Four Common Hazards of Parking Outdoors
Parking out in the open is unavoidable if covered parking is full or simply not available. But once you consider the costly damage parking outdoors exposes your car to, you might finally get around to clearing out your home garage to make space for your car, or take to driving one or two blocks further than you need to just so you can access covered parking. So, what are common hazards that could cause damage to your car when parked outdoors?
There are two ways direct sunlight can inflict damage on your parked vehicle: fading, and cracked windshields. Unless you have some tinting on the windows of your vehicle, regular exposure to direct sunlight is going to cause fabric upholstery to fade over time, while also causing any vinyl or leather to dry out and crack. If you really cannot avoid parking in direct sunlight at times, consider having your car windows tinted, with clear tints that don’t darken the windows – but still block out harmful and damaging UV rays – now available. However, you would still need to be concerned about the heat from the sun causing your windscreen to crack, which can happen when the outer regions of the windscreen expand faster than the inner regions. Not forgetting that direct sunlight can also cause existing cracks to expand, putting further strain on an already weakened windscreen.
While nobody would willingly park close to an active construction site for fear of debris hitting and damaging their car, people seldom give a second thought to parking under a tree. And yes, a tree can provide some shade, and help avoid any of the hazards covered in the first point, but it can also be a source of falling debris. A strong enough wind can easily cause a branch to break or loosen other debris that happens to be lodged in the tree, and then fall on your parked car. Larger and older trees are particularly susceptible to this happening, but it can also happen with younger trees.
Even if you’ve never suffered any vehicle damage from hail, you would already know just how damaging it can be to both cars in motion and to parked cars. If covered parking is limited, take to monitoring the weather daily during your region’s storm season and trying to park under cover on days with inclement weather forecast. Hail isn’t easy to forecast in advance, but by parking under cover on days with any rain predicted could help you avoid having your car parked on the street when a sudden hailstorm rolls by.
Sudden Changes in Temperature
While the ambient temperature can drop rather suddenly following a hailstorm, the sudden changes in temperature referred to here has to do with your car. More specifically, it refers to how you warm your vehicle’s interior on cold, winter days, after leaving your car parked out in the open. Low temperatures aren’t likely to cause any damage to your windscreen without a catalyst, such as you trying to warm the car’s interior too quickly. All you need to do to avoid this is to park under cover whenever possible, and gradually increase the heat of your car’s ventilation system on very cold days instead of turning it all the way up immediately.
Covered parking isn’t always free, but the cost can be less significant than the cost of having to repair or replace a damaged windscreen or car window caused by any of the above hazards commonly affecting cars parked outdoors.