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Preventing Hail Damage

How do I prevent hail damage on a car parked outside? Car covers bought at national auto stores are thin and good only for dust and sun. Online storm/hail covers sound good but because they're custom made, you're stuck with delivered product if they don't live up to expectations. (in other words, if their marketing is a lie).

Any one actually bought a good cover that protects against hail? Any ideas?

Comments

  • edited July 2010
    Nothing that is made of fabric is going to prevent hail damage.

    You have to remember the forces in play with hail.
    Gravity + heavy chunk of ice = possible dent.

    You need something that either is going to absorb all the damage, or something that prevents your car from being hit in the first place.

    Think of a motorcycle helmet for your car.
    Motorcycle helmet has an outer layer (shell), and then an inner layer.
    Its the softer inner layer of foam/padding that actually absorbs the impact damage.
    The shell deforms slightly, allowing the force to then be absorbed by the foam material.

    Since no one sells form fitting covers for cars that absorb hail impacts (how in the world would you be able to carry it around with you all the time? logistical nightmare), your best bet is a garage, or portable shed.

    If you own a house that doesn't have a garage, the best you can do is install an awning, or a shed, or a garage of some form.

    The next best thing is to add Comprehensive coverage to your car, and set it as low or high as you can afford to. I say this from personal experience. I've had to replace the roof on my house in '09, and repair one of my cars this year due to hail damage.

    BC.
  • edited July 2010
    Nothing that is made of fabric is going to prevent hail damage.
    I respectfully disagree. A portable car port, like the ones they sell at Pep Boys, would work.

    Check these out:
    http://www.thefind.com/garden/info-portable-carport
    http://www.acecanopy.com/carports.html
  • edited July 2010
    How about laying some of those thick furniture pads that moving companies use across the hood, roof, and trunk, and then putting a regular car cover over that?
  • edited July 2010
    I don't think that would work because hail is associated with severe thunderstorms. We're talking winds of 60+mph, and possible tornadoes.

    Just in the past couple of weeks we've had hail the size of softballs not far from where I live. There's no way a glorified tent is going to stand up to weather like that. If you want to protect the car from a severe thunderstorm, the only sure bet (unless there's a tornado, in which case all bets are off) is a permanent garage.

    (and in weather like we've had here lately, the garage would protect the car, but you'd be putting a new roof on the garage)
  • edited July 2010
    Affixing some sort of bubble packing plastic on the inside of a car cover, might help. But the only sure way is to get the car under some sort of real cover, like a car port. Maybe one of those big 12 person tents, you could just drive the car in. The car would also help anchor the tent in the wind.
  • edited July 2010
    I have to disagree with your disagreement.

    As mentioned by Shadowfax, the right type of storm will do two things:

    Punch a hole right through the fabric;
    Lift up, and carry away the whole canopy.

    Some of those tent designs only protect from hail coming straight down, and won't protect hail coming in from the side, circumventing the canopy.

    If they stay put, and the hail is small, they might work fine.
    Larger hail, or a severe storm, not working so well.

    Plus, again, there's the logistics nightmare of putting up a huge car covering tent in the middle of Denver, or any other city. Won't really work for most people.

    As for the poster further down that recommends some sort of bubble wrap like cushion, that really won't work well either, as the hail would hit the bubble, pop it, then the next chunk of hail that hit the same spot would then cause the damage.

    BC.
  • edited July 2010
    They will blow away in the wind, if you don't strap them down really well in a bad storm.
    Might be a good idea for a lighter storm, with small hail.

    BC.
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