Wait time to fix hail damage to cars grows in metro Denver

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DENVER -- Two recent hailstorms in south metro Denver are leading to a backlog for auto body repair shops that is growing by the day.

When hail bigger than golf balls began pummeling the neighborhood west of Cherry Creek Reservoir on Friday afternoon, Lisa Livermore was away from home.

By the time she returned home, she discovered the back window of her daughter’s car shattered and the windshield of her husband’s pickup cracked.

“We’ve got two kids home from college and so obviously there’s not enough garage space for them,” Livermore said. “Things happen and that’s why we pay insurance.”

But insurance doesn’t guarantee a quick fix. At Jordan Road CarStar Collision, paintless dent repair is already at about a two-week wait, and many vehicles caught in the last storm also need hoods and roofs completely replaced because of the size of the hail that fell.

So far, those fixes are expected to take three to four weeks, depending on parts, but the wait is expected to grow.

“It kind of happens fast, so there’s a chance that in three weeks we could be out 2 1/2 to three months,” said Kelly Domer, general manager at Jordan Road CarStar Collision. “It just all hits fast.”

Glass America repairman Joe Seals is busy fixing glass, but said fixing the rest will take much longer.

“The body shop I’m at right now, they were already, as far as this morning, already three months out,” Seals said. “I’m pretty sure by the end of the week, it’s going to be like four or five months out before you can even get anything done.”

And if you’re thinking about going elsewhere?

“There are so many storms that kind of happen all at once we couldn’t even send anybody but to Wyoming,” Domer said. “And nobody wants to drive to Wyoming to get their car fixed.”

Livermore has another idea.

“We may just leave it,” she said. “Fortunately, they are the older vehicles … not the newer ones.”