Cars with vehicle graphics go through the same kind of driving conditions and harsh elements as every other car. And since vehicle graphics are more temporary than regular car paint, you have to take extra good care of them. With care, you could get your graphics to last up to 10 years in some conditions.
But what if you live in a part of the country that gets plenty of snow? With the polar vortex everyone was hit with this winter, there was a lot of salt and snow melt being put down. We already know what that does to a car, but what about vehicle graphics?
Much like road salt can damage a car and eat away at the paint’s finish, it can also eat away at vehicle graphics. When Signarama installs car wraps, we only use the best material, as the vinyl has to stand up to a constant barrage of sun, rain, wind, and other harsh elements.
3M Controltac is the best material for car wraps in the industry, and we favor this material above all others on the market. Additionally, we use 3M’s Premium Cast Clear Overlaminate to further the vehicle graphics’ durability and extend its life. This overlaminate is a more aggressive adhesive and is applied over the digitally printed vinyl to protect it from road salt, dirt, tar, and other nasty chemicals that might eat away at the vinyl.
Over time, the vehicle graphics will wear down and the colors will fade. Tiny chips and cracks will start to appear, as is natural with anything that is out in the elements for months and years. But that can take years to happen, especially if you take care of it.
Regular cleanings will also help to prolong the life of the wrap, as this will help to rinse away the road salt and other things that a car might pick up. You’ll want to do this during the winter too, about once a week, just to wash off that week’s salt and chemicals. Keeping the vehicle in a garage and out of the sun when it’s not in use can extend the wrap’s life as well.