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Are Ceramic Coatings Durable?

How does the durability of ceramic coatings compare to more conventional protective methods?

No one forgets the way their vehicle looked on the day they drove it off the lot. However, despite constant washing, waxing, and careful driving, your paint eventually starts looking a little tired. Scratches, scuffs, swirl marks, oxidation, UV damage, and chemical agents all assail your paint and make you long for the days of perfect gloss and shine.

When you consider all the things that your paint has to deal with on a daily basis, it’s no wonder that most drivers look for some way to add a layer of protection. Furthermore, it’s frustrating when you notice that immediately after a wash, contaminants like mud, dust, grime, water, and brake dust start sticking to your paint, ruining all your hard work.

What’s Wrong With Wax?

Wax has been the default method of automotive paint protection for decades. Although it requires significant labour, wax is simple to apply and provides a beautiful gloss while adding a sacrificial layer of protection.

The big problems with wax are its labour intensive application, poor longevity, and susceptibility to chemical damage.

A proper application of wax starts with a full by-hand car wash, then you need to strip the residual wax from the vehicle, and then you can get to applying a new layer. Once the vehicle is clean and stripped, you can begin the laborious task of applying and buffing off a new layer. Furthermore, the variety of wax that offers the best performance (carnauba paste wax) also involved the most elbow-grease to apply.

Wax only withstands mother nature’s assault for a month or so – two at best. As wax is relatively soft, daily driving will erode the protective layer, leaving your paint vulnerable. A strict maintenance schedule involving monthly waxes is required to get proper protection from automotive wax.

Wax has low chemical resistance (which is why you are able to remove it with household degreasers). Acids in common compounds like bird droppings, tree sap, acid rain, and industrial fallout will quickly eat through wax and then go to work on your paint.

Why Are Ceramic Coatings More Durable?

Ceramic coatings rely on nanotechnology to form an imperceptibly thin layer on your car. The resin in ceramic coatings forms a molecular bond with your paint’s existing clear coat, becoming part of the paint structure, rather than wax which sticks on top.

The hardness of ceramic coatings is what enables them to withstand the abuse associated with daily driving for YEARS. Due to their incredible hardness and slickness, ceramic coatings shrug off the abrasive agents that erode wax so quickly. In addition to protection from mechanical abrasion, the nanoparticles in ceramic coatings protect your paint against chemical damage and UV radiation. Check out more details on our services page right here.

Get the Best, Forget the Rest

An obvious drawback to ceramic coatings is the high up front cost. We encourage you to resist the temptation of cheaper DIY ceramic coatings. These products are usually not as advertised, and the formula necessarily prioritizes easy application above premium performance. These options are simply not worth the trouble. If the cost of high quality ceramic coatings, like those offered by EPIC, are too much, we recommend sticking with a regular waxing schedule, as that will provide you with superior performance to off-the-shelf DIY ceramic coatings.

For affordable, high quality, professionally installed ceramic coatings, Island Detail is your go-to shop. We have been helping Vancouver Island motorists take care of their vehicles for over 20 years, and are excited to be offering ceramic coatings with our partner, EPIC. To ask any questions or schedule an appointment with our detailing experts, simply give us a call.

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