Can Small Hail Damage My Car?

Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming make up what meteorologists call “hail alley.” These states can experience seven to nine hail events per year. Knowing they are relatively common in this climate, you may wonder what kind of damage your car could sustain in a hail storm. Unfortunately, even small hail can cause auto body damage.

What Size of Hail Causes Damage?

To be called hail, ice particles need to be consecutive and measure greater than or equal to 0.2 inches. The National Weather Service defines severe hail as consistently falling hail greater than or equal to 1 inch. While severe hail is most likely to cause car damage, even smaller sizes can cause you to need hail damage repair Lakewood CO.

What Factors Affect the Amount of Damage?

The level of damage your auto could sustain depends on certain variables, such as:

  • Length of the storm
  • Wind speed
  • Level of protection in place

A storm that passes quickly and produces only small hail will probably not cause much auto damage. However, a front that moves slowly and produces a long-lasting storm can create a cumulative effect. The storm’s wind speed will also play a factor. The faster the wind speed, the more likely even smaller hailstones will cause problems.

The potential for damage will be lessened if you’ve taken measures to protect your vehicle from the elements.

How Can I Protect My Vehicle?

Sheltered parking in a garage or carport offers the best protection. If you are driving, try to pull over under an overpass or gas station canopy. If covered parking is not an option, a storm cover or even blankets can minimize damage.

Sometimes hail damage is unavoidable. If your car needs repair after a storm, your local auto body shop can fix it and get your vehicle back to normal.