Important Facts about Paintless Dent Removal (PDR)
What facts make PDR the preferred repair method compared to conventional bodywork?
1) Value Preservation: Ask any knowledgeable automotive industry professional from retail dealers to wholesalers, or even collision repair shop owners themselves, and they will tell you that if a vehicle has had body panels refinished for whatever reason, the vehicles’ market value will be diminished. This includes damage resulting from major or minor collisions or hail/storm damage repair. The fact is, avoiding refinishing work whenever possible is preferred for maintaining your vehicles’ market value. The original factory finish is nearly impossible to duplicate in any paint booth. Paint flaws, color and texture matching, and overspray are all signs industry experts look for when evaluating a vehicles’ market value. PDR, when performed by an experienced expert technician, can retain the factory finish and restore the affected area to a level that even an industry expert can’t find.
2) Repair Time: Typical minor dents on multiple panels such as door dings or even light hail damage can be repaired in one day using PDR methods. A visit to a top quality collision repair center for the same damage will usually take several days or more.
3) Cost: For comparison, to repair 4 or 5 quarter size door dings on one door, a trip to the body shop will require multiple steps: grinding, metal work, filler, sanding, priming, more sanding, color base coat application, clear coat application, color/wet sanding, and finally polishing. This process at most shops will take several technicians, expensive materials, and extensive amounts of specialty tools and equipment to perform. The cost to repair one panel can range from $500 to $800 or more depending on the region. One PDR technician for half the cost or less in most cases can repair this same door.
4) Impact to vehicle: Collision repair centers are extremely harsh work environments. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires use of protective gear for technicians to minimize exposure to dust and chemicals. The EPA strictly enforces both containment of and certified disposal of chemical waste generated by conventional repair shops. Top quality repair shops take every precaution to prevent infiltration of dust and chemicals into vehicles during the repair process; however, extensive cleanup is always necessary when a vehicle has spent significant time in the environment. Every collision repair center employs a cleanup staff to handle the results of this process. Despite their best efforts, nearly every vehicle delivered back to an owner will have some evidence such as dust in the interior/ventilation system or a chemical odor in upholstery that can linger for days. PDR is a clean process performed in the cleanest work environment possible creating no dust and using no harsh chemicals. Although extensive disassembly may be required to repair multiple panels on larger projects such as heavy hail damage, dust and chemical infiltration simply does not occur because they are not present during the PDR repair process.
5) Environmental Impact: Collision repair centers generate an incredible amount of waste during the repair process that is unavoidable when conventional repairs are necessary to repair heavy damage. Many items are “one shot” supplies such as sand paper, plastic filler spreaders, masking tape and sheet plastic. Other waste items include the containers used to supply chemicals such as paint, thinners, prep solvents, cleaners, and adhesives just to name a few. In addition there are the discarded panels that are replaced such as hoods, fenders, and roof panels. Some of this waste gets recycled, however, many of these materials wind up in a landfill. By contrast, PDR is a completely “GREEN” repair process. This term may be one of the most overused modern catch phrases; however, the fact is PDR generates no waste or harmful chemicals that require containment and disposal. More importantly, the PDR process PREVENTS the generation of unnecessary waste in the form of replaced and discarded body panels and discarded chemicals and related waste. PDR may well be the most “GREEN” automotive related service business on the planet.