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Your car says a lot about you. One of the ways to customize your vehicle is by using vehicle wrap products. Vinyl wrap products have become increasingly popular in the recent past. And with increased popularity comes more options and more questions. Apart from the cost, a common question that many vehicle owners ask before wrapping their vehicles is how long the wrap will last. That’s what we shall be looking at in this post. Continue reading to learn more.
What is a Car Vinyl Wrap?
A vinyl wrap is a colored decal applied to a vehicle to change its appearance. Car wrapping is an innovative way of customizing your vehicle—it involves changing the look of your Jeep using large sheets of pressure-sensitive vinyl film.
By applying a vinyl wrap on your Jeep or truck, you are changing the look of your car. This can include giving it a new color, design, or texture such as gloss or matt. The best part is that you have a wide range of options to choose from to give your vehicle a new, attractive look.
Since car wrapping is a complicated process, hiring a trained technician to wrap your Jeep will come in handy. The best thing about car wrapping is that it’s hard to replicate many of its colors, designs, and textures using the normal respray. And even this is possible; it will come at a significantly higher cost for an average car owner.
Ideally, a vinyl car wrap is a blend of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) polymer and various additives to make ultraviolet (UV) light resistant, flexible, and colorful sheets.
Types of Vinyl Wrapping
Vehicle owners can choose between the following types of car wraps:
- Clear vinyl wrapping: This is a common type of paint protection film that helps maintain the look of your original paintwork. It can also protect against minor scratches.
- Colored vinyl wrapping: This is an opaque vinyl film that can help revitalize older vehicles or personalize new models. It provides an excellent way to change your Jeep’s color at a much lower cost than paint resprays.
- Advertising Wrap: These help showcase business logos and other critical information. You may want to use advertising wraps if you use your car for business.
How Long Does a Vinyl Wrap Last?
A good vinyl wrap will last between 5 and 7 years if it is well cared for. The case will be different if you leave it under the sun most of the time or you don’t wash it properly. Cleaning your car wrap with abrasives will also reduce its life expectancy.
If you use your vehicle for business, the vinyl wrap is unlikely to last longer as it is exposed to outside elements most of the time. After all, exposure to the sun most of the time will make the vinyl bake and shorten its lifespan.
That’s why we recommend parking your vehicle in the shade to minimize sun exposure to increase the wrap’s lifespan. The average lifespan of a car wrap under normal conditions is about five years. This can increase or reduce depending on how and where you use your vehicle.
Factors that Determine How Long a Vinyl Wrap Will Last
Many factors will determine the lifespan of a car wrap, including:
Vinyl Wrap Materials
One major factor determining how long a vinyl wrap will last is the materials used in making the wrap. Wraps made from high-quality materials will be much more durable and will stand the test of time than those made from low-quality vinyl materials. Always do due diligence before applying vinyl wraps in your vehicle to ensure the wraps are made from high-quality materials.
Exposure to the Sun
Exposure to the sun is the number one enemy of your vinyl wrap. As earlier stated, if your wrap is frequently exposed to the sun, it bakes and becomes challenging to remove from your truck’s surface. The sun weakens the wrap and becomes more susceptible to damages from abrasives and other environmental factors.
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation will also make your vinyl wrap fade over time. While you cannot avoid the sun when driving, consider parking your car under the shade when not moving.
Vinyl Wrap Installation
How the wrap is installed will also determine the lifespan of a vinyl wrap. As you can expect, your wrap will wear down fast if it’s not installed correctly. You can avoid this by choosing to work with reputable wrap installers to ensure your wrap is applied correctly.
Aside from the sun, dirt can also affect the lifespan of your vinyl wrap. Grime, grease, gunk, and other kinds of dirt can weaken your vinyl wrap, making it prone to damage. That’s why you need to wash your car frequently to get rid of any dirt on your wrap.
Frequently washing your vehicle helps in two ways: Firstly, it makes your wrap look fresh, and secondly, it protects it from damage.
