How Long Do Vinyl Car Wraps Last
Understanding how long vinyl car wraps last will help you determine if purchasing a car wrap is in your best interests. At Wrap Guys, we know that the overall durability and lifespan of a car wrap will depend on a range of different factors, as well as how much time and care is put into maintaining the wrap. That is why our talented team has put together some information that will help you get the most out of your vehicle wrap.
Preparing To Wrap Your Car
1. Consider your canvas, the surface youre wrapping. Is the body and paint job smooth? Minor scratches dont pose a problem, but chips, dents, gouges, and rust can cause problems with vinyl wrap. If the wrap sticks to the defect, itll greatly increase its visibility. If the wrap doesnt stick to the defect, itll bubble or tear, ruining the wrap job. Take care of these imperfections before wrapping your car.
2. Choose a location. You dont need a medical research cleanroom, but a clean and controlled environment will keep dust out from under the wrap. As with paint and body defects, dust, debris, and bugs will mar your finish. Sweep, vacuum, and mop if you must, and close the doors to achieve a great vinyl wrap project.
3. Work on a warm day. Vinyl and vinyl adhesive are temperature sensitive. The vehicle and wrap should be at the same temperature, around 68 °F . Colder, and the vinyl become brittle and could tear. Hotter, and the adhesive may activate too aggressively, making it difficult to install smoothly. Use a non-contact infrared thermometer to monitor things. It might be a good idea to plan the job for a different time of day or let everything acclimate for a few hours before starting.
How Long Does A Vinyl Wrap Last On A Car
Whenever we get something new, we always determine how sustainable it is. Well, a vinyl wrap can last for over five to ten years, depending on various conditions; such as the type of wrap you choose and how well you take care of it determines the life of the wrap.
Make sure you use a top-quality wrap to ensure that it stays for a longer period. Secondly, never leave your car in the sun. The sun can damage the sheet of vinyl that may shorten the life of the wrap. Furthermore, stop going to a drive-in car wash and start washing and cleaning your car yourself.
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What Effects A Vehicle Wraps Life Expectancy
This is a common concern we regularly hear from customers and it makes sense that you have invested in a vehicle wrap marketing services and want to know what kind of return to expect. The amount of time your car wrap will last depends on a variety of variables, such as exposure to sunlight, summer heat, winter cold, washing frequency, and more.
On vehicles that are out on the road every day and in the sun a lot, wraps do not last as long. Life expectancy can be as short as two years with severe wear and weathering. Simply by parking in the shade, the life expectancy of your vehicle wrap could significantly increase to about three or four years. Vehicles undergoing lighter use will also have wraps that last seven or more years. Under normal conditions, a vehicle wrap has an average lifetime of approximately five years.
The installation process is another aspect that can affect the lifetime of the wrap. A wrap that is not properly installed will easily begin to display signs of wear, conditions such as peeling or under the wrap becoming dirty. For the best and longest lasting results, be sure to choose a professional business that not only specializes in vehicle wraps but has extensive experience with installing them.
See how much your car, truck, or van costs to wrap instantly!
Consider A Car Wrap For Your Business
You have plenty of options for advertising your business but let’s be realnot all options are made equally. One of the best ways to differentiate yourself from the crowd is by finding unique ways to market your business.;
One of those options is to;get a vehicle car wrap. This is a surefire way to turn heads and get your phone buzzing with new interested customers. Before making the decision, it’s good to ask yourself, “how long do car wraps last?”;
With professional application and continued care, you can expect your vehicle wrap to be well worth the investment.;
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Pressing Out Air & Wrinkles
11. Curved surfaces can be especially challenging, forcing a two-dimensional object to conform to a three-dimensional surface. As you work, if you note wrinkles or bubbles, gently peel back the vinyl and apply heat, no more than 120 °F , and tension to stretch it into place. Use the squeegee again to work back out from the center to the edges. When wrapping other items, like mirrors, wheels, or interior panels, the same challenges apply. Be patient to get the stretch right when fitting to curved surfaces.
12. Making seams can also be a challenge, but there are a few ways to deal with it. The easiest way is to simply overlap one piece of vinyl over another, which requires careful alignment but no cutting. Kevlar cutting tape is a great invention that leaves perfect seams without a blade. Snap knives are the last alternative, a sharp edge to prevent snagging, and be gentle to prevent damage to the underlying paint.
