How Do Body Shops Fix Hail Damage?

Conventional Body Work VS. Paintless Dent Repair

The hail storms in Colorado bring in damaged cars through our Denver PDR, Greeley hail damage repair and Fort Collins hail repair shops quite often, but we're not always prepared for the damage our cars and trucks receive when hail shows up causing dings and dents. For those facing the task of finding someone to repair their car or truck, many questions go through their mind such as:

  • Can hail damaged cars be repaired? 

  • How do body shops fix the hail damage on a car?

It's frustrating to be sure, but with some quality bodywork, you can get your car back on the road looking as if nothing ever happened. So, to answer the question of 'how do body shops fix the hail damage on cars', we'll show you two popular methods body shop technicians use to repair the damage done. Let's look at both methods typically used and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

So How Do Conventional Body Shops Fix Hail Damage?

Pros and Cons

A conventional repair job is done in several steps. First, the paint in the area of the dent is removed. Then a technician will work at pounding or pulling the dent out to get it back into the right shape. Once the dent has been repaired, they use a filler to even out the body panel, if needed, and prepare it for painting. The area is sanded, primed, painted, and then they apply a final layer of protective paint. This takes time because it must match the right color and it must be done without drips marks and other imperfections.


  • Great for Major Dents: When these occur, the hail damage car can be repaired, but there may be damage to the paint, so sanding, filling and then repainting will be necessary to ensure a proper match to the rest of the car.


  • Higher Cost: The traditional method costs more due to all the steps necessary to complete to repair process.

  • Longer Repair Time: It can take a week or so to get the job done. In general, hail damage creates several smaller dents and dings in the car’s framework, so this method of repair can be very lengthy leading to increasing labor costs.

  • Requires Auto Paint and Other Potentially Detrimental Products: Once repair is complete, the technicians will use fillers, primers and paint to restore the vehicle’s appearance.

How Do Paintless Dent Repair Shops Fix Hail Damage?

Pros and Cons

Paintless dent repair, or PDR, is a relatively new method that differs from how conventional body shops fix hail damage. A technician manipulates the metal of the car’s framework to remove the dents and dings created by the hail damage. This manipulation is done without having to remove any paint on the surface. The technicians work on the dent from the inside, so there's no need to deal with any painting, sanding or even filling. This procedure shows that hail damaged cars can be repaired without additional cost and labor.


  • Lower Cost: It's a relatively inexpensive procedure. Without the labor that typically goes into the traditional method, the costs would be much less. It is usually the preferred method for insurance companies due to its effectiveness and low cost.

  • Quick Turnaround: PDR is a pretty fast procedure when you compare it to the conventional manner where it can take a week to get done. This is usually completed in a few hours to a day, depending on how much hail damage a vehicle has incurred.

  • No Chemicals: Since this method manipulates the metal from the inside, it can repair hail damaged cars without the paint on the outside of the car being affected, eliminating the need for fillers, primers and paint.


  • Best on Small Dents & Dings: Larger dents can sometimes be repaired using PDR if the paint and metal are still intact, but oftentimes these larger dents will need to be repaired with conventional bodywork.

  • Restrictions: Sometimes the affected area is in a spot that's too difficult to reach from the inside. For example, if a support bar is in the way, then traditional bodywork needs to be used. Also, if the metal is too stretched out, this method cannot be performed.

At American Auto Hail Repair, we have extensive knowledge and experience repairing hail damage on cars and trucks. We know how conventional body shops fix hail damaged vehicles, but we believe PDR is the best method when choosing to repair your vehicle. PDR is not only cost-effective and quicker but helps maintain the vehicle’s overall value. Contact us today to learn more about the repair process or to schedule your vehicle’s hail damage repair.