Recently, we were contacted by Holtkamp Heating and Air and White Falcon Media to “re-wrap” their Ford Explorer and C-Max. These new car wraps didn’t change from the previous wraps but needed to be updated due to the constant exposure to the sun.
Pinnacle Custom Signs deals with a lot of installations that are needed because of the day to day wear of the branding. As with all outdoor signage, age and weather elements will reduce the vibrancy of custom car decals over time. So, making sure you use the proper steps to maintain your vehicle wrap is a must to extend the lifetime of your company branding. Here are a few tips and tricks of the trade.
The Do’s Of Maintaining Vehicle Graphics
Wash it Regularly – Hand washing your vehicle and any applied vinyl graphics with a blend of mild detergent and clean water is the preferred method of maintenance. Pressure washing is not recommended. Using high pressure against your vehicle wrap can cause vinyl wrap to lift around the edges and degrade the face film. The face film ensures the luster of the graphics and, without it, a wrap can crack.
Test Your Solution – Make sure and apply a small amount of cleaning solution on a smaller section of the wrap before applying to the entire car to ensure that it won’t harm your graphics. Some products designed for washing vehicles can cause problems with vinyl graphics. Biodegradable car washes typically work the best because, if they are less harmful to the environment, then they tend not to be acidic to vinyl graphics.
Read your Labels – Read any warning labels on car care products for proper safety instructions.
#Betterfromthetop – Start from the top of the vehicle and wash toward the bottom with a soapy water blend. Then rinse with clear water to allow the dirt and any contaminants to run off the vinyl itself. Using basic micro fiber sponges with Dawn or Joy Dish Soap usually works just fine!
Soak up the Rays – Letting the vehicle air dry is the ideal situation if time allows or drying it off with a microfiber cloth and soft pressure is also safe after washing as long as you don’t lift any edges or scratch the vinyl.
Keep it Covered – Ideally, cars with wraps are parked in garages or under canopies overnight. It’s not always possible to keep it from constant exposure, especially since the whole idea is to show it off. However, over the long term, direct exposure to the sun will eventually fade out that beautiful design.
The Don’ts Maintaining Vehicle Graphics
Don’t let any fuels or corrosive substances stay on the wrap for extended periods of time. Clean any spills as soon as you can with soap and water, a citrus based cleaner, or rubbing alcohol.
Don’t use any type of wax, polish, matte or carbon fiber over vinyl graphics.
Don’t use a mechanical brush or pressure washing on vehicle vinyl.
Don’t leave it dirty for extended periods of time!
Following these guidelines will help extend the life of your vehicle wrap. However, just like with cars and other signs, they will wear out over time. The benefit of vehicle wrapping is that it preserves the original paint and clear coat of the car and makes a re-workable surface to replace the wrap.
Just like our friends at Holtkamp, we know you expect to be on the road and using that vehicle as a mobile marketing magnet. So don’t worry about the wear and tear on your wrap – know that it can be replaced with the same wrap or an updated look at any time.
Have questions about your vehicle wrap or graphics? Give us a call for a complimentary consultation.