Why A Dirty Vehicle is a Disaster for Long Lasting Vehicle Graphics

by McKinley McGinn on July 31, 2016

A Clean Vehicle and Long lasting Graphics go Hand-in-Hand

Washing your car might seem like a ridiculous thing to do before getting a vehicle wrap. You might think “What’s the point of cleaning the vehicle if the wrap is going to make it look clean and new anyway?”  The truth is, when you pick up your truck or van it will look great, but a clean vehicle has everything to do with getting great graphics that last.

Don't Let Dirt Come Between You and a Great Wrap

why_clean_vehicle_for_vehicle_graphics_riveting_wraps_seattle_wa.jpgHave you ever put paint on top of a dirty surface?  Painted a dirty wall on a house?  If so, you probably knew that the paint would not hold up because the paint would stick to the dirt and not the wall surface.  The dirt does not adhere to the surface the same way the paint does, so as the dirt falls away, your paint goes right with it.

Well, the same is also true for self adhesive truck or van graphics.  If you apply vinyl to a dirty truck, the vinyl will stick to the dirt and not the painted surface of the vehicle. Because the dirt isn’t attached to the vehicle, it moves around underneath the vinyl, causing the vinyl to peel off. As the dirty continues to release from the vehicle, the vinyl will eventually lose all adhesive qualities and fall off the vehicle. This problem is easily avoidable and getting a simple wash is definitely worth the time.

Wash Policies and Practices Reveal the Quality of  Vehicle Graphics Company

Because a clean car is the MOST IMPORTANT part of a quality wrap, we ask all our clients to wash their vehicles before dropping them off for installation. It can be as simple as going through a car wash on the way to our installation facility. And for us that is only the beginning.  Once a "clean" vehicle arrives, we have an additional 2 step cleaning process to prep the surface to ensure the best possible and longest lasting graphics for our clients.  Learn more about our vehicle prep process here.

Additionally, make sure that this is something you consider when comparing quotes. Always ask and be aware of the following practices:

  1. Companies that charge you a wash fee even if you wash your car before you drop it off. Watch out for unexpected charges or fees.
  2. Companies that don't mention cleaning.  Any company that cares about the quality of their work will either ask you to wash your truck before dropping off or let you know that they take care of it for you.  Be sure to ask.
  3. Companies that do not take the extra steps to clean and prep the surface of the newly washed vehicle. Automatic car washes make your car look clean, but there is always dirt hiding in recessed areas or around the wheel wells.  Additional cleaning of these areas prior to installation is ESSENTIAL for vehicle graphics that will last.
  4. Companies that do not wash cars at all before installing graphics (We know companies that actually do this)  This is an easy place to cut corners and under price their competitors because your vehicle wrap will look just as great when you pick it up whether they clean the surfaces or not.  Your best protection against this practice is to ask how they plan to clean your vehicle and make sure you have a warranty in writing so that you can have them repair areas that fail.

Having a vehicle cleaned before wrapping seems unnecessary at first, but as you look at the long term value of your investment a simple wash it is well worth it.


Quality Only Begins with the Right Materials

New Call-to-actionVehicle wrap companies have learned that many buyers think using the right materials is the only important criteria to evaluate a quality wrap.  And it certainly is an important criteria. But how the material is printed, handled and installed are equally important.  Learn more getting a high quality wrap.

These vehicle wrap failures can come with a very steep price.  Get the straight facts on vehicle wrapping, contact Riveting Wraps at (425) 368-5007 or email us at hello@rivetingwraps.com. 

Topics: Wrap It Right

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