CMD CARSTAR Group
What you should know about hail and extreme weather warnings
 
Hail in the summer often sparks lively conversation about our ‘crazy Alberta weather,’ but did you know that while the average hail storm lasts only about six minutes, the National Weather Service estimates that hail causes roughly $1 billion in damages each year? Damages can be severe for rooftops and siding of homes and businesses, but did you also know that your vehicle can be at risk as well? Hailstones can shatter windshields, side view mirrors and headlights and leave noticeable damage to the body of a vehicle. This article will help you understand the steps that you can take to prevent hail damage from happening to your vehicle, as well as basic information on what to do if your vehicle has been damaged by hail.
Before the hail storm:
·         Learn to recognize weather conditions that can spark hailstorms. 
·         As a precaution, if weather forecasters are predicting a hailstorm, pull your vehicles, boats, and/or RVs into a garage, covered parking lot or under some other substantial covering. 
·         If your only choice is to leave your vehicle exposed to the elements, you may want to cover the hood, roof and trunk with thick blankets as protection against possible hail. 
During a hail storm:
·         Once hail has begun to fall, do not go out into the storm to protect your vehicle or other property. Even if hail pieces do not seem very large, you could easily be injured. 
·         If you are driving, find a safe place (like inside a garage, under an overpass, or a service station awning) and get there as soon as possible (while still adhering to the standard rules of the road). 
·         If you cannot find a sheltered area, be sure to carefully pull completely off to the side of the road. Be sure to keep your head and face away from windows. Do not leave the vehicle until after it stops hailing to avoid personal injury. 
After the hail storm:
·         Assess the damage. Check your car for dents and broken or cracked glass and headlights. 
·         If there is broken glass in your car, take action to prevent rain damage to the interior. Vacuum the broken glass up as soon as possible to prevent cuts to you or your passengers. If you are not at home and are unable to vacuum, drive to the nearest CARSTAR location if your vehicle is safe to drive. If it’s not safe to be driven, call 1-800-CARSTAR to have your vehicle towed to a CARSTAR store near you. Typically, the cost of the tow will be covered under an insurance claim.
If your vehicle has sustained hail damage:
·         Your vehicle’s insurance policy will cover hail damage, if you have comprehensive coverage. Call your insurance agent or company immediately to report the damage and discuss how to proceed with repairs. 
·         Contact your nearest CARSTAR store to book an appointment to assess the damages to your vehicle. Try and ensure your vehicle is clean so it is easier to see all the dents.
·         Talk to the experts at CARSTAR - hail damage to sheet metal may need to be hammered and painted. Or technicians may recommend paintless dent removal (PDR), which involves using specially-molded metal tools that will not disturb the factory finish. 
·         CARSTAR will be able to determine the severity of your damage, and will consult with you regarding which repair method makes the most sense for your vehicle. 
·         If many cars were damaged in your area, it may take a while to schedule the repair. If your vehicle does not have any broken windows or badly cracked paint, it may be better to wait out the initial rush.
·         Make sure your vehicle is repaired to your satisfaction. CARSTAR offers a Lifetime Nationwide Warranty
 

What you should know about hail and extreme weather warnings

 

Hail in the summer often sparks lively conversation about our ‘crazy Alberta weather,’ but did you know that while the average hail storm lasts only about six minutes, the National Weather Service estimates that hail causes roughly $1 billion in damages each year? Damages can be severe for rooftops and siding of homes and businesses, but did you also know that your vehicle can be at risk as well? Hailstones can shatter windshields, side view mirrors and headlights and leave noticeable damage to the body of a vehicle. This article will help you understand the steps that you can take to prevent hail damage from happening to your vehicle, as well as basic information on what to do if your vehicle has been damaged by hail.

Before the hail storm:

·         Learn to recognize weather conditions that can spark hailstorms.

·         As a precaution, if weather forecasters are predicting a hailstorm, pull your vehicles, boats, and/or RVs into a garage, covered parking lot or under some other substantial covering.

·         If your only choice is to leave your vehicle exposed to the elements, you may want to cover the hood, roof and trunk with thick blankets as protection against possible hail.

During a hail storm:

·         Once hail has begun to fall, do not go out into the storm to protect your vehicle or other property. Even if hail pieces do not seem very large, you could easily be injured.

·         If you are driving, find a safe place (like inside a garage, under an overpass, or a service station awning) and get there as soon as possible (while still adhering to the standard rules of the road).

·         If you cannot find a sheltered area, be sure to carefully pull completely off to the side of the road. Be sure to keep your head and face away from windows. Do not leave the vehicle until after it stops hailing to avoid personal injury.

After the hail storm:

·         Assess the damage. Check your car for dents and broken or cracked glass and headlights.

