Are Vehicle Graphics Safe On My Paint?

Improper installation or removal can! A bad install means your vehicle’s paint might get damaged from razor blade scratches, and poor adhesion that ultimately leads to wrap failure. Also, if the wrong type of film is used during the application like a sign vinyl with extra strength adhesive or low flexibility, it can strip your paint and cause serious damage if & when it is not removed with care!

Here are some factors that effect your vehicles paint

How long will it be on the vehicle? 3M Material for vehicle wraps has a 6 to 10 year expectancy, however in Florida we recommend a wrap be replaced or removed between 4 to 7 years, depending on care of the vehicle.

The longer the wrap remains on the vehicle, the more chance of paint or substrate damage. If it’s left on longer than recommended by the manufacturer, it may be difficult to remove, which could lead to surface damage.

What’s the substrate? Vehicles are made of steel, plastic, fiberglass, aluminum, and glass, and each surface may react differently to adhesive vinyls. The condition of the surface and paint should also be considered. If there are doubts about their condition, a snap test is recommended. According to 3M, “This test can be used to help determine if a substrate appears to have sufficient integrity to remain intact during eventual graphic removal.”

How do we remove graphics? There’s a right way and a wrong way to remove vehicle graphics. Our method for removing graphics is to:

  1. Heat the material to approximately 160° F
  2. Grab an area of the graphics with a special device
  3. Pull vinyl or wrap material down and away from the vehicle at less than a 45° angle

Note:  For graphics that are in less then ideal conditions the removal process is more invasive.

What type of paint is on the vehicle? Paint applied at the factory is seldom a problem, unless it’s older, faded, and worn, but aftermarket paint may be a different story. The paint can be tested by applying a small piece of adhesive vinyl to an unexposed area and removing it after a few days.

Is it a full wrap or partial? After a few years, the exposed areas of a partial wrap may fade, no longer matching the paint covered by the graphics.

If the paint and surface are in good condition, and the right material and proper removal techniques are used, the surface will be undamaged at removal and it will have been protected. If you’d like to know if your vehicle is graphics-ready, we’d be happy to advise you. Contact us here.

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