Ceramic Coatings: Worth the ‘Hype’?
What is ceramic coating?
In layman’s terms, ceramic coating basically involves adding an extra protective layer of skin onto your car. The process involves the use of nanotechnology to coat your car with tiny particles that form a very thin layer that cannot be seen by the naked eye. These minute particles seal the pores of your car’s surface making it water-repellent, resistant to UV radiation, chemicals, scratches, extreme heat or even graffiti.
Is It Worth the $?
If you have a particular interest in cars, you have definitely heard the buzz about ceramic coating. However, you may not necessarily understand what this is and not know whether it is for you or not. Well, luckily for you, you have come to the #1 place for information nano-ceramics, paint protection, and a ton of other topics related to mobile auto detailing in Santa Rosa.
The videos floating around on the internet promoting ceramic coating for cars are incredible. These videos depict near-perfect conditions and serve to illustrate the necessity for professional application in order to attain similar results. That in mind, there is quite a bit of misinformation being passed around regarding ceramic paint protection. Our hope is that after reading this article, you will be able to decide whether or not ceramic coating is one of the paint protection services you should seek when looking for car detailing in Santa Rosa.
NANO-CERAMIC COATINGS: BACKGROUND
Most products come in a small bottle of approximately 30-50 mL. The liquid inside is colorless with a faint solvent- like smell. Numerous brands are available on the market: Gtechniq, Cquartz, and opti-coat to name a few. Only a small amount of the liquid is required (about 30ml) to apply one single coat on an average-sized sedan. This sacrificial layer bonds with the surface of the vehicle and does not wash out, and actually lasts years.
For some, cars are not just a means of getting from place to place. Locally, this is evidenced by the number of companies offering mobile auto detailing in Santa Rosa CA. Car enthusiasts not only want their cars to function optimally but want them to look as amazing as they did the first time they drove them off the dealer’s lot. However, as much as you may put a lot of effort into maintaining and washing your car, chips, scratches, and stains start to show up more and more on your car’s exterior and the paint becomes faded and dull due to the sun.
From the moment it leaves the showroom floor, your car’s paint is under constant attack. From salt, acid rain, and stone chips, to brake dust, accidental scratches, and insects, your car’s paint takes a serious beating. Washing your car regularly becomes time-consuming and monotonous. Also, automatic car washes scratch your car’s surface and the chemicals used are often too harsh. Many decide to wax their car; while this may add a small amount of protection, this option will last a few months at best.
WHO INSTALLS CERAMIC COATINGS?
Ceramic coating has been available on the market for several years. However, due to its prohibitive costs, it’s only been accessible to owners of high-end luxury vehicles. These days, if you walk into a shop offering top auto detailing Santa Rosa, CA, you’ll probably find the service being offered. While we always recommend professional application, some may choose to purchase a DIY consumer kit.
- Professional Application – Professional car detailing in Santa Rosa can include paint correction, which is necessary for proper pre-application paint prep, as well as one or two coats of the nano paint protection. In the Bay Area, a detail package like this will set you back anywhere from $500 -$3000, depending on installer, product, and how many coats your vehicle requires. The process is usually carried out by a trained and certified professional. The prep work, application time, and particular product used are what makes the cost relatively high. Ceramic coating for your car will take anywhere from 2-5 days depending on the size of your vehicle, the condition of your paint and the package you select, although the majority of this time is reserved for curing of the coating, not labor.
- DIY kits – For the average car owner, getting professional ceramic coating done is rather expensive. Thus the emergence of DIY kits for those not really concerned about having their cars contently showroom-ready but rather for the more functional benefits of the process. However, the durability of these ceramic coating kits varies immensely and several knock-offs are in the market. Also, the quality of work is highly dependent on the expertise of the person doing the job, which many times are just an amateur. The process is very simple but not every company offering the product gives proper guidance.
BENEFITS OF NANO CERAMIC COATING
- Hydrophobic properties – Perhaps the most visually noticeable effect of these coatings, hydrophobicity is a term used to describe the product’s aversion to water. The water-repellent quality of ceramic coating will cause water to bead up on your car’s surface and roll off in sheets, carrying most of the grime, dirt, and mud that usually accumulates on your paint. This happens instantaneously and any residue left on the car can be removed with ease
- Protection against UV damage, rust, and oxidation- oxidation due to exposure to UV rays from the sun cause your car’s paint to start to fade and look dull. Adding ceramic coating to your car in Santa Rosa dramatically reduces the incidence of oxidation. This effect is more noticeable on gel-coated vehicles such as RVs and boats.
- Better durability – A good DIY solution will last about 3-5 years while a professional job can last even longer. Factory clear coat begins to degrade starting around 5 years post-application. Ceramic coating makes your car’s paint job last several years without looking the least bit beaten. This is because it bonds with the molecular structure of your car’s paint and is not affected by external forces.
MYTHS ABOUT NANO COATING
Yes, getting a ceramic coating on your car is beneficial and protective, but it will not make it bulletproof.
- In our experience, (in terms of scratching), the protective benefit of many products has been greatly exaggerated. Minor marring to the surface may be negated, but nothing can prevent against major scratch damage.
- Ceramic Coating does not require maintenance – It cuts down the amount of effort and materials needed to wash, but maintenance is still required.
- The coating is permanent – Ceramic coatings usually last about two to three years. Assuming perfect conditions, the best products may last upwards of five to seven years.
- They are easily applied – While we do admit that the actual application may be relatively simple, it takes tons of practice to perfect the necessary technique used in application of these coatings. Prep work including polishing, compounding, and cleaning of the surface is absolutely necessary to achieve a durable coating and this skill set is typically out of the realm of the average DIYer .
With this information, you should be able to decide if a ceramic coating is for you & your vehicle; perhaps another paint protection option may be the best fit. Whichever option you choose, SudStud Mobile Detailing is guaranteed to have a paint protection package to fit whatever it is you have in mind for your vehicle.