A car sporting a new vinyl wrap will look sharp and brand-new. You want to maintain that look for as long as possible, which means knowing proper car wrap maintenance.
1. Skip Automatic Washes
One of the worst things you can do for a vinyl car wrap is take it through the automatic car wash. The high-pressure water jets and scrubbing pads used in these car washes can do damage to the wrap. Even if the wrap stays in place, small abrasions can dull its surface and make it unattractive. Further, many automatic washes apply wax at the end of the wash cycle, which should not be used on a vinyl-wrapped car.
2. Wash It Often
Frequent washing is a must. Pollutants, acid rain, and even the acids in bird droppings can cause damage to the vinyl if they aren't removed regularly. Although this sort of damage also affects painted auto finishes, it can be much more visible on a car wrap. Washing the car by hand every couple of weeks, or at least once a month if the car is usually parked under cover, should be sufficient.
3. Choose Shaded Spots
Shade is an important part of protecting a vinyl car wrap. The heat and UV rays from constant sun exposure can fade a wrap, necessitating more frequent replacement. Stains can be baked into the vinyl on bright days. Too much sun exposure may also cause the wrap material to degrade more quickly. Choose a shady parking spot whenever you have the chance.
4. Schedule Small Repairs
Some damages may happen even if you are careful. The most common types of damages are cuts in the wrap, such as from a hard door ding, or peeling edges as the wrap ages. Fortunately, these issues don't necessarily mean it is time to replace the car wrap. Your wrap installer can patch small damages and tighten curling edges with vinyl patching and targeted use of heat.
5. Avoid Decals
Never place decals on your wrapped vehicle, especially if you plan to remove them before you are done with the wrap. Adhesives in decals can sometimes damage the wrap surface. Further, shrinkage of the decal can occur as it ages, which will create a much more obvious residue stain on a wrapped car versus a painted car. If you need to update information on a commercial wrap, it may be time to put on a new wrap rather than use ugly decals.
Contact a car wrap service to learn more about proper maintenance.