Wrapping your vehicle in vinyl graphics can be a good idea from a decorative point of view or for getting millions of free advertising impressions for your company each year. Vinyl graphics and decals are easy to apply and can completely transform the outer appearance of your vehicle. The wrap life of vinyl graphics vary; however, you can generally expect to get more than 5 years out of them without much effort. The key is to maintain them. In particular, you want to be extremely careful when cleaning cars wrapped in vinyl graphics because this is when most of the damage occurs. Here are 3 tips to consider.
Wash the Cars by Hand Frequently
Although it's tempting to bring vinyl wrapped vehicles to automated car washes or to use pressure washers for improved efficiency, the pressure of the water and the angle of the water as it cleans the vehicle can cause the vinyl graphics to lift or peel. Your best bet in preserving the integrity and condition of the vinyl decals is to wash your cars by hand at all times, using mild car washing detergents to do so. Strong caustic cleaners can easily strip the vinyl decals of their glossy finish, which can cause the wraps to become brittle or to develop cracks.
Most car owners are not sure how often their vehicles should be washed. They are under the misconception that the more washes the car goes through, the higher the chance that the vinyl wraps will start to peel or lift. While that is partly true, dirt and dust particles, along with fuel spills and bird droppings, should be removed from the vinyl surface as soon as possible. If not, the finish on the vinyl graphics will begin to fade and wear down. This will only shorten the lifespan of the vinyl graphics.
Be Wary of the Spray Angle and Distance
When washing vinyl wrapped cars by hand, you want to be very careful with the spray angle and distance of the water coming out of the hose. If the angle of the water stream is positioned at a sharp angle to the vinyl graphic, the pressure of the washer could cause the vinyl graphic to lift up from the vehicle and begin to peel. Once the edges start to lift, the damage is generally irreversible, and the vinyl wrap will slowly begin to come off and deteriorate in condition. Your best bet is to keep the angle of the water stream at a slight angle only.
In addition, it's best to keep the hose at an arms length distance away from the vehicle. This prevents the water from becoming too overbearing for the surface of the vinyl graphics. This is particularly true if you purchased vinyl graphics with custom finishes.
Wash Your Car Inside
If you can wash your car in the garage, do it. The vinyl graphics can be quite vulnerable to temporal fluctuations. If the weather outside is rather cold, the vinyl graphics may become damaged if you wash your car outside. It's best to keep your car indoors or to move your car back indoors to dry in an environment with a relatively constant temperature.
Vinyl graphics can last a long time if you know how to care for them. One of the most important things is to keep the surface of the vinyl graphics clean. You should wash your car rather frequently to prevent dirt, dust and other debris from accumulating on the vinyl graphics. For more information and tips, contact a local vinyl graphic company like Nesper Sign Advertising Inc.