Trees Can Damage Your Car

Trees can add a lot of charm and beauty to your home. They can also pose some risks. Falling leaves, acorns and pine needles can clog up your gutters, and falling limbs can damage your home. They also pose a very similar risk to your vehicles, if you don’t park them in a safe place.

 

Falling Trees and Limbs

The biggest threat from a tree is that it will fall on your car or drop a heavy limb on it. This is an overlooked hazard that has wrecked countless cars and, much worse, has killed thousands of people. Take a good look at all the trees on your property, not just the ones near your car, to make sure that you don’t have any dying trees that can cause damage or injury. Hiring a tree service can be expensive, but it’s worth it if a tree is dangerous.

 

If you see smaller dead branches and feel comfortable removing them, make sure to do that before they fall onto your car or house. Some branches are heavier than they look at first glance, or they can fall at just the right angle to break your windshield and ruin your weekend. Lighter limbs can cause minor damages like dents and scratches that can be costly to repair.

 

Minor Debris

People often don’t consider the damage trees can cause to cars, but when they do they tend to think of falling trees or big limbs. There are other ways that trees can damage your car. Dripping sap, rotting berries, acorns, pollen, leaves, oak blossoms, pine cones and pine needles can all do some damage to your car’s paint job, especially if combined with heat. Some of this debris can get into your car’s air filter, or get under your hood and cause damage there, or make your windshield wipers less effective.

 

If you have a convertible, make sure to leave the top closed. Keep the fabric clean, and check the hinges for debris that may hinder its operation. If you have a sunroof, keep it closed, and don’t let tree debris accumulate on top, as this can affect your sunroof’s operation.

 

Much of this debris can be removed with a brush or with a hose. A broom head can also work. Many auto parts stores carry a tool that’s a windshield scraper with a brush attached. Larger objects like acorns and pine cones may need to be removed by hand to avoid causing damage from scraping.

 

Tree Dwellers

A tree can be teeming with animal life, which can exacerbate the threat to your car. The most obvious threat is from bird droppings, which can cause serious damage to your car’s paint job, especially if left to dry in the heat. If this is a frequent problem for you, keep a package of wipes in your car, and some little trash bags to put them in after use. This will help you stay in a routine of cleaning this stuff off your car as soon as you see it.

 

Other than birds, squirrels can be a problem too. Squirrel droppings aren’t often an issue, but squirrels can be messy with food, dropping parts of acorns or nuts onto your car. Some trees are home to insects such as bees, hornets and wasps, who may consider making your vehicle their new home. Tell them no.

 

Protect Your Car

The obvious way to protect cars from tree limbs and debris is with a garage or carport. Clearly this isn’t an option for everyone. Adding a garage to a property is very expensive. Adding a carport is less costly, but still a major expense. And of course you’re constrained by the shape and size of your property and your driveway. Zoning restrictions can be an issue as well.

 

If you have a garage that you can’t park in because it’s full of stuff, make an effort to clear it out. If it’s been filling up with family items for years, this can be a very daunting task. Try working on one section at a time, or focus on types of items. Maybe some things can be moved to the attic. Maybe you can rent a storage space, or have a garage sale. Another option is to add shelving and hooks to clear floor space. It can be a lot of work, but it will be worth it when you finally get your car into that garage and don’t have to worry about it being damaged by tree limbs and debris, or other threats such as hail stones or birds.

 

Another option to protect your car is to buy a cover. These are widely available in a variety of colors and styles, and in sizes to match nearly any car. A good car cover will protect your car from smaller limbs and minor debris, but not larger limbs of course.

 

Insurance

Comprehensive coverage is optional, and covers damages to your car not from collisions. This includes theft, vandalism, deer strikes, hailstones, flooding, fires, and tree damage. Most customers will have to pay a deductible of some sort, but much of the repair (up to the coverage limit for your plan) will be paid by the insurance company. Call them as soon as you notice any damage. They will send an adjuster to you to evaluate the damage. If your car is declared a total loss, they will help you pay for a new car.

 

If your car has been damaged by tree debris, don’t hesitate to contact the pros at B&L Automotive Repairs. A family-owned business, we have over 30 years of experience handling every kind of body and mechanical repair, and we’ve even got a play area to entertain the kids while you wait. Our expert staff is continually trained and updated, and our state-of-the-art equipment allows them to serve you with the highest level of expertise. No matter what make and model you drive, or which insurance company you use, we will provide fast and reliable service to make sure your needs are met. Call us today at (773) 463-1622, or contact us through our website for more information.

 

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