·         If there is broken glass in your car, take action to prevent rain damage to the interior. Vacuum the broken glass up as soon as possible to prevent cuts to you or your passengers. If you are not at home and are unable to vacuum, drive to the nearest CARSTAR location if your vehicle is safe to drive. If it’s not safe to be driven, call 1-800-CARSTAR to have your vehicle towed to a CARSTAR store near you. Typically, the cost of the tow will be covered under an insurance claim.

If your vehicle has sustained hail damage:

·         Your vehicle’s insurance policy will cover hail damage, if you have comprehensive coverage. Call your insurance agent or company immediately to report the damage and discuss how to proceed with repairs.

·         Contact your nearest CARSTAR store to book an appointment to assess the damages to your vehicle. Try and ensure your vehicle is clean so it is easier to see all the dents.

·         Talk to the experts at CARSTAR - hail damage to sheet metal may need to be hammered and painted. Or technicians may recommend paintless dent removal (PDR), which involves using specially-molded metal tools that will not disturb the factory finish.

·         CARSTAR will be able to determine the severity of your damage, and will consult with you regarding which repair method makes the most sense for your vehicle.

·         If many cars were damaged in your area, it may take a while to schedule the repair. If your vehicle does not have any broken windows or badly cracked paint, it may be better to wait out the initial rush.

·         Make sure your vehicle is repaired to your satisfaction. CARSTAR offers a Lifetime Nationwide Warranty

 

Windshield Replacement Tips

Spring has sprung and now after months of winter driving conditions, your windshield probably has a stone chip or crack which may be able to be repaired.  Depending on the severity of the crack or chip, you may even need to have your windshield replaced. As the owner of 4 CARSTAR locations across Calgary, I have complied a few things you should consider when looking for someone to repair or replace your windshield.

Price prices can vary greatly between suppliers so it is important to know what you are getting. The biggest price differentiator is usually the quality of the glass being installed. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or Aftermarket glass OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) glass companies work hand in hand with car manufacturers during research and design of their vehicles to ensure glass is designed specifically for each vehicle.  They then can provide the glass for the assembly line as well as the specific glass needed for any glass replacements after the car is sold. These OEM companies have all the specifications to produce the glass to the correct tolerances and contours to ensure a correct fit in the vehicle. Non-OEM companies do not have access to this information and do not have working relationships with the car manufacturers. Therefore, these non-OEM companies produce glass that might not always have the correct fit for the vehicle. CARSTAR Glass deals almost exclusively with OEM companies such as PPG, Pilkington/LOF, Guardian, Carlite, Mopar, as well as others. We feel our customer’s safety and satisfaction is worth the additional investment and we stand behind our work.

Installation method and materials – Proper training is needed to ensure new glass is installed correctly.  For example, if the urethane from your old windshield is not removed entirely, the new urethane will not bond correctly and will compromise the integrity of your windshield. Also, your windshield frame can be damaged upon removal of your damaged windshield – if the opening is not primed – there is a greater chance that the urethane won’t adhere properly and rust can form further compromising the integrity of your windshield.  CARSTAR has certified glass technicians with the most up-to-date training to ensure your glass is repaired or replaced quickly and correctly. The first thing our technicians do is determine if we can repair a windshield instead of replacing it; stone chips that are smaller than a loonie can often be repaired quickly. This will not only save money, but it will restore the windshield to its original strength as well.

Safety - The windshield is an essential part of your cars overall structural integrity and safety, which is why you should have it repaired or replaced as soon as you discover any damage. Prior to the 1970s, a car’s steel skeleton provided most of the vehicles support. But an energy crisis changed everything. Manufacturers had to make lighter, more energy-efficient cars. The vehicles body – windshield included – became responsible for much of the structural support previously afforded by the steel frame.  By welding the windshield t to the frame with urethane, an insulating adhesive, the roof support system (windshield) became an integral part of the roof structure itself, which still stands in today’s automobiles.

Even if your windshield is not cracked, it is very common for windshields to become lightly pitted.  Small particles of sand can pit and crater a windshield, degrading visibility and reducing the effectiveness of windshield wipers. Although the glass may appear transparent enough to serve its purpose most of the time, badly pitted windshields are a safety hazard. If sunlight hits the windshield at an oblique angle, it can cause the windshield to blank out like a television screen and reduce visibility to zero.

Pitting of windshield glass is a significant problem in desert areas, where blowing sand creates extreme abrasive conditions, and in colder climates, where sand or gravel is applied to icy roads. Although many motorists consider glass to be a hard substance, it is quite soft. Sandpaper, for example, can easily scratch tempered glass.

So, if you are in need of a windshield repair or replacement, call one of our 4 locations (www.calgarycarstar.com) to book an appointment. You’ll get a quality glass, professionally installed at a reasonable price.