Looking After Your Car Wrap
When you are washing your car wrap, its best to hand wash if you want to avoid any damage. Always use a gentle automotive detergent that wont be too harsh on the vehicle wrap, and use a good quality sponge or a soft cloth. Rinse with clear water after you have finished washing the car and then use a silicone squeegee to prevent water spots. Finally, wipe the car down with a microfiber cloth. Regular washing will stop dirt and dust from building up and prevent damage to the wrap.
Many people ask whether they should take their car through a car wash if they have a vehicle wrap. It all depends on the type of car wash and you should always avoid car washes that use brushes because these will damage the wrap and cause peeling around the edges. Car washes that just use water jets should be ok but if you want to be safe, its best to hand wash at home.
If you want to use a pressure washer on your car, you need to be careful. Spray from a distance of at least 12 inches and always keep the pressure below 2000 psi. You should also use a 40- degree spray pattern and use cold water to avoid damage.
Hopefully, this guide has given you all of the information that you need about the benefits of car wraps, how long they last and how to look after them properly. If you want to learn more, feel free to get in touch and we can discuss your vehicle wrap needs.
Story by Mike Lewis. Lewis is a commercial and customized car wrap specialist with over 15 years experience.
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How To Remove A Car Wrap
When the time comes to sell your car, or if you just want to go back to the original paint, you’ll take the car back to the shop that applied the wrap. If the wrap has retained its structural integrity, removal is as easy as pulling off a Band-Aid. The process can take three to four hours and costs $500 to $600. A difficult removal costs significantly more. If the wrap was baked in and begins to come apart as the shop removes it, expect to pay about $2,500 for the added labor.
The shop cleans off any sticky wrap residue with an adhesive remover. Finally, the car gets another clay bar detail to remove any impurities from the clear coat. If everything goes well, the wrap will not have damaged the paint, which is the ideal scenario. If your paint was not in the best shape or was repaired at some point with a thinner coat, there’s a chance that some of it might come off with the wrap.
How And When To Remove A Car Wrap
Once all the decals are carefully detached, any remaining sticky wrap residue is eliminated . However if the auto body paint had issues already, some of it may peel off during the removal process.
Reasons for car wrap removal:
- Complete replacement due to extensive bubbles, blisters, or wrinkles.
- Significant wear to the vehicle wrap such as lifting or staining.
- Design update, rebranding, or marketing strategy changes .
- To prepare the vehicle for sale.
Time and cost of removal depend on the condition of the wrap. A simple removal takes up to four hours and costs between $500 and $600. Decals that are more difficult to uninstall is around $2000. More time means more labor costs.
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What Happens When You Spill Gasoline Or Oil On A Vinyl Wrap
Anytime gasoline or oil is spilled onto a surface, damage can start. Gasoline specifically is a high-percentage solvent, which can damage soft materials like partial wraps or vinyl car wraps.
As such, it is recommended to wipe off gasoline spills or oil spills immediately. Its always a good idea to hand wash that entire area, using the two-bucket method of car washing.
Gasoline and oils can cause staining on vinyl. So, if you spill gasoline on a wrap, grab a wet paper towel and wipe off that area with lots of water. Once you get home, hand washing of that section at the minimum is recommended.
Car Wrap And Paint: Time Considerations
Wraps are the clear winner in the time category. The larger the area to be wrapped, the longer it will generally take to install. But, it should be noted that the car needs to be in good, clean condition to shorten the time even further. If the installer has to do this themselves, the process will take longer. The entire process, once the vehicle is completely prepared, can take anywhere between one and three days.
Unlike wraps that do not need to dry, car paint, regardless of the type, usually takes several days to dry after the application process. Urethane paints dry quicker than acrylics because they use a hardener that helps speed up the process, but to say that it happens quickly is simply comparative to other types of paint.;;
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How To Remove Vinyl From Your Car
1. Use your fingernail or plastic scraper to pull the wrap from the edges of the entire panel. Its going to look gnarly, but itll all be gone in a few minutes.
2. Use the heat gun to evenly heat the surface of the wrap to about 120 °F . This will loosen the adhesive so you can pull it off. Use a non-contact infrared thermometer to confirm you arent overheating, which can lead to excessive adhesive residue left on the surface.
3. Pull the wrap away from the edges at a steep angle, pulling the wrap back on itself at 15 to 20 degrees. When the wrap gets hard to pull, reheat and start pulling again.
What Car Condition Is Required
Don’t expect the wrap to serve as a cover-up for an old or bad paint job. Although you won’t see it when the car is wrapped, the paint has to be in good condition or the wrap will be a mess.
