It is likely that your car is one of your most valuable assets, which is why it is understandable to want to do everything you can to protect your car’s paint and glossy finish. While there is nothing quite like the look of a brand new/freshly painted car, over time this paint will begin to fade and deteriorate as it is exposed to the elements and hazards on the road. Not only can rocks and other debris scratch your paint, but even when your car is just sitting outside, it will have to withstand various threats such as acidic rain, bird droppings, and even the sun’s UV rays, all of which can take its toll on your car’s paint job over time.
While waxing your car regularly can go a long way in helping to protect your paint job, this constant maintenance may not be enough, and your paint job will still likely begin to show signs of aging over time. For superior, longer-lasting protection of your car’s factory paint job, you should consider having a ceramic coating or a paint protection film applied to protect your car from the elements. If you are unfamiliar with ceramic coatings and paint protection films (PPF), keep reading to learn more about what they are, how they differ, and how you will know which is right for your car.
What is a Paint Protection Film (PPF)?
Paint Protection Film (PPF) is a thin, clear, thermoplastic urethane film that can be applied to any painted surface on a vehicle. This film is self-healing and invisible to the naked eye, making it the perfect candidate to protect your car’s paint job from debris on the road. Since PPF is clear and malleable, it can help protect your car from chips and scratches without affecting your car’s look. Another major benefit of PPFs is that they can help to protect a car’s paint job from the sun. Over time, the sun’s UV rays can cause your car’s paint to fade and oxidize. However, a PPF helps act like sunscreen for your car by shielding your paint job from the sun, preventing this fading. While paint protection films have been around since the 1950s, recent advancements have made PPFs a popular choice amongst car owners looking to protect their cars from the elements.
The Benefits of Choosing a PPF
Ultimately, there are countless reasons to consider having a PPF added to your vehicle. These invisible films can help to protect your car’s paint job in numerous ways by:
- Protecting your car from chips and scratches caused by rocks and debris.
- Protecting your car’s paint from staining and etching caused by acidic contaminants.
- Preventing swirl marks that can occur during washing.
- Blocking the sun’s harmful UV rays.
- Protecting paint from hard water spots and mineral deposits.
Investing in a paint protection film can be extremely helpful in keeping your car’s paint job looking new for as long as possible.
What is a Ceramic Coating?
Alternatively, a ceramic coating is a liquid polymer that is applied to the exterior of your vehicle over the paint. Rather than being a film that sits on top of your car, this polymer actually bonds with your car’s factory paint, creating a hydrophobic layer that helps repel mud and water while providing a layer of protection against damage to your car’s paint. Ceramic coatings then closely resemble premium wax and can be seen as a semi-permanent or permanent wax alternative. However, as it bonds with your car’s paint job, it will not wash away or break down over time, and it will last years without needing to be reapplied rather than months. In addition to helping protect your car’s paint job, the hydrophobic nature of ceramic coatings means that your car will stay cleaner, longer, and your car will be easier to clean as dirt and debris will glide right off of your car.
The Benefits of Ceramic Coatings
Ceramic coatings not only help protect your paint and keep it looking pristine, but they will also make your car easier to maintain, and they can help make your car stand out by giving your car’s paint a vibrant look. Once bonded to your car, a ceramic coating will provide many benefits including:
- Keeping your car cleaner.
- Making it easier to clean your car.
- Protecting your car against acidic contaminants (such as bird poop and bug spatter).
- Providing protection against UV damage and oxidation.
- Provides minor resistance against chips and scratches.
Many ceramic coating enthusiasts also enjoy the look these coatings give to their cars. Ceramic coatings are known for making a car’s paint job look richer and glossier, making it stand out from other vehicles on the road.
What Are The Main Differences Between a Ceramic Coating and a PPF?
After learning about paint protection films and ceramic coatings, you have likely noticed similarities between the two. Both of these options are great for protecting your car’s paint job against the sun’s UV rays, and they can help to keep your car looking fresh by protecting it against chemical stains and minor chips and scratches; however, this is where the similarities end. Where PPFs excel is in their self-healing property. After debris hits a paint protection film, it will heal itself, providing superior protection against chips and damage than ceramic coatings. Additionally, paint protection films offer superior protection against water spots, mineral deposits, and swirl marks. However, what sets ceramic coatings apart are their hydrophobic properties, which can help to keep your car clean longer. Ceramic coatings are also easier to maintain than PPFs, and they last much longer. In fact, you may need to have a PPF replaced twice during the lifespan of a high-quality ceramic coating.
Which is Right For Me?
Given that there are significant differences between the type of protection provided by ceramic coatings and paint protection films, you may find yourself wondering which is the right option for your car. The good news is that you don’t have to choose! Having both a PPF and a ceramic coating added to your car will provide the best of both worlds by providing superior chip and scratch protection while also helping to keep your car clean and glossy for years to come. Car owners will oftentimes have a PPF applied to areas of their car that are most likely to be chipped or scratched while having the rest of their car covered in a ceramic coating, providing the ultimate protection.
Feel free to contact us to learn more about paint protection films, ceramic coatings, and how they can work together to provide superior protection for your car’s paint job.
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