Everything you need to know about ceramic coatings
During our day, we get a lot of enquiries about various coatings, with ceramic being one of the most sought after. We’ve put together some of our most commonly asked questions about ceramic coatings and what you need to know about them, so you can go about utilising them within your own contexts.
First of all, what is a ceramic coating?
Ever seen those glorious vehicles that gleam in the sunlight and catch your attention at the traffic lights? This is achieved by using a high-quality ceramic coating, otherwise referred to as ‘quartz’ or ‘glass’ coatings. It’s essentially a liquid polymer sealant that’s applied to the exterior paintwork of your car, adding an additional layer of protection.
Why ceramic over other alternatives?
When you invest in a car, it becomes an asset; maintaining value is often high on the agenda. Protecting your vehicle with this kind of product keeps the exterior from deteriorating too soon, and helps maintain the estimated resale price overall.
Cars with ceramic coatings applied are known for needing less maintenance, too, only requiring a refresh every now and then. This is because the sealant acts as a repellant, meaning dirt, brake dust and road tar don’t stick to your vehicle as readily, ultimately warding off the grime.
All vehicle owners will love that the coating not only has a glossy look but highlights the very best qualities of the original paint job, also bringing out that beautiful depth of colour.
How to apply it
For the coating process, it should always be applied by a highly skilled and certified professional (like our team) to ensure the finish is accurately completed. Initially, the paintwork is cleaned to rid the outside of the car from dirt, grime and any other contaminants. This preparation ensures the surface is smooth and enables the product to adhere correctly to the paintwork.
The whole process needs to take place in a controlled environment where the exterior surfaces are covered one panel at a time in a liquid form.
Our recommended maintenance process
To keep your vehicle looking its best, we recommend it’s decontaminated every 12 months. This removes any industrial fallout deposits, tree sap, road tar or iron that has accumulated over the year. For further protection, have a certified ceramic coater apply a sealant to enhance and refresh the initial application. If you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with the Liquid R team.
What options are on the market?
Not all ceramic coatings are created equal, with the principal differences being the amount of Si02 content. The products range from having as low as 5% Si02 with others up to as much as 70%. The most effective will be those with a higher percentage because overall because it’s the most durable.
A note about durability
The durability of the product is dependent on a variety of aspects, including the coating type, conditions in which the car is stored, and where it’s driven. Additionally, the key to retaining the look and for the coating to be at a premium is to engage in regular maintenance because it simply won’t look after itself, still needing care and attention for longevity.
Ceramic Pro is known to have a highly durable bond to the paintwork; however, the car needs to be well-maintained. Owners needn’t be concerned about strong car wash cleaning products washing away the Ceramic Pro because it’s resistant to chemicals and designed to withstand them. However, if you expose you are aggressive with washing brushes of use automatic car washes, the lifespan of the product is reduced. We recommend microfibre cloths as the best choice for cleaning your vehicle.
Machine polishing, cutting compounds or cut and polishes are abrasive and are likely to remove all of your hard work Further to this, failing to regularly wash your vehicle means the performance and durability of the product can be compromised.
What does a ceramic coating do?
You want to protect your car from the elements, and this kind of protection does this. As resilient a coating, they are designed to add a shield to your vehicle for shelter from:
- Surface scratching
- UV rays
- Dirt build-up
- Bird droppings
- Premature ageing
- Acid rain stains.
How to make your coating last
Like with anything you want to last for the long-run, carefully washing your car regularly with a pH-neutral shampoo or hydrophobic spray will keep your vehicle looking top-notch. When cleaning, we recommend never leaving it to air dry.
Are ceramic coatings a miracle product?
There is no one perfect product in the world, and there are drawbacks, but whether these are deal-breakers for you, only you can decide.
Like with many care treatment products, you may be promised “lifetime protection” or “no maintenance required.” Our advice is to beware of the fine print: in our experience, there has yet to be a product that meets 100% of all claims. Like with any product, if you don’t maintain it regularly, then it’s not possible to sustain a contaminant-free and gleaming look after several years.
Ceramic coatings vs. dealership applied sealants
Ceramic coatings are well-known for being more durable in the protection and appearance of your vehicle than dealership-applied sealants. Many of these products differ from a ceramic-based formulation because they sit on the surface of your car, while ceramic coatings create a new substrate by bonding to a thin layer of product directly to the paintwork. The bonding means that compared to traditional products, they are much hard to remove, move durable and looks glossier.
What to avoid after application
It’s best to steer clear of brush car washes once the Coating has been applied, along with wiping your car while it’s dry. To avoid this, always use a lubricant and a microfibre cloth for best results.
After applying the ceramic coating, it needs to cure for 24 hours before exposure to rain. If rain is forecasted, your car will need to be garaged overnight, unless you ask for Ceramic Pro Sport to be applied.