April 9, 2020

Will Cold Weather Damage My Vehicle Wrap?

Extreme weather conditions have a negative impact on your vehicle wrap if you don’t take precautionary measures to protect it. 

When it’s cold outside – and we’ve been getting some real cold snaps in Arkansas the past few years – we get a lot of questions from our customers about how to care for their vinyl wrap and make sure it stays looking its best. The good news is, we have some very simple tips for caring for your vehicle wrap in cold weather! So follow our advice and you can rest easy knowing your wrap will be ready to roll when the sun (finally!) comes back out. 


Don’t Scrape Ice Off Your Car

This can sound counterproductive to people, but hear us out. When the weather gets really cold, ice can accumulate on the surface of your car. But don’t reach for that scraper! While scrapers are a fast and easy solution for ice removal, they are NOT gentle on your car – and they’re especially hard on your vinyl wrap. 

Windshield wraps, in particular, are very vulnerable to damage from scrapers. With the proper care and maintenance, vinyl wraps should last between five and seven years. But think of your vinyl wrap as an extension of your car’s finish – just like paint wouldn’t take well to scratching and scraping, neither will your vehicle wrap. 

Also, your vinyl wrap will become more brittle in extreme cols, making it more likely to tear in the first place. So be gentle!


Cleaning Your Vehicle Wrap in Cold Weather

Windy, snowy, and rainy conditions create the perfect storm for a dirty vehicle wrap. We know the last thing you want to do in 30-degree weather is break out the hose, but keeping your car clean will extend the life of your wrap tremendously.  

Grit and grime can work their way into the vinyl and permanently fade or discolor it. And the longer you leave it dirty, the harder it will be to remove build-up and debris. And if it’s cold enough that the roads are being salted, you’ll want to be double sure to rinse your car off fairly frequently. The chemical salt they use to melt ice on the road is corrosive, not just for the wrap but for your car in general. 

Just be sure to use a non-abrasive cleaner and avoid harsh scrubbing – both can cause peeling and tearing.


Clear Snow Before It Freezes

To prevent snow from turning into ice on your vehicle, clear it off as soon and as often as you can. When snow is left on your car for too long (especially if it melts a little on a warm, just-driven car) it sticks to the vinyl material of your wrap, making it hard to clear away without potential damage to the wrap. Snow is much easier to brush off and remove before it’s had time to solidify and freeze.

It can be tempting to try and remove any frozen snow with warm water – warmth and water both melt ice right? – but don’t do it! Extreme temperature changes cause the glass to expand and contract too rapidly and often you’ll just end up with a broken windshield. 


Keep Covered

If it’s at all possible, it’s best to keep your vehicle in a warm, enclosed area during extreme cold. If you have a garage, a carport, or some other form of covered parking, this will protect your wrap from the harsh winter conditions. 

And when you can’t park in a covered space, try to park strategically. For instance, glance up at the trees around you and try to avoid parking under trees weighed down with snow. Heavy, icy branches are more likely to snap and fall onto your car – which would damage more than the wrap!  

Have you experienced any problems with your vehicle wrap this winter? If you have questions or need help fixing your wrap, GameTime Wraps of North Little Rock can help you out. Stop by anytime or give us a call at 501-771-9727. We can’t stop winter weather from happening, but we can help you avoid wrap damage caused by extreme cold and other winter weather problems.

Interested in a vinyl vehicle wrap? We can get you a full quote – fast!