Vehicle wraps are a fantastic way to promote your business while increasing brand awareness. Like other forms of advertisement, vehicle wraps are an investment and the longer it lasts, the more cost-effective it is. So, how long do vehicle wraps last? The answer depends on how well the vehicle wrap is taken care of. However, quality vinyl can last upwards of seven years if properly maintained. This article will outline ways to maintain and care for your vehicle wrap to ensure a lasting impact.
Washing your Vehicle
Whether it’s because of mud from a job site or dust from driving down an unpaved road, your vehicle wrap will need to be cleaned regularly. Although there isn’t a standard time in regards to how often you should wash your vehicle, washing it weekly or biweekly is a good idea. Rinsing away any dirt or pollutants that make the vehicle wrap look dull will produce a more vibrant and on-brand colour. However, you don’t want to wash the vehicle too frequently as this can result in accelerating the breakdown of the colours on the wrap.
When washing your vehicle wrap, use an automotive sponge and automotive detergent to gently wash your vehicle. This can also be done without the detergent, using just a sponge and water to freshen up the colour. After washing the vehicle, use a silicone squeegee to remove the water—this will reduce water spotting. It’s best to avoid going through automatic car washes, unless they are touchless. The brushes that car washes use can scratch the vehicle wrap or wear out the colour. It is also a good idea to avoid using high-pressure hoses when washing the vehicle as it can damage the wrap.
There are various nature-related situations in which you’ll need to respond in a timely manner to ensure your vehicle wrap stays untarnished. Bird droppings, squashed insects and other stains require immediate attention if possible. The longer a stain sits, the more permanent and harder to remove it may become. The first thing you should do when you notice a stain is soak the area with warm and soapy water—this will loosen the contaminants. Then, rinse the area and dry with a microfiber cloth or towel.
If the stain has not lifted, use Meguiar’s Gold ClassTM Bug and Stain Remover as directed for a deeper clean. Make sure to always test stain-removing solutions on a small patch of vinyl to make sure it does not damage the vehicle wrap. Avoid using solvents or oil-based cleaning and stain-removing cleaning products, as they are known to damage vinyl.
Fuel and gas spills on vehicle wraps are common and need to be taken care of immediately. When a fuel or gas stain is spotted on the vehicle, try to wash it off with a wet paper towel as soon as possible. If the affected area sits for too long without being cleaned, it’ll start degrading the wrap. This is why it’s important to wash the stain with water and a towel first and then with a sponge and automotive detergent for a deeper clean later (at home).
Long Exposure to Sun and Other Outdoor Elements
Rain, smog, debris, sun exposure and other weather-related elements can degrade vehicle wraps. Outdoor elements mostly affect the wrap’s roof, hood and trunk. Road pollutants from other cars can damage the sides of your vehicle wrap and are intensified by the sun’s UV rays. To keep vehicle wrap protected from these destructive outdoor elements, it is best to keep your vehicle in a parking garage or under a canopy when not in use. If the vehicle must be outside for an extended amount of time (i.e. a job site), try to find parking areas that provide shade, like under a tree or near a building.