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Have you ever heard the term paint protection film (or PPF) as it relates to an automobile? Paint protection film, also referred to as clear bra or a “wrap”, is a thin layer of flexible material placed over a vehicle’s body panels to protect them from flying rocks or road debris. This type of protective film can even save your car’s paint from light hail damage or low-speed scrapes that would normally scratch and scar the finish. And while various forms of paint protection film have been around for more than two decades, the technology behind these films has evolved rapidly in recent years.
The whole idea of installing paint protection film is protecting your car long term. If your PPF is applied by a professional ad well trained installer, you should expect it to serve you for 10 years. For added protection, make sure that the installation company is certified to use the products by the manufacturing company. If they are, you will be eligible for a PPF warranty from the manufacturer. Suntek Ultra offers a 10-year manufacturer warranty. However, there are still other factors that will affect the longevity of PPF. They include:
Preparing the surface is one of the most important and time-consuming parts of installing PPF. Preparation involves removing contaminants from the paint and ironing out any imperfections. We start all our installations by thoroughly washing and claying the area of installation. And if necessary using an iron remover to get the paint as close to perfect as possible. There are no shortcuts at this stage as any contaminants left on the surface will greatly reduce the amount of time PPF will protect your vehicle. Not just that but ensuring all crevices/panel gaps are cleaned out as well.
Once the contaminants have been removed and imperfections delt with, the PPF must be applied correctly for it to offer the required level of protection. The material must be laid onto the vehicle perfectly for it to adhere properly and so that there are no bubbles formed or gaps and wonky seams. The formation of bubbles is usually a sign that contaminants were not properly removed or that the installation was not done well. Some bubbles might be too small and need to cure out over time. That is a normal part of the process. You also want an installer who knows how to alter patterns to best fit the vehicle. A poor-fitting kit will not look good no matter who is installing it.
PPF is highly durable and resistant to environmental factors such as UV rays and heat from the sun. However, it is not bulletproof. Therefore, even if your car has a layer of protection, you still need to take some precautionary steps. The car will still need to be washed (using water and not just with waterless wash). Bird droppings can etch into the film, especially on hot days. Dirt can also be absorbed into the clear coat and stain it if the car is constantly dirty. You will also want to avoid wiping the car when it is really hot. This can damage the top coat, making it not able to self-heal.