“So how long will my car wrap last?”
We hear that question quite a lot and the straight-forward answer is between 3 to 5 years. That being said, so much depends on where your business is located and the weather in that area. In San Diego, it is more toward the 3 year range because of the heat and sun abuse that the print will be exposed to. It also depends on where and which direction you park your vehicle during the day. A vehicle facing southwest that gets sun 8 to 10 hours a day will have fading issues faster than one that gets parked in a garage every day. If you look at wrapped vehicles around town you will also see that the hood is the first area to begin to crack and peel up. This is caused by the heat generated by the engine affecting the vinyl material. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid this with the wrap materials currently on the market.
“So how do I get the vinyl off?”
If you pay attention to how your vehicle wrap is looking, it is best to remove and/or have it redone before it gets to the stage of looking faded and bad. There are two reasons for this—the first is that is much easier to remove vinyl at the 3 to 5 year mark than it is at the 7 to 10 year mark. The longer it stays on, breaking and cracking into tiny pieces, the harder it is to remove. If removed in a proper time frame, you can get the wrap off in big sheets instead of tiny 1″ shredded pieces. The second reason, is that you never want to keep a wrap on if it is looking bad because this is a reflection of your business! A bad looking wrap isn’t gaining you customers–it’s pushing them away. The message you are sending is that if you can’t be conscious and awake with your own vehicle advertising, how can they trust your product or service? So, if your graphics are looking bad don’t leave it for another year–remove, change, or renew them! Taking them off in a timely manner makes it much easier to do–you simply peel away the vinyl and clean up the glue residue. That being said, there is no “fast fix” way to remove it and it can be labor intensive.
Here are some images of a vehicle wrap that was left on too long. You can see how the hood was completely cracked into tiny pieces which required the use an electric vinyl eraser to remove. The indents on the frame were cracked as well. What could have been a 2 hour removal job turned into a 8 – 10 hour removal job.