In this post, we’ll answer the common questions, do car wraps damage paint.. Helping you understand what they are, how they’re applied, and how they affect your car long-term, by the end, you’ll have a firmer grasp of what’s involved in the process.
Do Car Wraps Damage Paint?
As a business owner, the look of your vehicle says a lot about your company. That’s undoubtedly why you chose a certain style of car and also why you keep it looking clean. You’re professional, and your vehicle should look that way too.
With the desire to keep your vehicle looking great for as long as possible — whether you’re considering a car wrap for either just one car, van, or an entire fleet — the question of damage is an important one. After all, why invest in something that will harm the look of your car after you take it off?
One of the reasons car wraps are a smart choice for your business fleet is the gentle nature of the wrap itself. With a gentle preparation process, the application is equally as kind to your car. Preparation involves a simple deep cleaning — there’s no sanding required. When it comes time to take it off, the wrap won’t leave any marks of residue that can’t be washed away.
Vehicle wraps can last up to 7 years if cared for properly. The only time you’ll need to take yours off is if you want to change up the look or because of damage.
The cool thing about them is that not only do car wraps not damage paint, they actually protect it. Serving as a vinyl barrier between dirt, grease, tiny pebbles, and whatever else can damage paint, the wrap acts as a shield. While your car wrap is busy advertising your business to literally everyone you drive past and park next to, it’s also serving a protective purpose.
It’s understandable to wonder about damage, in short, vinyl wrap will not damage your car’s paint. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
What Are Car Wraps Made From?
The most common material that car wraps are made from is vinyl. There are different degrees of hardness for the material, but the mix is essentially an incredibly durable, heat-resistant form of plastic. You may be familiar with the material if you’ve ever bought a record or worked with PVC pipes. Both are forms of vinyl but thickened and hardened to get the job done.
But while the vinyl used for car wraps is made from the same ingredients (salt and crude oil), it’s thinner and pliable, but still retains durability. A similar style of vinyl can be found in the fashion world, as it’s also used as a replacement for leather.
To create a material that will physically wrap around a vehicle, plasticizers are added to the vinyl for flexibility, along with UV absorbers and heat stabilizers to keep your wrap looking great for as long as possible. An adhesive solution will then be applied to the back of the final product. This is activated later in the application process.
What About Graphics?
Now that you understand how the vinyl itself is made, where do the graphics come in? Wraps come in all kinds of colours and finishes, but the real work is done by the shop that does the wrap job for you. Using special printers, they’re able to print off your logo, symbols, shapes, and text onto the sheet of vinyl before it’s applied to your car.
After you’ve settled on a design, your vinyl is printed. Then, on the date your vehicle is set to be wrapped, your car is prepped, then wrapped. It’s important to keep in mind that for a flawless job and for the vinyl to bond the right way, the surface of your car needs to be as smooth as possible and super clean.
For a vehicle wrap to stick, it cannot be applied to damaged paint, but minor imperfections should be ok. Talk to your installer beforehand. If your car is damaged, they may suggest getting it fixed before you wrap it.
Some installation services will use a clay bar or clay mitt to help get rid of tiny flecks in the clear coat on your vehicle. If your car is in great shape, they may not choose to do this, but they’ll still give it a deep clean to make sure no dirt, grease, or contaminants get in the way.
After your car is in fighting shape, it’s time to apply the wrap. And truly, the application is better left to the pros. It involves a handful of tools, including a heat gun and a special kind of squeegee to activate the glue, along with a steady hand and the confidence that only experience can provide.
You have a flawless wrap and you’re rearing to go. Now what? It’s recommended that you clean the surface of your wrap every 1-2 weeks depending on how dirty it gets. Proper care is an integral part of making your wrap last, but be sure you use the right type of cleaning products. What you normally use for your car won’t fly with vinyl.
If you decide it’s time to remove your wrap, though it seems like you could peel it yourself, don’t. At the risk of scratching your vehicle or leaving pieces behind, this is another activity better left to the pros. There is a right and wrong way to do it. Your installation crew will have the right tools for the job and will know exactly what angle to pull the wrap, and the right level of pressure and heat to apply.
Once the wrap is off your vehicle, it should look the same as the day you put it on. The paint will have been preserved and still look fresh, and while your wrap may have taken tiny hits, your car should have remained flawless.
If you’re truly considering a vinyl wrap, or just want to ask a few more questions, get in touch with our professional team of installers. Even though wraps can have big payoffs for your business, being 100% informed is never a bad idea.