You might not be aware of the damaging consequences of strong hailstorms on windows if you don’t live in an area where they frequently occur. You’ve certainly heard stories about how hail may dent a car’s body in a minor or significant way. Can hail break windows though?

Home or car windows can be broken by hail, especially if the stones are big. But the impact of the hail is also influenced by the hailstorm’s severity. Therefore, pea-sized hailstones can also break a car window if they strike it firmly and persistently.

In-depth discussions of a few closely linked issues will be covered in this article. For more information on hail damage, continue reading.

Can Hail Break Windows?

Depending on the severity and frequency of the hail, hailstones of any dimension can crack a window. However, hailstones larger than one inch (2.5 cm) in diameter are more likely to shatter automobile or home windows. Other variables might also contribute to the probability of car hail damage.

According to the National Geographic Society, hail is a type of solid precipitation that develops when water droplets freeze in the uppermost regions of thunderstorm clouds. Hailstones freeze prior to falling from the clouds, distinguishing them from frozen raindrops. 

After forming, wind updrafts may carry the hailstones to higher altitudes, where they may collide with water droplets to generate further layers of hail.

From 0.25 inches (pea size) to 4.50 inches (grapefruit size), hailstones can vary in size. Smaller hailstones are less likely to cause serious damage to glass windows than larger hailstones. However, other elements, such as the severity of the hail or the presence of powerful winds, will also affect the destruction that hailstones can inflict.

Small hail may seriously damage automobile windows and windscreens as well. A retired electrical engineer once saw hailstones the size of ping-pong balls smashing automobile windows. The hailstones were pelting the earth with power and rebounding back up.

There are also many videos of hail breaking people’s home windows, such as this one:

Hailstorm Breaks Windows of House in Texas – 1311829

Therefore, regardless of the size of the hailstones, drivers and automobile owners should always use caution during hailstorms.

Hailstones can shatter automobile windows regardless of their size if: 

  • Their power is above H-4, and their average size is between 0.6 and 2.4 inches (1.5-6.1 cm)
  • There is a fast-moving automobile.
  • The hailstorm is accompanied by a powerful wind.
  • The hailstorm lasts well over an hour.

Can Hail Shatter Tempered Glass?

In severe circumstances, hail can crack tempered glass. However, tempered glass is more protected against hail damage than ordinary glass. As a result, it’s among the most popular glass kinds for solar panels, skylights, and automobile windows.

Tempered glass is used for most automotive windows, such as the side and rear windows. In a tempering furnace, this sort of glass is heated and quickly cooled to undergo hardening. It is a popular choice for vehicles and skylight window glass since it is durable and breaks into tiny fragments that won’t result in major injury.

Despite being the best material for automotive windows, tempered glass is not immune to breaking. This functionality is useful when an accident occurs. For instance, rescuers would need to smash the glass to free the driver, a child, or a pet if they became trapped inside the vehicle.

But in other circumstances, it is a drawback. Tempered glass can break when an automobile or home is exposed to inclement weather, such as hail, costing the owner money to repair or replace. Therefore, pay attention to the need to shield your car’s windows against hail damage.

Cars are required to have laminated glass for the windscreens. Between two layers of glass, the auto glass is made of polyvinyl butyral or PVB. PVB inhibits UV radiation and stops the glass from shattering in the case of an accident.

Compared to tempered glass, laminated glass is more resilient. Furthermore, you may fix it if it sustains small damage, like a crack. But the price is considerably higher than tempered glass.

How to Prevent Hail Damage to Car and Home Windows

A hailstorm can occasionally come on suddenly. Furthermore, driving in hail is risky for you and might harm your vehicle. Therefore, it is essential to be vigilant and knowledgeable about preventing hail damage to your car and home windows. 

Here are some practical strategies for shielding your windows from hail damage:

Park Your Vehicle in a Garage

It’s best to keep your automobile in your garage while not in use. Make a place for your automobile during inclement weather if your garage has been set aside for storage or turned into a gym. 

Your car’s windows and other components will be protected in this way from potential hailstorm damage.

Obtain or Hire a Carport

Use a carport as a substitute if you don’t have a garage. Building a garage will cost more money than purchasing or constructing a carport. If you live in a rental home or apartment without access to a garage or other vehicle cover, renting a carport is another excellent choice.

Utilize a Hail Cover

Invest in a hail cover if a car shelter is not accessible or you cannot afford to build one. For instance, some hail covers have six layers to shield your car’s windows from hail and other weather elements. It is offered in various sizes and is made to accommodate different windows.

Stop and Seek Shelter

What if hail strikes suddenly while you’re driving? The closest shelter is where you should stop and leave your automobile.

A multi-story parking lot, a garage, or a gas station canopy are all possible places to look for. If a covered parking area is unavailable, place your vehicle on the side of the road and angle it so that the windscreen, which is more sturdy than the other glass panes, takes the brunt of hailstones.

Stay Updated on Weather Forecasts

It’s always important to be knowledgeable about weather fluctuations. Check the weather forecast frequently, especially if you’re going to a region where hail is common. Pack your window cover and other necessary items to ensure that you are fully ready.

It’s best to delay your trip and wait for better weather if the area you’re going to is anticipating heavy hailstorms.

Utilize Floor Mats

A hailstorm can occasionally occur when you least expect it. If hailstones begin to fall and you do not have a window cover or other solutions, you can adapt. The floor mats at your home or automobile might help to protect your windows. But rather than risking your life, it would be preferable to repair the windows if it is hazardous to exit your car or home.

Final Thoughts

So, can hail break windows? Yes, they can. Even after being made of tempered glass, automobile or home windows cannot always survive the force of hail. The windows may be damaged if hailstones of different sizes strike your automobile or home repeatedly and powerfully. Therefore, shielding your automobile or home against hail damage is critical.