Paint Protection Film it’s created more for protection rather than just a decorative effect. To maintain your PPF coating, in the long run, can be sometimes difficult. Join us in this article as we delve into the world of PPF Coating. With practical tips and proven techniques make sure your PPF coating stays flawless and continues to protect your car. Let’s uncover the facts and insights to help you make the right decisions for your PPF.
What is PPF Coating?
PPF coating, known as Paint Protection Film is a transparent and robust film. It provides your car with protection against scratches, chips, and other forms of damage. Widely used in the automotive industry for cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles. They’re made from thermoplastic urethane material known for their resistance to abrasions, impacts, and harmful UV rays.
To give you a little history of PPF coating. They began in the mid-20th century as a military solution for protecting helicopter rotor blades and sensitive components. With time they made it to the consumer market and during the 80s as a revolutionary form of paint protection. Now, new technologies and materials have improved PPF coatings and made them more durable.
PPF coatings are a popular choice in the car care industry. You can use them to take care of the appearance and preserve the value of your car. During the application process, the film is carefully installed in specific areas of the car, including the hood, fenders, bumpers, mirrors, and other parts. Professional PPF installers use different techniques and tools to make sure of a precise fit. Creating an almost invisible layer of protection that does not change the appearance of your car.
Common Types of PPF
- Gloss PPF
- Clear bra
- Clear Film
- Textured Film
- Self-healing PPFs
- Colored Film
- Clear Wrap
- Matte Film
How to maintain your PPF coating
PPF offers a lot of benefits but if you don’t care to maintain it, several potential side effects can arise. Some of them include reduced effectiveness, oxidation, losing gloss and clarity over time, shorten lifespan, etc. To minimize those side effects, we have put together for you some deep and thoroughly analyzed tips to help you maintain your PPF coating:
- Washing your car regularly is crucial to remove dirt, debris, and other contaminants. You can use the two-bucked method to minimize the risk of scratching your PPF. Fill one bucket with a soapy water solution and the other one with clean water. Dip the wash mitt or sponge into the soapy water, wash a car section, rinse the mitt in clean water to remove dirt, and repeat the process. Avoid automatic washes.
- Use a gentle car soap specifically designed for PPF or clear bra coatings. Try not to use harsh chemicals or other abrasive cleaners and stiff brushes that can damage your film while washing it. Instead, use a soft microfiber cloth.
- After washing your car, to dry it use gently a clean soft microfiber towel. Try to avoid using a regular towel because it may leave scratches behind on your car. Dry the surface slowly instead of rubbing it harshly.
- Clean up the contaminants as fast as possible. The bird dropping or any other stains on your PPF can potentially etch or stain it when left for long periods. Don’t use abrasive materials as said above but mild adhesive removers or isopropyl alcohol on a soft cloth to gently clean the affected area
- Inspect your paint protection film periodically for any signs of damage like scratches, tears, and peeling edges. If you notice any issues, consult with your professional PPF installer for guidance on repair or replacement.
- While it may sound strange to add a protection layer like ceramic spray over your protection film surely it is beneficial for your PPF and one of the best ways to maintain it actually. You can strengthen the longevity and gloss of your PPF, by using products like ceramic coats, spray wax, or spray sealants. Ceramic coating sprays give your PPF that protection and make it way easier for you to wash it.
What products to use to protect my PPF?
You can basically use any ceramic coat that is made for paint protection on top of your PPF. We recommend using a ceramic coat spray like Nexgen ceramic spray to maintain your PPF coating, it is perfectly safe for PPF and other types of wraps and also cheaper compared to other specific coatings made for PPF.
If you want to use the coating that is made specifically for PPF, vinyl wraps, or other wraps, then we suggest you:
CARPRO CQUARTZ Skin
• It repels UV rays, water, oils, dirt, and contaminants with its unique UV-infused nano structure, giving your car a rich and warm appearance.
Ceramic coating and PPF differences
Ceramic coating and PPF are certainly 2 of the most popular options for protecting your vehicle paint, you can also combine both and get even better results. Let’s see the differences first and then what you can gain if you use them both.
