Paint Protection Film vs. Ceramic Coating
You want to keep your vehicle looking as good as the day you bought it, right? So you wash it regularly and you apply a new coat of wax every couple of months. But no matter how hard you try, you can't keep the rock chips and scratches from destroying your paint. What if there was a product that could change this narrative? A product that would offer superior protection from damage AND make your car easier to wash. Good news! There is. It's called Paint Protection Film (PPF) and it could add substantial value to your vehicle.
SO...PPF OR A CERAMIC COATING?
What is the truth about PPF and ceramic coatings? What are their benefits? What are their limitations? What is the best option for your vehicle? In this blog, we will explain the process of each service and provide in-depth information about how the products work.
WHAT IS A CERAMIC COATING?
A ceramic coating is a liquid polymer that is applied by hand to the various surfaces of a vehicle. The coating chemically bonds with the vehicle's paint, creating a semi-permanent layer of protection. In short, a ceramic coating is a superior wax alternative since it does not degrade over the span of a few weeks. Ceramic coatings create a semi-permanent (or permanent) bond with your vehicle's paint - meaning that it does not wash away and does not require repeated application every couple of months.
WHAT IS PPF?
PPF is a clear film that is applied to the painted surfaces of a car in order to protect the paint from rock chips, scratches, and other types of damage. PPF adheres to your vehicle's paint to create a permanent protective layer that absorbs most impacts. It acts as a barrier between the paint and the elements, protecting the paint from scratches, chips, and staining.
If you're worried about keeping your paint looking perfect, then paint protection film is a perfect option. The film will protect the paint from damage, making it easier to keep your car looking new.
WHAT DOES A CERAMIC COATING DO?
The cut-and-dry of a ceramic coating is that it adds an additional layer of protection to your vehicle and helps keep it looking brand new with minimal maintenance. That means your vehicle will be easier to clean and stay cleaner longer! Here are the main benefits of a ceramic coating:
PROTECTION FROM UV DAMAGE AND OXIDATION
When a vehicle is exposed to the sun for extended periods of time, the paint will begin to oxidize. This results in dull and faded paint that can only be brought back to life with a polish. Ceramic coatings protect the paint from UV rays thus reducing the amount of oxidation.
PROTECTION FROM CHEMICAL STAINS AND ETCHING
Another danger your vehicle faces is chemical staining from naturally acidic contaminants (for example, bird droppings and bug splatter). Since the ceramic coating creates a chemically resistant surface, it can keep these contaminants from eating away your vehicle's paint. The result is that your vehicle will be more resistant to this etching, provided that the contaminant is removed in a timely manner. NOTE: Bird droppings and bug splatter can etch into the ceramic coating. However, with minimal effort, these problem areas can be washed away to prevent damage to the coating.
That segues us into the next main benefit of a ceramic coating! EASE OF CLEANING One of the most significant features of a ceramic coating is that it is hydrophobic. Which is really just a fancy, technical way of saying that it repels water and debris. Just like every other surface, your vehicle's paint has pores. The ceramic coating chemically bonds to the paint and fills these pores, making a completely smooth surface that water and debris can't stick to. This means that dirt and grime will have a more difficult time bonding to your vehicle's paint. When you wash your vehicle, the contaminants can be removed with less effort! ENHANCED SHINE
If you want your vehicle to really POP, you definitely want a ceramic coating. A professional-grade ceramic coating (like the ones we use here at Extensive Detailing) will enhance the gloss of your vehicle, adding depth and clarity to your paint.
As we previously mentioned, a ceramic coating will add tremendous value to your vehicle. At Extensive Detailing, we are the leading installers for ceramic coatings in Mid-Missouri. If you would like to learn more or schedule an appointment, click here. But be sure to keep reading to learn about the limitations of ceramic coatings.
WHAT DOESN'T A CERAMIC COATING DO?
For the reasons listed above, a ceramic coating preserves your vehicle and reduces the amount of regular maintenance your vehicle needs. So, if you decide to have a ceramic coating applied you will be adding value to your vehicle.
However, despite the claims of some manufacturers and detailers, a ceramic coating is not bulletproof. It isn't some miraculous "super-cure" product that will solve each and every problem for your vehicle. It is important to know the limitations of a ceramic coating before purchasing.
ELIMINATE DEEP SCRATCHES OR ROCK CHIPS
The scratch resistance of a ceramic coating is often widely exaggerated. Although some small scratches and swirl marks can be prevented by a ceramic coating, a coated vehicle will not be 100% resistant to rock chips or deep scratches. Improper car washing techniques or brush-style tunnel washes will still create swirl marks on your vehicle. However, touchless washes are completely fine and will get your vehicle cleaner than if it wasn't coated. It is important to note that a ceramic coating is not a substitute for more serious scratch and chip protection (such as Paint Protection Film) nor does it completely eliminate the need to wash your vehicle properly to avoid swirl marks.
ELIMINATE THE RISK OF WATER SPOTTING
A typical drop of water contains a certain amount of dirt and minerals. When water dries on your vehicle's surface, those minerals are left behind causing visible spots. Many detailers and manufacturers will assume that the hydrophobic effect of a ceramic coating will eliminate water spotting. While it is true that the majority of the water will be repelled from your vehicle, water droplets will still bead and remain on the vehicle. This creates the opportunity for water spots unless dried properly.
ELIMINATE THE NEED TO WASH YOUR VEHICLE
Notice that we said a ceramic coating will keep your vehicle looking brand new with minimal maintenance, not no maintenance. If you drive your car, it will get dirty. Even with a ceramic coating, you will still need to wash your vehicle in order to maintain the shine. However, the benefit of a ceramic coating is that the cleaning process will be EASIER. Having a ceramic coating also means that you will not need to wax your vehicle every couple of months - which eliminates a significant portion of maintaining your vehicle's exterior. So a ceramic coating doesn't make your vehicle maintenance-free, but it does mean that you will be able to maintain better results with less effort.
PPF FOR THE WIN!
In the previous section, we outlined the limitations of a ceramic coating. This is where PPF swoops in to save the day! There are many benefits to using paint protection film, including: 1. Protection from the elements: Paint protection film helps protect your car's paint from the sun's UV rays, as well as from rain, road salt, and other elements.
2. Protection from debris: Paint protection film can help protect your car's paint from road debris, bugs, and other types of contamination. 3. Enhanced durability: Paint protection film can make your car's paint job more resistant to fading, rock chipping, and other types of wear and tear.
4. Improved appearance: Paint protection film gives your car's paint a glossy, showroom-quality appearance.
5. Easy to maintain: Paint protection film is easy to clean and maintain and does not require special care or attention.
WHAT SETS US APART
All of our PPF comes standard with a ceramic coating. We believe in putting our client's needs first. We want our clients to get the most bang for their buck and get the benefit of both products. At no extra charge to you, we will include a ceramic coating on any PPF that is applied to your vehicle. If you are interested in preserving the look and quality of your vehicle's paint, you can request a quote in about 30 seconds! We will answer any questions you may have about PPF and ceramic coatings. We did not build our business on extravagant promises or pushing a product on you. We are here to help you make the right decision for your needs. We would love to discuss your specific situation and set up a plan for maintaining your vehicle's beautiful shine.