How can you protect your car or truck from winter paint damage? We take pride in a beautiful paint job. You can always tell a well-cared-for car because it gleams every time you shake off the road dust. It’s true that the occasional piece of road gravel may scratch the fender or mar your perfect paint, that’s life. But in the winter, the risk of paint damage increases tenfold.
Winter poses some serious dangers to a pristine paint job, and even mild existing scratches can make it worse. When the roads are covered in corrosive salt crystals and snow can settle on your car in under an hour of parking outdoors, many drivers formulate a plan to keep their paint safe in the winter months. Wax doesn’t stay and coatings are both toxic and a material-matching hassle. We’ve found that, in the long run, the most beautiful, protective, and practical answer is PPF, Paint Protective Film, for protecting your car’s paint in the winter.
After all, that’s what it was designed for. But don’t just take our word for it. Let’s dive into the everyday benefits of PPF in protecting your vehicle’s paint job in the winter.
The Winter Risks to Your Paint Job
Just how bad is the winter on vehicle paint? If you haven’t already studied this closely, there are some serious problems with winter and paint integrity.
- Salt and Sand on Winter Roads
- Road Damage Leads to Loose Gravel
- Moisture Permeation into Paint Scratches
- Extremely Low Temperatures
- Sleet and Hail Stones
De-icing agents are corrosive by nature. By coating your car in the winter, this slowly eats away at your paint and makes existing damage worse. But the loose gravel and hailstones pose a real danger, and both are especially common in stormy winters. Even softly piling snow can be a risk as temperature plunges make paint brittle and snow piles can allow moisture to permeate into existing cracks.
In other words, winter has always been bad news for pristine vehicle paint.
1) Protects the Paint from De-Icing Agents
The biggest issue is salt and sand on the winter roads. While these are essential for safe tire traction, the particles are constantly being flung onto your bumpers and from the car ahead of you. Not only are the particles sharp enough to scratch, but a light coating of salt can slowly corrode just about anything. Including your paint.
PPF provides a thin yet durable layer of invisible protection that is essential in keeping corrosive de-icing agents from ever touching your paint – or even your fender finish. The film coats your entire vehicle which means no salt damage all winter long.
2) Prevents Scratches and Pocks from Loose Gravel
Everyone knows that winter means road damage. The plunging temperature and excessive precipitation are enough to wear away any asphalt. In snowy regions, salt over the years has also done it’s corrosive work – which means more loose gravel in winter than most other times of year. Loose gravel is the primary source of tiny pock-mark scratches in your paint that can lead to further damage over time.
Paint Protection Film is great against gravel. It’s slightly flexible instead of brittle because it is a film. This makes it easy to ‘bounce’ gravel right off your car’s surface without that annoying scratch or paint crater.
3) Protects from Snowy Moisture Permeation Into Existing Scratches
When you do have a few gravel chips already in your paint, snow becomes the enemy of longevity. Moisture from snow that piles onto your car in the winter can seep into tiny flaws in your paint. This can lift the paint further or expose metal car frames to rust. The good news is that moisture is even easier to repel than salt, so a PPF-coated car is already perfectly protected from moisture permeation no matter how long it stays buried under a snow-drift during bad weather.
4) First Line of Defense Against Hailstones
For drivers in stormy regions, hail is a real concern during the winter – especially around early and late winter when the season is changing. Hail, those little balls of ice that fall from the sky, can ruin an entire car lot. So it’s no surprise that your paint job will take damage if your car is exposed to those flying chunks of ice.
Paint Protection Film is great at repelling hail, just as it protects your car from flying gravel. Hail is, essentially, ice-gravel from the sky and the risk to your paint is similar. The only difference is that when hail is flying, your car can be hit hundreds to thousands of times, where flying gravel – at worst – damages your paint only a few times a day. With PPF, you can keep the hail off, even if you have to commute in especially bad weather.
5) Insulation From Extreme Cold
In fact, PPF can even help protect your vehicle from those temperature plunges into the sub-zero zone. Most finishes don’t like extreme cold and can become more brittle when the temperature drops – especially if it drops suddenly. PPF provides a locked-on layer of flexible protection that lightly insulates your paint and holds it in place to prevent any unwanted reaction to extreme cold in your region.
6) Good for the Environment
Did you know that PPF is also the most environmental choice? Spray-on and paint-on protective finishes involve solvents that are released into the air or wash down the drain, and you have to re-apply on a fairly regular basis to get consistent winter paint protection. Paint Protection Film goes on once and requires no chemical solvents. It can go on every surface and finish of your car’s exterior, so there’s no need to use more than one product and it lasts much longer than any chemically applied finish coating.
7) Last Long Past One Winter
How long does PPF last, when applied for winter paint protection? It’s a lot longer than one winter! The average lifespan for quality, well-applied PPF is 5-7 years. Applying Paint Protection Film on your vehicle this winter will keep your paint pristine for five additional winters (and every season in between) before you even need to think about another type of paint protection.
Want to keep your paint beautiful and scratch-free this winter? Want to protect your finish from salt corrosion on icy roads? Contact us today to explore PPF application for your vehicle. Here at Elite Window Tint, we understand vehicle films and our expertise hardly stops at windows. Let us help you find the best paint protection film for your vehicle and get you coat-protected for the next five-plus years. We look forward to working with you.
- Car Wash vs Car Detailing: What’s the Difference? - April 19, 2022
- “Self-Healing” Paint Protection Films: Everything You Need to Know - March 17, 2022
- The 8 Benefits of Paint Protection Film (PPF) in the Winter - December 13, 2021