What is Ceramic Coating?
You may often hear them called by different names, ceramic coatings, nanotechnology, glass coatings, and quartz coatings. But generally speaking, they’re all the same. They’re long-term protection options. Before we talk about ceramic coating options. We’re going to get into why you even need to protect your vehicle’s paint in the first place. Your vehicle’s paint is made up of a primer layer, a base coat, or a color layer. And the last coat, which is a clear coat layer, the clear coat is what gives your vehicle paint that shines in depth. If you choose not to protect this layer, the exterior of a vehicle is going to start to deteriorate very quickly.
Your vehicle’s exposed to all kinds of elements, like UV rays from the sun, dirt, debris, and salt from the road, tree sap, pollen, bird droppings. All these things are going to damage fade and they’re going to cause your vehicle’s pain to be oxidized, leaving your car looking old and dingy. If you want to prevent damage to your vehicle’s paint and keep it looking showroom new, you have to use something to protect it from these elements.
Think of these protection options as sacrificial layers that will absorb the damage instead of your clear coat layer. Now, there are four main types of protection for your vehicle’s paint. You have Wax, polymer sealants, ceramic coatings, and paint protection film.
The first and most common protection that you’ve already probably heard of and know of is Wax. They are very easy to use. It’s wax on, wax off and it’s good protection for your vehicle’s paint. The problem with wax is that you have to reapply it every six to eight weeks to be effective. Wax sits on top of the paint and doesn’t form a very strong bond. They can easily be stripped off by detergents and because they have a low melting point, they can melt on a hot day, leaving your paint unprotected.
Better protection for your paint is a paint sealant. Paint sealants are synthetic polymers that bond better with your clear coat, making them more resistant to heat than Wax. They are just as easy to apply as wax, but they will last six to eight months instead of weeks. Wax and paint ceilings can both be stripped off the car if you use a harsh chemical to wash it.
The newest protection technology is ceramic coating. They usually contain silica dioxide, which is an incredible hard-like glass polymer. A bit more skill is required to prepare the paint and apply them. But the result is a thick glass-like layer that protects your vehicle’s paint. This thickness gives it an incredible deep gloss. The hardness gives you long-lasting durability. And unlike waxes and sealants, they are resistant to detergents and chemicals.
When properly maintained ceramic coatings will last several years. Ceramic coatings are unique because they have a very low slip angle where water rolls off any surface that is not perfectly level. The car stays clean for longer. It also makes cleaning the vehicle much easier and safer. Dirt has a hard time sticking around because of the hardness of the coating. It reduces the fine scratches and swirls caused by washing.
Paint protection film, which I will get into in a different blog. PPF and ceramic coating are two different things. The Paint Protection Film is a polyurethane film that is designed to absorb damage. It provides physical protection from small impacts and road debris. Ceramic coatings will not prevent rock chips, but they protect you, just like a wax or paint sealant would.
So, in short, a ceramic coating will protect your car just like a wax or a paint sealant, but a ceramic coating is much thicker, more durable, better scratch resistance and chemical resistance. They’re very hydrophobic, which will keep the car cleaner for longer and they’re going to last year instead of weeks. So now that you have a better idea of a ceramic coating is, are you and your car right for a ceramic coating?
IS CERAMIC COATING RIGHT FOR ME?
Let’s find out if a ceramic coating is right for you. All right, let’s face it, not everybody is a car enthusiast. Some people’s cars are just there for transportation. They don’t care what kind of car they have. They just want something to get them from point A to point B. The chances are if you are reading this, you are a car person, and even if you’re not a car person, there’s plenty of reasons to get a ceramic coating on your vehicle.
All right. Now let’s get into what type of person does get a ceramic coating.
If you have a passion for cars and you want peace of mind knowing that your investment is protected.
If you stand in the garage for hours just staring at your car, you should get a coating. Ceramic coatings also have an incredible shine if you walk away from your car backward after you park it just to enjoy that shine.
you enjoy that clean car, you may also be right for ceramic coating.
for the convenience factor. If your weekends are full and you don’t have the time to wash and wax your car, then a coating may be right for you. If you do like washing your car, then having a coating on the vehicle is going to make this task so much easier and so much more enjoyable.
