What are the benefits to vinyl wrapping?
Are you curious about vinyl wrapping? Why do people want their vehicle wrapped?
What other purpose is there besides making your car look awesome? You come to the right place. In this article we are going to talk to you about all the benefits of vinyl wrapping a car.
Vinyl wrapping is not just a popular way to customize a car’s appearance. While it can be used to change the colour of the vehicle, or to add graphics or logos, vinyl wraps can provide other important benefits you are unaware of.
Regular car paint is not good enough
As you know, the purpose of car paint is to help protect the metal body of your car from rust and corrosion. However, your car will inevitably experience rock chips, deep scratches, dings, or wear from dirt or debris. More than being unsightly, these fresh imperfections have broken through a barrier of protection. Why is that a problem? It is just a little paint chip. Well, most car bodies are made of steel, which can weaken over time, deteriorate, or eventually rust and corrode. Even new aluminum body vehicles unfortunately suffer from something called galvanic corrosion.
One might think, “It’s a small paint chip. I can get it repainted later and it will be inexpensive.” Depending on the size and depth of the chips, you may need to sand down a larger area and repaint it entirely. The average price for this service is about $1,000 but can reach up to $4,000. When it comes to car paint repair, the process can often be lengthy and very costly. Traditional methods such as sanding and repainting can take days or even weeks to complete, and the results rarely match the quality of an OEM finish. In addition, matching the new paint to the existing finish is increasingly difficult, and repaired areas are sometimes obvious to the naked eye.
For a daily driven vehicle, it is inevitable a paint chip or damage that goes all the way down to the metal. Rust is one of the most damaging things that can happen to a car. When left untreated, it will spread quickly like cancer. If you wait too long, the chip will start to rust and will eventually eat through the metal substrate and form an irreparable hole that has to be cut out. Repairing a car that has been affected by rust can be expensive and sometimes cannot be permanently repaired, so it is important to take action as soon as you notice any signs of rust. Taking good care of your car and acting quickly if you notice any problems can help you avoid expensive repairs down the road.
Vinyl wrapping protects your car
This is where and why vinyl wrapping is becoming increasingly popular. Unlike conventional paint, vinyl wrapping offers a much quicker and more effective solution. Vinyl wraps can be applied in a matter of hours, and the finished product looks seamless and professional.
DID YOU KNOW?
There are two main types of wraps: those designed for protection and those designed for looks.
PAINT PROTECTION FILM (PPF)
Technically, paint protection film is not the clear version of vinyl wrap. It is actually a completely different product. However, it is used synonymously when talking about car wrapping. PPFs like XPEL Paint Protection Film, is a Thick layer of flexible material placed over vehicle body panels to protect them from flying rocks and road debris. This type of material can even the paint on your car against light hail damage or low-speed scrapes that would normally scratch the surface. The technology behind these films has evolved rapidly in recent years with new developments, like self healing, stain resistance and superior optical clarity.
It’s a thin material made out of PVC that is available in a wide range of colours and comes with different finishes, such as mirror chrome, gloss, satin, brushed metal and even animal print. With vinyl wrap, you can easily change the colour or finish of your car’s exterior. With thousands of options, the slate is blank in creating something that is entirely unique to you. Plus, vinyl wrap is completely removable, so when you need a change, the film can be removed at home in hours.
WHICH IS BETTER: PPF OR VINYL WRAP?
PPF is definitely the best way to protect the car from exterior damage, if that is the goal. Vinyl Wrap can also serve a similar purpose. Although it is not as thick as paint protection film, it still covers the paint of your car, creating a thinner physical barrier. Vinyl wraps will not protect the paint from a deep scratch or a scuff, but they will protect it from minor rock chips, bird droppings and negative effects of UV light, like colour fade. Vinyl wrap may not offer as much protection as PPF, but it is less expensive and adds protection.
CAN YOU HAVE BOTH PAINT PROTECTION FILM AND VINYL WRAP?
The answer is yes, but the order in which the films are installed is the only point of debate.
PPF FIRST, VINYL WRAP SECOND
If you are worried more about the paint on your car, you can choose to install paint protection film first, then vinyl film. This will provide a barrier between the elements and your paint job. If you are unsure or uncommitted to the vinyl wrap and plan to change it up in a few months, it’s a good idea to put a paint protection film on first, followed by your vinyl wrap.
VINYL WRAP FIRST, PPF SECOND
If you are more concerned with aesthetics or completely committed to your vinyl wrap colour and want to permanently maintain the film finish, then installing the vinyl film first may be the better option. The coloured film will be protected from rips and stains for the life of your paint protection film, which is typically 7 to 10 years for most brands.
Whichever way you choose to do it, putting paint protection film over vinyl is a great way to protect your car’s finish and the fresh wrap.
HOW LONG DOES VINYL WRAPPING LAST?
A quick Google search will tell you vinyl wraps can last between 5 to 7 years. But there are a few factors that are not talked about that will affect the lifespan of your wrap. The quality of the vinyl and the skill of the installer are the two most important factors. Higher-quality vinyl is more resistant to fading, chalking, and peeling, and it will also hold up better to washing and waxing. An experienced installer will also be able to avoid wrinkles and air pockets, which can cause the vinyl to lift prematurely. In general, you can expect a high-quality vinyl wrap to last between 3 and 5 years.
While it is not as important as the quality of the vinyl and the skill of the installer, cleaning and maintenance does directly impact the longevity of the vinyl wrap.
HERE ARE GENERAL TIPS THAT WILL HELP YOU MAINTAIN A VINYL CAR WRAP:
- When polishing the vehicle, always use a soft cloth or sponge to avoid damaging the vinyl surface. You can also use a sponge, but avoid scrubbing it too harshly.
- Do not use strong chemical cleaners. Strong chemical products will definitely damage your wrap. Use designated wrap cleaners and care products
- Always hand wash your vehicle. Automated car washes use harsh chemicals which are already hard on your vehicle’s exterior, let alone a wrap
- If you have a high-pressure washer, you can use it to clean your vinyl wrap as long as you use low pressure settings. It is also recommended to use the lowest volume spray nozzles to ensure you do not damage or tear the vinyl. We recommend staying atleast 3 feet back to avoid lifting edges
- Do not use any paint polishing or wax products as it will damage the matte or textured film.
- If there are liquids besides water on your car, wipe it as soon as possible.
- Keep your car out of the sun as much as possible.
The solution for protection and appearance
For car owners who are looking for protection and creating a truly custom vehicle, vinyl wrapping is the perfect solution. Film creates a far superior barrier than car paint against dirt, scratches, and UV damage. Last, but not least in the slightest – vinyl wraps are significantly cheaper than traditional paint jobs, and they can be easily installed and removed.
We hope this information provides value to you, and especially your car. The benefits of vinyl wrapping is often missed as most of the time people only see it as elaborate graphics and flashy paint jobs. If you want to protect your car’s paintwork and overall value from scratches and other damage, consider vinyl wrapping. In addition, vinyl wrapping can help to reduce the risk of sun damage and fading, keeping your car looking like new for longer.
If you have any questions regarding vinyl wraps or vinyl wrapping services, contact us for more information and a quote. i am AUTOS™ is a premiere vehicle detailing and vinyl wrapping studio located in Edmonton, Alberta.