Vinyl Wrap: Common Installation Mistakes
There are multiple factors that affect the quality of vinyl wrap installation and ultimately the appearance of your vehicle. In this blog post we are discussing few of the most common Vinyl Wraps installation mistakes, and how to avoid them.
Lack of Proper Cleaning
Lack of proper cleaning is one of the first and most common installation mistakes. The surface of the car must be thoroughly cleaned and degreased prior to wrapping. Vinyl wrap doesn’t stick to dirt, so leaving some areas of the car dirty is a recipe for vinyl lifting off the surface. Most commonly, this can be seen around the edges of panels and in wheel wells. Vinyl film will also tent over dirt particles left on the vehicle, making your wrap look bumpy. Some of the issues primarily caused by insufficient cleaning are:
– Vinyl film lifting off the surface of the car
– Wrap failing on edges of panels
– Debris underneath the vinyl
How to avoid:
It is very important to wrap a car in a clean and controlled environment. Make sure the shop is free of dirt and dust prior to beginning of installation. Thorough wash of the entire car will minimize contamination during the installation. A multistage washing process of the vehicle and cleanliness of work area are the two key factors for a perfect wrap
Wrinkly corners is the mistake that makes any wrap look cheap and unprofessional. Proper vinyl wrap has to look like the car is painted, and corners always give away a cheap wrap. Being one of the most difficult parts to wrap, corners always give away the skill set of the installer. Vinyl wrap film that is available today allows a skillful installer to deliver a paint-like quality, so there is no excuses for wrinkles anywhere on your wrap.
How to avoid:
The best way to ensure a perfect corners wrap is to go with an experienced and trained installer. Experienced installer will be able to handle different kinds of materials and will possess a large variety of installation techniques and tricks to ensure corners are wrapped perfectly. Work of inexperienced installer is quite obvious, especially up close and in detail.
Overstretch is another common installation mistake. It happens when the piece of vinyl cut for a specific part of the car ends up being too small, and the installer has to then stretch the material in order too make it fit. When the material is overstretched, there is a risk of it lifting off the surface of your car, since the adhesive gets thinned out in the process, making the vinyl less sticky. Overstretched areas may also be in a lot of tension, which leads to film failing, especially on edges and corners. Overstretch also makes the vinyl look thinner, and affects the appearance of your wrap. Seeing discoloured, shiny spots on a wrap is a sign of material overstretch. It is especially noticeable in patterned wraps, like carbon fibre for example, when you can clearly see the material was overstretched because the pattern is distorted.
How to avoid:
The best way to avoid overstretch is to make correct measurements of the vehicle before it is wrapped. Doing that will allow to ensure you have enough material for each part, which will help avoid overstretching.
Not Following the Direction of Directional Wraps
Not all vinyl wraps are installed the same way. Some wrapping films are directional, and require a special installation approach. Those films change shade and colour depending on which angle you look at it. This means that these films must be installed unidirectionally on the car, otherwise panel will be mismatching in colour. This is especially obvious on colourflow/colourflip wraps, where the direction of the film affect the hue of colour most noticeably.
How to avoid:
You have to pay special attention to the direction of the colour prior to cutting pieces of vinyl for the wrap. Don’t just cut pieces of vinyl and stick them on.
You can sometimes see wrapped cars that looked nice from the distance, but as you approach you realize that front bumper is wrapped in 6 pieces of vinyl. Although not exactly a mistake, seams can really ruin the appearance of your wrap. If there is a seam on the car, it definitely doesn’t look like paint. Seams make your car look cheaper, and in a way the wrap looks like a DIY project. We stand behind seamless wraps, and only use them when it’s absolutely necessary to ensure a proper longevity of a wrap.
How to avoid:
In scenarios where seams are needed, an experienced installer will attempt to hide all seams from the plain sight. This can be done by placing seams exactly on existing body lines of the car. It is a meticulous process that requires both skill and patience.
Lack of Post Installation Procedures
Last but not least, after the installation is complete it is important to perform 2 procedures necessary to ensure the longevity and execution of the wrap. Post heating and proper curing time. Post heating is a process of warming material up to a certain temperature to “kill” the memory of the film and seal it better. This is especially important on panel edges, corners and seams. Proper curing time allows a wrap to fully adhere to the surface of the car, curing it in place and allowing you to avoid lifting and bubbles.
We hope that this blog post will help you to avoid the most common Vinyl Wraps Installation Mistakes!