The next time you’re driving down the highway, take a beat to see how many wrapped vehicles are moving past you. It’s a surprising amount.
Due to their affordability combined with visibility, vinyl wraps are a great way to mark municipal vehicles or promote your company. All this is accomplished with a giant vinyl sticker printed off and applied directly to the vehicle. But what happens if you rip a hole in your wrap or otherwise damage it? Can you repair it, or do you need to completely replace your wrap?
Don’t worry if you accidentally slice a hole in your wrap or if someone rear ends you and damages your design – you can easily repair a damaged wrap. A vinyl wrap is essentially a giant sticker so when part of that sticker becomes damaged, you can repair it by replacing the damaged area with more vinyl sticker.
It’s a bit more complicated than that but knowing how to take care of your wrap is important if you don’t want to drive around with a busted design that makes your company look bad. Let’s find out how to repair a vinyl wrap to make it look as good as the day it was applied.
How to Repair a Vinyl Wrap
Can You Do a DIY Wrap Repair?
Unless you have your original design file, specialized design software, and a multi-thousand dollar large-format printer, you can’t do a DIY wrap repair yourself. This is one instance where you have no choice but to leave the repair to the professionals.
How Do Vinyl Companies Repair Wraps?
The company that previously wrapped your vehicle should have the wrap’s design on file and ready for repairs. If you have moved ask your original wrap company if they can send the file to a reputable vinyl wrap company in your local area. Once you’ve got the file, here’s how vinyl companies fix a wrap.
The Perfect Fit – Your wrap company has the master file of your entire wrap design, but they can print as much or as little of that design as they need. A vinyl technician will inspect the damage, find the area that needs replacement, and print off that selected area. After a quick cleaning for preparation, the technician will use a heat source like a blow torch and specialized plastic razors to re-apply the design over the damaged area.
Managing Color – Because the repaired portion of your wrap is fresh off the printer and the rest of your wrap has been exposed to sun and wind for weeks or months, won’t there be a difference in color? A repair wouldn’t look great if it’s bolder and brighter than the rest of your wrap but luckily your wrap installer has color matching technology.
During a wrap repair the technician will match both the scale and color of the area to be repaired for a flawless match. Once the technician is done it’ll be difficult to tell your wrap had even been damaged.
How Much Does It Cost to Repair Vinyl Wrap?
The cost of your wrap repair depends on your original wrap installer, the type of vinyl, the extent of the damage, and how much vinyl needs to be printed. Any reputable wrap company should be able to give you a cost estimate before repairing your wrap. The reason for the damage might also be covered by the installer or manufacturers warranty, so be sure to ask.
Does Insurance Cover Damaged Wraps?
Most major insurance carriers will cover at least the partial cost of replacing a damaged wrap. Before you install a wrap it’s important to talk to your insurance agent to find out if the wrap is covered, the extent of coverage, and what type of deductible you might be expected to pay for a damaged wrap claim.
Care and Maintenance Tips for Vinyl Wraps
Accidents happen. Other than leaving your wrapped vehicle in the garage, there’s not much you can do to prevent damage, but there are ways to ward it off. The best thing you can do for your vinyl wrap? Wash it.
Vinyl is not metal and can fade or become damaged when dirt, dust, and other residue is left sitting on it for long periods of time. The more you wash your wrapped vehicle, the fewer damage issues you’re likely to deal with. Only use vinyl-appropriate washing solutions and stay away from protectants like wax and polish that are meant for metal. Ideally you should wash your wrap weekly.
When It’s Time to Replace Your Wrap
Wraps generally last five to seven years before replacement. If your wrap is exhibiting any of these signs skip the repair because your wrap needs replacement.
- Large cracks and fissures throughout the wrap
- Wrap peeling in multiple places
- Large scale fading and color loss
Repairing Your Vinyl Wrap
Thanks to large format printers, color management, and skilled technicians, repairing your vinyl wrap only takes one phone call to the company who installed it. Call your insurance if applicable but don’t expect to pay much for a repair, it might even be less than a deductible. With a wrap expert your vehicle can be repaired and back on the road looking good as new.