Depending on what part of the world you live in, you may have to learn how to protect your car from hail.
Why? The reason is obvious. Hail is one of the most dangerous weather phenomena and not only for your car.
When in full force, it can cause huge damage to your car like breaking the windshield and leaving severe dents on the hood, roof, and else. These damages are usually very severe and expensive to repair.
To try and prevent this, this article will show you a couple of very easy and cheap ways to protect your car from hail.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CAR FROM HAIL?
1. WATCH THE WEATHER FORECAST
Prevention is perhaps the best remedy against hail and this is why it’s in first place on our list.
If you manage to get information on when and possibly where the hail storm will happen, you can make preparations on time.
This means getting the advantage and being able to prepare various equipment or things for protection against hail or even postponing driving the car altogether.
From what I’ve seen weather forecasts are pretty precise regarding hail storms and give very good information.
Besides the TV forecasts, one more huge advantage is various forecasts on your smartphone which are also pretty precise and can even warn on time of an upcoming storm.
If you get a lot of hail storms, watching the forecast is a must.
Needless to say, besides the technology use common sense. Pay attention to the weather. You can notice sure signs of a hail storm well before it happens especially if they’re common in your part of the world.
High humidity, high temperature, dark and fast-moving clouds are just some of the usual signs.
2. PARK YOUR CAR IN A GARAGE OR CAR WASH
Of course, when you know what’s going to happen, don’t be lazy and park your car in the garage or shed before the hail starts.
Do it well before the bad weather begins as hail is known to start in a matter of minutes if not seconds.
But what if you don’t have a garage or shed or you’re on the road when the hails storm starts?
In this case, the rule is to seek cover as soon as possible.
Some recommendations would be overpasses, parking lots with some sort of roof, parking garages, or else. One of my favorites is a self-serve car wash. These are always open, have free access, and offer great cover.
I must mention that there are recommendations to park the car under a tree. I personally wouldn’t recommend this mainly because of the danger of lightning strikes.
Anyone who has been in a middle of a hail storm will know what I’m talking about. Frequent and strong lightning strikes and thunder usually come together with hail.
Very risky option at least in my opinion and should only be done if nothing else is possible.
3. USE FLOOR MATS FROM YOUR CAR
This tip can be used in case of an emergency and to save the vital parts of your car like the windshield or rear window.
Take out the floor mats and put them on critical places like the windshield or other glass surfaces.
The best type of floormats for this situation is the thicker rubber floormats for snow and winter. They will save the covered surfaces almost for sure.
For more information about floormats and how to choose the best one for your car, click here.
Again, the downside of using floormats is that you can only protect your car as much as the floormats cover which is pretty little.
Have this in mind if you decide to apply this. Try to protect the most vulnerable parts first, the ones that will allow you to drive further.
For instance, if all goes bad and some level of damage is imminent, it’s better to have an intact windshield and get some dents in the roof.
With a smashed windshield, the car is practically useless but with dents, you can continue driving without many problems.
4. USE CARDBOARD
This is one more tip for how to protect your car from hail when the hail storm is going to happen in a matter of minutes.
Cardboard is good protection, especially the thicker kind.
But to be honest, there’s a small chance that you’ll carry around enough cardboard to protect the car properly.
You might perhaps have a piece or two around the car and that’s it. This surely isn’t enough to save the car and just like with the floormats, can save just certain parts.
One option for solving this would be to grab some cardboard from a dumpster or storage.
These are pretty common and abundant in front of shopping malls or stores for instance.
Have in mind that you can also use other materials like styrofoam boards, plywood boards, perhaps thicker nylon, or else.
Anything that will not additionally damage the car but can repel the hail.
One more downside of this tip is that cardboard gets soggy after the rain so it’s good for nothing. But the point is to save the car so that doesn’t really matter anyway.
5. USE GREENHOUSE MESH
The last tip we offer on how to protect your car from hail is perhaps the most useful and practical but also comes from personal experience.
It is to use greenhouse mesh.
If you’re not familiar with what this is, greenhouse mesh is a type of net made from thin plastic strings.
It’s used for the same purpose as what we’re talking about here and that is to repel hail and prevent the greenhouse from getting damaged. It’ also keeps the plants protected from heavy sunlight.
In the case of protecting your car, you can use it as a blanket of a sort and spread it over the whole car in a matter of minutes. It takes even less if you have a helping hand.
I would recommend using a bigger piece of this mesh. When you fold it over a couple of times, it forms a thicker layer offering very good protection against hail.
Have this in mind when buying the mesh if you decide to use this tip.
When you fold the mesh like this and put it on the car, the hail will just bounce off and the car should be literally untouched.
Another good advantage of this option is that the mesh can be conveniently folded into the trunk and will not take up very much space.
Also, it can be easily and quickly dried after the storm, which again makes it more practical than using a blanket for instance.
The usual household blanket gets drenched in water and then takes hours to dry. Also, it may get a bad smell from being wet making it unsuitable for storage in the trunk.
Of course, there is one more solution for how to protect your car from hail and that is to buy a hail cover.
It looks like the conventional car cover only it’s made from thicker and more resilient fabric.
I must say that this is a very good solution although it’s not a cheap one. Also, these kinds of covers may be hard to find in stores.
But if you do it’s well worth the money as it will save your car very well and the investment will pay off during the first serious hail storm.
In the end, among all these tips I would personally recommend two.
Watching the skies and forecast and having the green mesh in the trunk, readily available.
This is perhaps the most effective combination, both in terms of almost certainly saving your car and also for being the most cost-effective.
With hail, much like with other situations in life, being prepared is key for saving yourself and your property.
Written by: Sibin Spasojevic
Former car technician, life-long car and DIY enthusiast, author for Despairrepair.com
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CAR FROM HAIL-YOUTUBE VIDEO