How To Extend The Life of Your Ceramic Coating
The question is often asked but there is never a great explanation. Don't worry we are here to help.
First we must review what a ceramic coating does. A ceramic coating protects the different surfaces of your vehicle by creating in simple terms another clear coat. When the contents of the ceramic coating harden/cure they turn into a crystal like material. This happens on the surface of the vehicle as well but since its a super thin layer our eyes can only see the enhanced gloss this creates. On top of the gloss it provides it offers enhanced protection against the environmental elements we encounter every day. Protecting your clear coat from the acidic rain, salt, UV rays, snow, or whatever else. It also helps protect your clear coat from light scratches as it creates a barrier between it and the clear coat which protects yours paint.
Ceramic coatings have been the latest craze to hit the automotive car industry as they offer the greatest protection and gloss enhancing capabilities. These coatings contains a few key ingredients and every brand of coating has their own formula, however, the main key ingredient in all of them is Sio2 or Silica Dioxide. This is also the main ingredient in glass and is often why ceramic coatings are referred to as "glass coatings". However, just because its a stronger protection element for your vehicle it is important to note that caring for it properly enhances the durability and life of the coating.
Many coatings are chemical resistant, however, it helps to use a soap infused with silica content as it will rejuvenate the hydrophobic properties of the ceramic coating. There are a few options and they are all preferential to the user, however we like the following as they have proven themselves to work well. There is the CarPro Hydrofoam, also we like Americana Global Ceramic Aftercare Soap, and there is also HydroSilex Silica Soap. These all have a bit of the same key ingredient that is found in the ceramic coatings. Because of that, it helps extend the life of the coating, reinvigorates it, and offers the same enhanced protection properties as a coating.
After you have washed the vehicle and dried it. It is always best to use a silica topper spray. There are several options for this and even if your vehicle isn't protected with a ceramic coating they can offer up to 6 months of surface protection by themselves. These sprays just like the soap contain Sio2 which will again enhance the durability and life of the coating. However, the content is slightly stronger than in the soap and it will do more than just using a soap by itself would to protect the surface. There are again a few options and some of our favorites are CarPro Reload, HydroSilex Recharge, or Gtechniq C2v3. These all offer great properties to help extend the life of your coating on any surface. Which you chose may depend on brand preference or your own research in which people prefer. However, using one is crucial in ensuring you get the maximum life out of your coating.
Life Beyond Application
These are just a few key ways to ensure your extending the life of the ceramic coating you took the time and money to have installed. There are of course a few other options such as topper coatings which can be used to add another layer of protection on a yearly basis. This is up to you. However, on your own and at home per your normal wash routine, adding these steps will help ensure you are doing all you can to keep that coating fresh. Remember to do a proper wash process and keep the surface as slick as possible as abrasion is the number one enemy to any coating.