Extreme temperatures can damage your wrap. Extremely low temperatures can make your wrap crack. On the other hand, extremely high temperatures will cause the wrap to become malleable, making it more prone to wear and tear.
How to Increase the Lifespan of Your Wrap?
As you can see above, two major factors determine the lifespan of vinyl wraps: preparation and proper care after installation. Let’s look at them in detail below.
The first step towards increasing the lifespan of a car wrap is proper preparation. The better you prepare your vehicle for installation, the better the end product.
Before your vehicle is wrapped, ensure that it undergoes a two-process cleaning process, i.e., clean your car yourself, and then the wrap company will clean it again before installation. Use an appropriate cleaner and non-scratch towel to remove any dirt, grease, and grime on all your car surfaces.
The wrap company will then perform a deep clean before applying the vinyl.
Work with a Reputable Wrap Company
The wrap company you choose will determine how your wrap will look after the application. No matter the time you take to prepare your vehicle and design wrap and the amount of money you spend, you won’t get the expected results if you choose inexperienced wrap installers.
Take your time to check online reviews of different wrap installers and ask around to ensure you choose the best wrap company that can get the job done.
How to Care for a Wrapped Vehicle
Preparing your vehicle and choosing the right wrap company is good, but not everything. Now you need to figure out how to care for your wrap to extend its lifespan. Here are some steps to take:
Limit Exposure to Extreme Temperatures
As earlier stated, extreme temperatures (both cold and hot) will reduce the lifespan of your wrap. While you cannot completely avoid exposing your vehicle to extreme temperatures, try to limit the exposure to avoid damaging your wrap.
Always Park Your Vehicle in a Garage
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun destroys everything exposed to it, including your skin and vehicle. Like extreme temperatures, you cannot completely avoid the sun but can limit its exposure.
The best approach is to ensure you park your vehicle in the shade when not driving it. However, this doesn’t mean that you should make a climate-controlled room for your vehicle. A normal garage will work just fine. The idea is to ensure that your car wrap isn’t exposed to harsh weather conditions most of the time.
Wash Your Vehicle Wrap to Remove Grease and Grime
Your wrapped vehicle will eventually get dirt, grease, and grime. Grease and dirt elements can affect your vinyl wrap, especially when they stay on your car for longer. It is essential to wash your vehicle frequently to remove everyday dirt and grime to leave it looking fresh and extend its lifespan.
Should You Pressure Wash a Wrapped Vehicle?
We recommend hand washing your wrapped vehicle—pressure washing can damage your wrap and reduce its lifespan over time. You can, however, pressure wash your wrapped Jeep if you follow these guidelines:
- Limit the water pressure to below 2000 psi
- Maintain water temperatures to below 180 degrees
- The distance between the nozzle and the vehicle should be between 12 and 14 inches (not below)
- The nozzle spray angle should be about 45 degrees
- Avoid spraying damaged wraps
When Should You Replace a Vinyl Wrap?
No matter how you care for your vehicle wrap, it will reach a time when replacing it is the only option. Here are some signs you need to remove your Jeep vinyl wrap:
- Color fade
These are just some signs that you may need to replace your vinyl wrap, which leads us to the next question.
Does Removing the Wrap Damage the Paint?
With the right skills, removing the wrap is not a complicated process and won’t damage the paint beneath. However, removing it is not as simple as removing stickers. The wrap removal process requires time, although it’s not difficult for professionals.
The wrap removal process requires heat and patience to ensure that no residue is left on your vehicle when the wrap is removed. Some of the factors that can lead to paint damage during wrap removal include improper installation, low-quality paint, and not using qualified professionals to remove the vinyl. Once you take care of these factors, removing wrap will be easy and won’t cause any paint damage.
Vinyl Wrap Your Jeep Today
Car wrapping is a great way to give your Jeep or truck a new look. However, installing car vinyl wrap is not for everyone. That’s why you should involve professionals during the installation and removal process to get the desired results. Ready to customize your vehicle using vinyl wrap and protect it from external aggressions. Contact us today, and we will get you sorted.