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Dealing with dents after a hail storm

Staff writers
August 15, 2012 — When severe weather rolls through, a car that's left exposed outside is an easy target. Storm Hunter Mark Robinson finds out how you can deal with dents after a storm.

Hail damage can be unavoidable at times
Hail damage can be unavoidable at times

For Storm Hunter Mark Robinson, installing hail shields on his car makes sense.

"I expect, in fact, I anticipate, that I'm going to get into some really, really, big hail," says Robinson.

But what about the majority of people who don't expect to encounter severe weather damage to their vehicles?

That's where Bing Wong, from Canadian Hail Repair comes in.

"We respond to hail storms across Canada," says Wong. "We even go to car dealerships to repair some of the brand new vehicles for the owners that just bought them."

Wong and his team responded to a call from an Ottawa dealership after a storm damaged several cars on their lot earlier this summer.

"It was crazy, the hail was about the size of golf balls and it ravaged our entire inventory," says Michael Pearson with Ottawa Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.

The roof of the car is polished out after tapping the dent to its original shape
The roof of the car is polished out after tapping the dent to its original shape

The process Canadian Hail Repair uses is called paintless dent repair.

"If we didn't apply the paintless dent repair process, what would happen is the vehicles would all go into a body shop and they would cut out the roof panel, put a new one in, weld it back and then repaint the entire top of the car," explains Wong.

He adds that light is one of the most important elements for successful paintless dent repair.

"The hail lights cast a soft, reflective light over the panel so that we can see the contrast and the highs and lows of the metal. A hail rod is used underneath the hood to massage the dent back up to its original shape. Sometimes when you're massaging the dent back it goes a little bit high, so then you tap it back down."

If there are any marks left after tapping it down, it's all polished out to make it look as good as new.

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