a business vehicle wrapped with a custom-designed car graphic

Your custom vehicle wrap is more than just a way to make your company cars or trucks look sharp on calls or jobs. A well-applied decal graphic, combined with the knowledge of how to maintain your vinyl car wrap, becomes a moving billboard that stands the test of time. No matter where you go — the grocery store, a supply outlet, even sitting in rush hour traffic — your wrapped car or truck tells everyone in sight what you offer and how professional you are. Because the opposite can also be true, it’s important to take steps to avoid cracking, peeling, and fading concerns that will prematurely age your decal.

Installing Your Vinyl Car Wrap

Vinyl decals and wraps are not all created equal. In addition to selecting a high-quality base material and trusting experienced vinyl car wrap installers, your “canvas” needs to have the right finish. An uneven paint job, chipping, peeling, or wearing of the topcoat will affect the wrap’s ability to adhere and stay in place. Always consult with a professional and follow their advice as to what prep work, such as paint protection film, might need to happen before your wrap is installed. The most important secret to maintaining your vinyl car wrap is to make sure it’s applied correctly to begin with.

What Affects Vinyl Car Wrap Longevity?

Unsurprisingly, weather and sun exposure play a huge role in how long a vinyl car decal or wrap looks bright and new. If you’d like to limit the damaging effects of the environment on your wrapped car, try following these best practices to extend the life of your wrap:

  • Whenever possible, park your car in a shaded or covered area. The less sun/UV exposure, the better.
  • Keep your car in a garage or under a cover in extremely hot or cold weather, which can affect the inherent malleability of vinyl, causing it to crack or split.
  • Avoid parking or keeping your car in any place with exposure to debris that could damage paint or vinyl, such as tree sap, pollen, or bird droppings.
  • Always use the right cleaning products on your wrap. When in doubt, spot-test an inconspicuous area before applying any spray or cleanser across the entire vehicle. Your car wrap installation professional will be able to make a few recommendations!
  • If you experience a fuel spill onto a wrapped area at the gas station, wipe it away as soon as possible with a clean, absorbent cloth. If left to sit on the wrap, gasoline can affect the adhering properties.

How Do I Wash a Car With a Vinyl Wrap?

The best way to clean and maintain your vinyl car wrap is with a good, thorough hand wash. This works for shiny, polished wraps as well as matte wraps, as no abrasive machinery is used. If you’re using an automatic car wash to wash a car with a wrap, rely on “touchless” locations only; brush-type car washes can lift or peel edges and cause premature vehicle wrap damage or aging.

Spot cleaning can also be performed as part of your cleaning and maintenance routine. If you need to wash your wrap but don’t want to take your car or truck through an entire car wash, just use wrap-safe cleansers and a soft cloth. Once again, test the effects on an inconspicuous spot and avoid abrasive cleaners or brushes, as these can adversely affect the smooth finish of your wrap.

That’s a Wrap! Contact Night Owl Graphics Today

When you want crisp, attractive graphics applied to your business vehicle, Night Owl Graphics offers the experience, attention to detail, and integrity you deserve in vinyl car, van, and truck wrap installations. Ready to see for yourself? Check our gallery! For more information about any of our offerings, including everything from business signs to custom wall murals, contact us today!

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