The durability factor, if you have a new car, and especially if you have a dark-colored car and you want to keep it looking new, then consider a coating.
A coating is much more durable than any kind of wax or paint sealant. Coatings are scratch-resistant to a degree. They will help reduce the fine scratches and swirls. But please don’t confuse this with scratch proof. Having a ceramic coating on your vehicle will help reduce the number of swirls that can come with washing, but only if you’re practicing the correct washing procedures. One bad wash can ruin all the hard work and prep that was put into coating your vehicle.
So, if you’re looking for that shine, the deep candy-like gloss, if you want to stand out at the car shows, if you want to feel like you’re driving a new car five years down the road, then you should consider getting a coating. Not only is a coating far better protection than any wax or sealant, but if you look at the average cost versus taking your car somewhere and getting it waxed every few months down the line, a couple of years, your time and money ahead.
If you think about it, if you spend a few hundred dollars every three months taking your car to get waxed over three years, that adds up to twelve hundred dollars plus the time you have to spend taking your car to and from a detail shop. Why not spend the same amount of money on a coating that will be more durable, longer-lasting, shinier, and it’s going to save you from going to a detail shop every three months? And if you’ve done any research into coatings, you know, there’s a lot of options out there. It can be very confusing to know what coating is right for you. But don’t worry, I will guide you on how to choose the right coating for your vehicle.
HOW TO CHOOSE CERAMIC COATING?
Demand for ceramic coatings has exploded in the last couple of years and many different brands have been popping up on the market. There are a lot of very good coatings on the market, but we’ve chosen to carry XPEL Fusion Plus Ceramic Coating. We think XPEL Fusion Plus Ceramic Coating is the best. The most important thing you can do when choosing a coating is found the right installer. It is similar to a good quality paint job, it’s not just about the quality of the paint, but it’s the skill level and the execution of the job that’s going to determine the result.
Anyone can apply a coating. You can buy a consumer-grade coating online, watch a couple of YouTube videos and you’ll have a coated car. But it might not look great and it might not last. Properly prepping the vehicle before you apply the ceramic coating is going to determine the quality of the results. Most of the time and money spent on a coating job is labored to prepare the paint for protection. If you don’t have the tools or the skill to do the proper paint correction before the coating, it’s kind of like applying new paint on a dirty wall. What’s the point? Right.
Newer cars can sometimes get away with very minimal corrections, but if you want that deep, wet gloss, you’re going to have to do some paint correction to correct the marring, the love marks, or the scratches before it gets coated. When choosing a coating, it’s important to know that, generally speaking, all the coatings are going to protect your vehicle in the same way. All coatings are durable, they’re shiny, and they’re going to last a whole lot longer than any wax or sealant. Coatings are going to vary on their thickness, there’s slickness, durability, longevity, and gloss. Generally speaking, there are only two types of coatings. You have premium coatings and then you’re entry-level coating.
Premium coatings are thick and often include multiple steps to cure it into a hard, thick layer. These provide the best durability. Entry-level coatings you can buy online and are typically the single-level application. They are much easier to apply, but they don’t cure so hard. So, you don’t get that deep gloss and durability associated with the coating. So, when you call into our shops, we’re going to ask you a series of questions to determine what coating is going to be right for you.
One of the first questions we ask is how long you’re going to be keeping the car. If it’s three years or less, then you probably want to go with entry-level coating. On the other hand, if you just want sensible protection to save time and a little bit of money, but don’t obsess over the little stuff, then go with entry-level coating. Unless you want the durability and the performance that the premium coatings offer, then you might worth considering a premium coating.
The second question we’re going to ask is, what are your expectations for the appearance of the car? If you love your car, if you walk away from it backward and you tend to stare at the shine when no one’s watching, then XPEL Fusion Plus is probably what you want to go with. XPEL Fusion Plus is an industry leader in Premium Coating.
XPEL Fusion Plus coating has a very low water contact angle, meaning the water forms a nice tight bead and can barely stay in the vehicle. The coating has a very sharp diamond-like gloss to it, and it’s the enthusiast coating of choice. This coating has the ultimate in slickness. Plus, its durability is backed by a five years glossy warranty.
There are plenty of really good detailers out there using other coatings. Do some research, find somebody with a good reputation and they’re going to steer you in the right directions.