Vehicle graphics have become an essential part of modern branding, “Vehicle wraps cost $.77 per thousand impressions” — Why Haven’t You Wrapped Your Fleet Vehicles? That’s far less per impression than traditional forms of advertising. However, making a poor impression might be worse than none at all. The cleanliness and condition of vehicle graphics say much about an organization. Here’s a basic guide to adhesive vinyl vehicle graphics care to protect your investment.
Don’t wash your car or truck with automated brushes
Stay clear of automated brush car washes. Brushes can damage the edges, scratch the vinyl, and ruin graphics. And even if they don’t scratch the vinyl the brushes can remove finishes that protect the graphics from UV rays, toxic chemicals, and more. “Over lamination of adhesive vinyl graphics protects the design from harmful UV rays, acid dew, and road debris. Laminating the material is recommended by most manufacturers.” — Why Do Vehicle Graphics Fade?
Keep it clean
Road salts, acidic residue, oils, and other chemicals can damage adhesive vinyl by causing it to fade, change color, or lose elasticity and eventually bubble or tear. Things that stick to the surface, such as tree sap or bird droppings, can be especially harmful. Use hot soapy water, or for stubborn stains, a power washer. However, keep it under 2000 PSI, and 180 F. And don’t hold the nozzle at an angle to the decal where it may loosen the edges. Always spray at a 90-degree angle. Fuels spills, whether diesel or gas, should be wiped clean as soon as they occur; fuel left on adhesive vinyl can damage it irrevocably. Will Road Salt Damage My Vehicle Graphics?
Be careful with wax and polish
Most waxes and polishes are okay, but it’s a good idea to test a small unseen area before applying either to the entire surface. Avoid any wax or polish that contains abrasives. Be careful when buffing especially when using an electric buffer. Too much pressure or buffing at a poor angle to the edges and seams can damage the graphics. Should I Wax My Vehicle Wrap?
Vinyl Vehicle Graphics Care Matters
Vinyl graphics aren’t cheap. Done right, they market your company in a positive light. However, when vehicle graphics are uncared for they reflect poorly on your business. Vehicle Graphics: A Bad Message is Worse than No Message.
By taking the time to learn about basic vinyl vehicle graphics care of your fleet vehicles, and then following through with a maintenance plan and schedule, you can protect your investment as well as your reputation.
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