Will road salt damage my vehicle graphics? That’s a timely and excellent question and the answer is—probably not. Most adhesive vinyl’s, used on vehicles, are designed and manufactured to hold up well to road salt. For example, the popular 3M Scotchprint wrap film series 1080 “Resists mild alkalis, mild acids, and salt.” However, some precautions should be taken.

Road Salt Precautions 

Remove salt

Remove salt from the undercarriage, wheel wheels, and equipment. You’re probably wondering what the heck all that has to do with your vehicle graphics. I mean, you didn’t wrap the undercarriage, right? The potential problem is rust. Rusted steel components eventually affect the graphics attached to them. We’ve been forced to turn down installations due to corrosion of the substrate.

“While road salt is imminent to safe winter driving, it is also extremely corrosive and over time it can cause extensive damage to vehicles.

The biggest threat salt poses to a vehicle is rust, which is accelerated by repeated exposure to salt. Rust on certain parts of a car can create a slew of problems ranging from hydraulic brake system leaks to subframe damage.” — Accuweather.com — Hidden hazards of road salt: Car corrosion can take a toll

Don’t scrape

Don’t scrape snow, ice, or salt off your car with ice scrapers or snow shovels—doing so could scratch your graphics. Carefully use a broom, or better yet, a soft cloth to remove snow and ice. Treat the graphic like you would paint, if you wouldn’t use an ice scraper on paint don’t attempt it on vinyl. Maybe instead of answering the question, will road salt damage my vehicle graphics we should answer, will an ice scraper damage my vehicle graphics. Yes, it will.

“When visiting the car wash, make sure it has the under-spray feature to wash away the build-up of slush and salt from underneath your car. If you simply wash the visible parts of your car and not the underside, you are missing the most susceptible part of your car.” — ABC 57 — How destructive can road salt be on your vehicle?

Don’t let salt accumulate

Don’t let salt accumulate on your vehicle. Adhesive vinyl resists salt, but if it’s exposed to salt over long period’s damage could occur. Salt is extremely corrosive, and even vinyl protected with clear coat could eventually show signs of wear from extended exposure to salt. So, to answer the question will road salt damage my vehicle graphics? It could if it’s allowed to accumulate.

“Avoid the salt. Driving over salt can be inevitable, but there are some ways to prevent salt buildup. Avoid driving through deep snow since it can hold hidden salt and really pack it deep into the undercarriage of your car. Salt also collects in large puddles, so if it’s possible, steer around them when you’re out on the road.” — Autotraining.edu – How to Protect Your Car from Road Salt

Will Road Salt Damage My Vehicle Graphics?

With a few precautionary measures road salt should be no problem to your vehicle decals and wraps. If you’d like to learn more about protecting your vehicle graphics investment go to How to Care for Your Vinyl Vehicle Graphics.

“TKO Graphix is a national fleet and vehicle graphics company helping customers since 1985. We provide full-service graphic design, digital printing, screen printing, graphics installation, and removal of large format graphics.

We are proud to be a 3M™ MCS™ Certified Warranty Manufacturer, which means our customers receive consistent, outstanding products backed by 3M’s most comprehensive warranties. We are members of the United Application Standards Group (UASG), and master certified through the PDAA (Professional Decal Application Alliance), delivering the best installation services possible.” — About TKO Graphix

Please contact us, and if you’d like to know more about fleet graphics. We also offer free estimates, request a quote.

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