Ceramic Treatment: Avoid these 9 Common Mistakes
Many questions from readers on concerns encountered before, during, or after the application of a ceramic treatment.
Sometimes the error is easily recoverable, sometimes more complicated. Poor preparation and application of a ceramic treatment can be seen and therefore needs to be documented, practiced, and scrupulously followed the steps in the instructions for top results!
In this article, we will take a look at the most common mistakes made when applying a ceramic coating.
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Most common mistakes when applying ceramic
Following the advice of applications of the brands available on or with the products is essential!
We remember the protection of Meguiar's Hybrid Ceramic Wax, which many users criticized for the ease of application and the vast majority of which had not read the brand's instructions, namely to apply a layer of foundation, then a sacrificial layer.
Here are some of the most common mistakes made:
- Temperature: the products indicate the minimum temperature for installing a ceramic. Below this, you might encounter drying problems. In addition, if the drying time is prolonged too long, the ceramic will be rendered useless.
- Environment: If you lay ceramic in a very (too) humid environment, a common mistake, airborne condensation, slows down the drying process, which often results in an oily-looking finish.
- Too much product applied: Another common mistake is that excessive product application leads to a greasy appearance, which does not harden properly.
- Exposure to moisture: Premature exposure to moisture (rain, for example) destroys a ceramic coating faster than you might think. Precipitation, dew, fog, or testing a ceramic's hydrophobic properties before it has fully cured can compromise the quality of the ceramic.
- Preparation: Skipping the crucial stages of the preparation work or taking shortcuts before applying a layer of ceramic will cause all kinds of diseases. These are basic maintenance tips, but unfortunately not always followed.
- Law of layering: The law of layering or stacking is to apply the most durable product first. Remember that you can always put natural or synthetic wax on a ceramic, but you should not put ceramic on natural or synthetic wax.
- An application under the sun's rays: applying a ceramic under direct sunlight destroys all your installation efforts. Always allow the first 4 to 5 hours of hardening undercover, in the shade, or inside a room and not in the sun.
- Application on a hot surface: this is also something to be avoided completely. Often people apply the ceramic product after driving the vehicle in one location, which is a big mistake, or apply the product to a vehicle that has had time to heat up in the sun.
- Cure time: the "cure" or cure time is indicated by all manufacturers. For example, you will have to wait two weeks before exposing a vehicle to water or 48 hours minimum. Reduce the curing time and take the risk of lower performance.
To avoid all of these common mistakes, read the instructions for your products.
Consequences of the application of ceramic on a vehicle
A ceramic protects a vehicle from all the escapades of Mother Nature, better than a wax or a paint sealant.
Badly applied, ceramic causes problems, the most common of which are:
- High spots
- Oily finish
- Grainy texture
- Bad coverage
The good thing is that no ceramic can damage a car's paintwork.
When it comes to streaking, direct sunlight, and using too much, IPA is the most common mistake seen. Excessive use of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) on a surface after wiping or not using the correct mixing ratio will result in fairly large streaks, so pay attention.
If you are in control of your environment, use the right supplies, you should be well rewarded for your work with ceramic protection that will last for years.
If you ignore the notices, the warnings and go head-to-head, you're going to have problems. I prefer a good wax or a good sealer in this case.
Tips for applying ceramic products
The first thing you need to think about is the environment in which the ceramic will be applied and the weather conditions.
Can the whole process be done outdoors? Sure! But since you tend to have much less control over foreign influences that may come into contact with the vehicle's exterior, the risk of having to re-clean the vehicle several times is greater if you are working outside. So, to make sure that the coated vehicle gets the love it deserves, do all your work indoors, undercover, in a garage, for example.
As explained above, check the temperature of your working environment. If it is too cold, postpone the installation, otherwise, the coating will not harden. Also, prefer a humidity level that does not exceed 70%.
On the other hand, there is no limit if the temperature is high concerning the process of applying the ceramic. Just note that high temperatures force you to work on smaller sections at a time to prevent the product from drying too quickly between application and wiping off. On the positive side, even if it is 37 ° C, you can apply a ceramic (read your instructions anyway).
Aside from inclement weather, apply small amounts in smooth, even strokes, then allow the product to harden before wiping off excess surface with a microfiber towel to avoid streaking. Apply too much product coarsely or carelessly, and you will have to redo this area. If you wipe it off too soon, you'll remove the partially dry liquid ceramic and come back to square one.
Applying ceramic properly to a car will protect the car for years to come, so take the time to do it right.
Finally, if you don't have an indoor shelter, look for one outside and watch the weather forecast. Ideally, have a garage for two days.