Material and application process- PPFs are known as transparent films and are made from polyurethane or polymer. Ceramic coatings are a silica-based liquid polymer and can be applied directly to your vehicle paint, which will bond chemically with your paint’s car surface to form a protective layer. You can find ceramic coatings in different formulas that can be applied by experts or you can apply them by yourself at home. PPFs typically are custom-cut and installed by professionals acting as a physical barrier between your car paint and the outside environment.
Installation- PPF requires professional installation to make sure a proper fit is done, it is time-consuming and requires specific tools and techniques for great results. Ceramic coatings on the other hand can be applied by professionals or as DIY products which are very flexible and easier to apply. You should prepare your car before applying the ceramic coat for effective bonding and longevity, which you can do at home of course.
Protection- PPF provides better protection against physical damage like rock chips, scratches, etc, and it preserves the original condition of your paint. Ceramic coatings can offer protection for your car paint against UV rays, oxidation, and other chemical contaminants. Ceramic coatings also make it easier to repel water and dirt because of their hydrophobic features.
Why use them both?
Some car owners love to use them both for enhanced protection, that’s a powerful way to protect your car’s paint and not try to restore it after being faded. When you install a PPF and then applying a ceramic coat on top of it would be a great add to minimize all the problems that can come with PPF alone as you will see on the cons section of PPF below.
It offers extra protection from the sun, also slows down the process of marks formed by different chemicals on your PPF, and offers a greater gloss and shine, consequently making it way easier for you to maintain it.
Pros of PPF
Long-lasting protection: They can last from 5 to 10 years, depending on the quality of the PPF you are using and its application.
Damage protection: PPF provides your car with protection from scratches, UV rays, chips, and other forms of damage. It will also keep the paint underneath your car looking new.
Invisible look– High-quality PPFs are designed to be transparent, this will help your original paint color or finish to shine through.
Self-healing properties: Some of the PFFs can reflow back into their original shape when minor scratches and swirl marks are done to your PPF. This is made possible through the elastomers that your PPF has and it reduces the need for frequent replacements.
Cons of PPF
Cost: Buying a high-quality PPF can be expensive, depending on the film brand and your car’s size. This can also go up if you plan to have someone install it for you like a professional PPF installer. Prices range anywhere from 500$ to 7000$ or more.
Difficult installation: Especially if you are new to this and you want to do it by yourself. It can be quite challenging since installing PPF correctly is a complex process and most mistakes can ruin your PPF.
Removal challenges: If you try to remove it yourself you may leave a glue residue or damage your car’s paint. And it is time-consuming, this is way easier for professionals to do it of course.
Potential yellowing: Using some lower quality PPFs, or if you don’t maintain it can lead to the yellowing of them. This will have a direct effect on your car’s overall look
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does PPF need to cure?
Most producers of PPF suggest that you wait for around 24-48 hours. During the period of curing the film has sufficient time to bond with the paint surface, ensuring a secure attachment. But always follow the instructions of the specific product you are using.
Does PPF heal in the sun?
Some types of PPF have self-healing properties when exposed to sunlight or heat. You can heal some minor scratches on these types of PPF, but deep scratches no. That’s why regular maintenance is necessary for your film to be effective with time.
Can I wax over PPF?
Of course, It can enhance your film’s gloss and provide it with extra protection. Use one without harsh chemicals or abrasives and apply it gently while following the PPF manufacturer’s recommendations.
Can you remove easily PPF?
It depends on the quality of the film, how long you have it, and your environmental conditions. This is easier for a professional installer of course, but if you want to remove it yourself start from the film’s edge, heat it with a heat gun, hairdryer, or steam cleaner and peel it off gently. This way you can go on in small sections to prevent the glue leftovers from sticking to your paint.
As we went through the ins and outs of how to maintain your PPF coating. We can conclude now that taking good care of your PPF is vital to ensure that your car’s paint remains protected. If you follow the straightforward steps and tips provided here such as using gentle soap and microfiber cloths. Removing contaminants fast, inspecting for damages. And considering the benefits of combining PPF with ceramic coating you can confidently maintain your PPF coating like a pro. With the proper maintenance, you’ll be able to preserve your vehicle’s appearance and value for years to come. Keep up caring for your car!