your car, but most likely won’t cause any damage to the paint, according to Progressive Insurance.
- The top surfaces of the car such as the hood and roof tend to be the most vulnerable to the elements.
- Taillights and headlights can also be damaged, so keep this in mind as well.
The key is to be ready if you hear a warning about a severe storm moving into your area. And if your car glass is damaged by hail, move quickly to get it repaired.
Be sure to always keep yourself safe first. Cars and windshields can be replaced; lives and limbs cannot.
How to Handle Your Windshield Replacement
The quicker you move to make an appointment with a local glass company, the sooner they can get to your vehicle. Visit Glass.com to find local glass companies in your area. Compare price quotes and seamlessly book in a few quick steps.
If your area is hit with a damaging hail storm, hurricane, tornado or other bad weather, and your vehicle glass in left in shambles, act quickly to contact your local company to get your glass assessed and replaced.
Thanks for the tip to get blankets or a hail car cover in order to protect a car against any storm. However, my question is: what happens if it does get damaged by a hail storm? Do you have any tips on how to find an auto shop that does auto hail repair services?
Great question Tim! If the windshield is damaged, you can use Glass.com to search for a local, reputable glass company in your area. We’ll even provide you with instant price quotes so you know up front what you’ll pay. For damage to the body of the car, search for a local body shop that has good reviews. And be sure to check with your insurance company to see if your policy covers this type of damage.