If the vehicle has scratches and door dings, they’ll stick out “like a sore thumb,” said Brian Hülz, sales manager for Galpin Auto Sports, a large auto customization shop in Southern California. Imperfections under the wrap will always show up on the surface. If the old paint has started to flake, the decals will have a hard time adhering to it. Hüz says he advises his customers to get any scratches or dents fixed before wrapping the vehicle.
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Quality Workmanship Will Affect How Long Your Wrap Lasts
It is tempting to try and save a few dollars by watching a youtube video on DIY installation of a vinyl wrap. Our shop can help your wrap last for years to come ;to avoid bubbles, creases, and dirt that can cause the vinyl to peel early.
The last area that will help your vinyl wrap last is proper care. Taking care that your wrap does not have prolonged exposure in the sun is one key to helping it last and;stay vibrant. Another key is to avoid abrasions that could scuff or cut the vinyl wrap. While washing your car, choose to hand or soft wash rather than a rough automatic car wash.
A high-quality, professionally;installed vinyl wrap will not only get you noticed but will do so for years to come if you care for it properly all at a fraction of the cost of a new paint job or traditional outdoor advertising.
How Do You Maintain Your Wrap
After your wrap has been installed, the best way to maintain it is to keep it clean! Use a vinyl-safe cleanser and wash your vehicle regularly, focusing on the wrap. Dirt and foreign substances that are left on your vehicles wrap for an extended period can cause warping, fading, and discoloration, so its important to clean your vehicle when its dirty. Limit sun exposure and avoid extreme high and low temperatures whenever you can park your vehicle indoors if you can. This will prevent cracking, warping, and fading for as long as possible.
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How Is A Wrap Installed
First, the shop that’s doing the wrap washes the vehicle and details it with a clay bar to remove any contaminants from the surface of the paint. Some installers use a solution of isopropyl alcohol to clean the paint then blow off any remaining dirt particles with compressed air.
The shop then removes the bumpers, headlights and taillights so that the installer can apply the wrap as close to the edges of the body panels as possible. If a customer doesn’t feel comfortable with the shop taking the car apart, the installer will omit this step and instead use a scalpel-like tool to cut the vinyl around the lights and grilles.
The installers then apply the vinyl wrap to the body of the vehicle. They use a heat gun to make the material more pliable, so it can properly hug the contours of the vehicle. Some of the more advanced wrap designs, such as those using graphics or custom colors, will require additional vinyl layers. Finally, the installers use a soft felt squeegee to remove any air pockets.
The whole process can take a few days to complete. It’s longer if you want the doorjambs to match. The doorjambs alone will take a day and a half, Hülz said. The doors need to be taken apart before being wrapped, which adds more labor and cost to the installation. Hülz says black cars make the ideal candidates for wrapping: The doorjambs are less noticeable and you don’t have to spend extra for them to be wrapped.
How Long Does Vinyl Wrap Last On A Car
So the picture-perfect finish doesnt last forever, but just how long does a car wrap last?
A vehicle owner can expect a quality car wrap to last between 5 and 7 years.;
Vinyl wrap durability begins with proper installation from professionals . The stronger the bond is between the wrap and the auto body, the longer it lasts.;
Even the best car wrap jobs lose luster from lack of maintenance, accidental abuse, and exposure to the elements.
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How To Make Your Wrap Last Longer
If you want to get all seven years out of your wrap, it needs to be properly maintained and taken care of. The two best ways to extend the lifespan of your wrap are proper preparation and proper maintenance. The more prepared your vehicle is for the wrap, the better the final result will be. To prepare your vehicle for wrap installation, you must thoroughly clean it to remove any dirt, dust, or debris with the appropriate cleaner. Then your wrap technician will go over the entire car again with special cleaning solutions before your wrap is installed.
Once your car has been cleaned, and your wrap has been installed properly, follow these tips to make it last longer:
- Park in a Covered Area: Park in a garage, under some shade, or even a tarp. When you arent driving, protect your vehicle from the elements whenever possible.
- Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Extreme heat can make your wrap susceptible to damage, while extreme cold can cause it to crack.
- Regular Cleaning: It doesnt matter if you hand wash or drive through the car wash make sure youre cleaning your car.
Different Tips Of How To Extend The Life Of Vinyl Wrap
- Make sure you wont scrub
- You should rinse off well after every wash
- Try to use soft material of sponge
- Wash quite often
- Wipe up soon after the washing process
- Try not to use Turbo pressure nozzles
- Avoid using a strong type of material while washing
- Dont spray wasted wraps
- Try to keep the temperature of water in an appropriate mode.
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