You rely on your car’s roof to protect you from poor weather and falling objects. But you probably don’t realize how important your car’s roof is—until something goes wrong.
There are two main reasons your car’s roof may need attention from a professional: rust and dents. Here are the methods auto professionals use to address these problems.
If you frequently park your car outdoors, the air and moisture can cause your car’s roof to rust over time. While this rust doesn’t harm your car’s functionality, it does make it look unattractive. If left alone, the rust could spread to other areas of your car. This can make it hard to sell your car for a reasonable price.
There are three different methods auto repair specialists use to repair rusty roofs.
A simple way to address rust is to have an auto repair company re-paint your rusty roof. First, they’ll remove the paint with a sander and remove the rust buildups with a metal grinding wheel. Then, they’ll prime and sand the area and add new paint. They’ll also buff the paint to make sure it matches the paint on the rest of the car.
If the rust has caused any holes or pits in the car, the auto repair company may need to place a filler patch over the area. They’ll grind down the rusty area until it gets to a point where the metal is no longer rusted. Then, they’ll cover the area with a filler patch before sanding, priming, and painting it.
Yet another option auto specialists can use is to apply a rust converter to the roof surface. The rust converter changes the rust into iron tannate, a less-noticeable black coating. They can then add touch-up paint to the surface to cover the coating.
Hail can make a huge impact on your car’s roof, leaving dents throughout the surface. Or a tree branch or another large object could fall on your car’s roof and leave a dent behind. As with repairing rust, there are three different methods professionals can use to repair dents.
If the damage is small, professionals may be able to fix it with the finish glazing method. They sand and clean the damaged area before applying a finish glaze. Then they re-paint the area to restore its look.
Paintless Dent Repair
For more serious damage, many auto professionals prefer paintless dent repair. Through this method, professionals push out the dent from the roof panel’s underside. This gives the roof a dent-free appearance without the need to repair, replace, or paint car parts.
The most traditional dent repair method is known as heat repair. The professionals apply heat to the surface to raise the metal. They then tap the roof with a hammer to lower the roof to the level it was at before the dents occurred. After heat repair, professionals need to re-paint the roof to add a finishing touch. This method is fast and effective, but may not work for newer vehicles made of thinner metals.
When Your Car Roof Needs Replacement
If the rust or dent damage is too extensive for these repair methods, professionals may need to replace your car’s roof panel. They do so by following these steps:
- Remove the front and rear glass as well as the adhesive around the roof.
- Cut out the roof panel with an air saw and air chisel and remove the panel.
- Use an angle grinder to remove coatings from the new panel.
- Check the new panel to ensure a correct fit.
- Apply an adhesive and install the new panel.
- Clamp the roof and give the adhesive a couple of hours to dry.
- Use a welder to seal the bond.
- Sand, prime, and paint the new roof panel.
If the car is an older model or if the damage extends beyond the outer panel, professionals may need to replace the entire roof. While the process is similar to replacing the roof panel, there are a few specific steps:
- Remove the trim and molding around the roof.
- Use saws and other tools to remove the entire damaged roof.
- Secure a new roof. Measure and cut it until it perfectly matches the car’s alignment.
- Weld the new roof to the car.
The process of getting a new roof panel or an entirely new roof can take several hours or longer.
If you notice rust or dents in your car’s roof, bring it in to an auto body shop. Not every repair method will work for every car or situation. Professionals can examine your car, determine the ideal repair method for your situation, and offer you a free estimate.
Getting a dent- or rust-free roof is easier than you think. If you live in the Omaha, NE area, call on Central Body Company, Inc. for an evaluation and a free estimate.