Why (and how) to take care of your vehicle wrap
So you’ve finally made the investment in wrapping your company’s vehicles, and you’re glad you did- they look amazing! The key is keeping your investment looking great for as long as possible. Whether you have a fleet of several hundred wrapped vehicles or just one, post care should be high on the list of priorities. The lifespan of a wrap is directly affected by the way it’s taken care of. Although wrap films and laminates are not necessarily created equal, they all benefit from regular care and maintenance. For the best results possible, follow these tips for maintaining your wrap.
1. Regular Washing.
Sounds obvious, right? Aside from keeping your vehicle looking great, regular washing will help preserve your wrap. Surface contaminants can wreak havoc on the overlaminate, which is your wrap film’s first line of defense. We recommend hand washing wrapped vehicles, using a mild soap. Avoid high PH formulas, and never use dish soap. If you feel the need to use a pressure washer, be sure to use a fan spray at a safe distance. Avoid spraying at an angle along seams, as this can damage your wrap.
Several products are available on the market specifically for use on wrap film. Keeping the wrap waxed will help the laminate retain its UV inhibiting characteristics and resist cracking. Twice yearly should be all that’s necessary.
3. Ceramic Coating
Although relatively new to the wrap world, ceramic coatings are a great way to enhance the appearance of your wrap. In addition to the high gloss shine you’ll achieve, a ceramic coating is incredibly hydrophobic- repelling water, mud, road grime- even dust. The self-cleaning nature of these products is perfect when regular washing is an issue.
4. Inspect for Issues
It’s important to keep an eye on your wrap for potential issues before they become a big problem. The edge of a panel lifting or a minor surface abrasion could eventually allow moisture to work its way behind your wrap, causing further damage to the graphics and potentially your paint. If something looks like a problem, notify your graphics provider immediately.
5. Timely Removal
Vehicle wraps are not intended to last forever, so you shouldn’t expect them to. The industry standard is a maximum of 5 years, less in regions with extreme climates. Even if your wrap still looks perfect at the 5 year mark, the adhesive will lose its removability. This results in glue being left behind when the removal is done, creating a very time consuming and expensive situation. If left on long enough, the wrap will become too difficult to remove or will damage paint surfaces. If it’s been 5 years, remove it!
By following these tips, your vehicle wrap will keep looking great throughout its lifespan. A little extra effort to protect your valuable advertising investment is well worth it in the long run.