The weather’s changing and it’s time to start thinking about the challenges winter brings and making that annual winter maintenance checklist. Included in the checklist are all the things you need to do to make sure your vehicle(s) are winterized to survive the cold. A vital factor to add to that checklist is a vehicle wrap maintenance schedule to preserve your vehicle wraps over the winter. After all, vehicle wraps work hard for your business while paint protection film needs just a little bit of TLC to protect your car during the icy weather. Read on for our top vehicle wrap maintenance tips for the winter.
Store Your Vehicles Properly
Park your vehicles in a garage, in a covered area, or use a vehicle cover wherever possible. If you’re using a cover, make sure you pick a good waterproof cover that allows your car to breathe. Avoid using plastic tarps as they allow moisture to build up under them and can scratch your vehicle wrap. Storing your vehicle in a sheltered space will help protect your vinyl wrap from the elements along with bugs, falling twigs, and bird droppings when the vehicles are not in use.
Spot Clean Your Vehicle Regularly
If you can build it into your schedule, spot-clean your vehicle before you tuck it away for the night. Always plan at least a spot clean after a long journey or a long day out in your car. Bird droppings, tree sap, bugs, or gas can all wreak havoc on your vehicle wrap by staining it, changing its colour, or even getting under the layer of vehicle wrap causing to lift and peel. In such cases, it can damage the paintwork underneath. While gas can be hard to spot, cleaning it immediately when you know it’s there will help prevent stains. Similarly, get rid of any bird droppings as soon as you can as they cause the most damage within the first 48 hours of being deposited.
Spot cleaning as a part of your vehicle wrap maintenance schedule is easy. Simply use a soft microfibre cloth and hot, non-abrasive soapy water to clean any spots you may erm, spot. Make sure you dry the area after cleaning.
Avoid Pressure Washing
Pressure washing isn’t recommended when you have your vehicles wrapped and winter isn’t a good time to start. Hand washing is the way to go. Automatic car washes have been known to scratch paint or cause wraps to fade due to harsh chemicals, so they are best avoided too. Wash your vehicle at least once a week. However, remember to dry it properly afterwards to prevent the build-up of limescale or ice.
Get Rid of Any Salt
There is pretty much no way to drive around in winter without salted roads. On the flip side, the salt isn’t kind to your vehicle wrap at all. Salt and sand get stuck to your vehicle’s wheels, wheel wells, and undercarriage which can damage various parts. If kicked up onto your vehicle, salt corrodes and dehydrates vinyl wraps. After each drive on salt-treated roads, make sure to clean the base of your wraps where they encounter salt the most. You can either rinse or wipe them to remove any salt residue.
Use Soft Brushes NOT Scrapers
Don’t let snow turn into ice on your car as ice damages your car wrap and is difficult to get off as well. Brush off any collected snow regularly using a soft brush or a broom. Never use a scraper on your vehicle wrap as it will scratch your vinyl wrap.
Fix Any Damage ASAP
If you leave a hole or tear in your car’s vinyl unrepaired, it can lead to further damage that will be more expensive to fix. Newer damage is usually easier to fix, so take your vehicle to get any damage fixed ASAP before it turns into a replacement instead of a repair job.
Speak to the Professionals
If you’re ever in doubt about anything related to your vehicle wrap maintenance routine or the products you use, get in touch with the experts at Vinyl Labs. We are a team of professional vehicle wrap installers and understand how to use all the tools and equipment to achieve a high-quality finish. Our talented team can take care of all your fleet graphic needs, from design to installation. Book an appointment today to see how we can help!