There comes a time when the wrap must be removed or replaced for one reason or another. It is too old and it’s condition is terrible, or the vehicle is being sold, or you want to replace it with a new graphic due to, maybe, corporate rebranding. Questions that we often get asked:
- How long does the wrap last?
- How does the wrap vinyl come off?
- How can I extend the life of a wrap?
- What is the cost to remove the wrap vinyl?
If the vehicle wrap is in bad condition, it can actually have a negative impact on the company brand image so swift replacement is advised. Take the photo of the truck above. The material choice was poor and the owner did not clean or maintain the wrap vinyl, probably because they were not educated in wrap maintenance. Whatever the reasons, there are a few things that should be answered to improve your understanding of replacing and removing a wrap vinyl.
The first thing to know is wrap material is designed to be removed. The longer it is on the vehicle, the harder it will be to remove it. Over time, both the protective laminate and the vinyl itself will break down and deteriorate. With today’s vinyls, expect a life of 3 to 5 years. If your vehicle is washed frequently and garaged every night, the life expectancy can rise to 5 years. Most vehicles are not kept undercover over night, so do wash 2-3 times a month. Even using a California Duster every day can keep down the dirt.
A sign company that wraps vehicles often has the tools to remove any vinyl. It may be nothing more than applying heat with a heat gun and a scraper, but once the vinyl is off, the work is only half complete, The adhesive that the vinyl leaves behind is difficult to remove and special chemicals are required to remove it and restore the vehicle to its original condition. If the paint is the original oem paint, the vinyl adhesive will rarely damage the paint; however, if the wrap was installed onto panels that were repainted, maybe due to being involved in a previous accident, then the paint is open to risk of coming off; something you need to know ahead of time. The chemicals used to remove the vinyl require safety precautions and trained personnel.
Removing a vehicle wrap can take time, anything from a couple of hours to a three days. So expect to get charged an hourly rate by the wrap company. If your company has reason to replace the old wrap with a new one, allow time for the vehicle to be off the road, especially if it is a service vehicle. Wrap removal may take a day, which is as long as it takes to install a new full vehicle wrap.