Guest Post: Protecting Car Paint in Warm Climates

Did you know that July 2012 was the hottest month ever recorded by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration since tracking weather in the late 19th century? Few states are getting off easy during the summer months anymore, but parts of the US Deep South and West are especially balmy.

How Heat Corrodes Paint 
The intense ultraviolet rays and heat can make life pretty difficult while reducing the shelf-life of your favorite vehicle. Because paint is known to oxidize when exposed to high heat and ultraviolet rays, taking precautions during the summer months is critical to protecting your car’s cosmetics. Moreover, your car’s interior surfaces can crack and eventually deteriorate through continual exposure to the unrelenting summer sun.

Waxing and Washing to Protect Topcoat 
Taking precautions to protect your car between April and August can pay dividends as far as maintaining your vehicle’s outer sheen and even sidestepping costly touchups later.
According to research by Consumer Reports, periodically applying a coat of wax to your car can help protect the paint from the sun and other harmful elements. This would be an especially important step to take if you live in areas bathed by the sun’s harsh UV rays year round, such as rays from the Florida sun.
Another added benefit to adding a coat of wax to your car, though, is this – wax can sidestep water spots while repelling debris and dirt. A coat of wax will keep your favorite set of wheels looking factory-fresh and maintained. Nonetheless, some car owners may find that waxing isn’t enough.
Taking the simple step of washing your car weekly can actually help prevent deterioration of the topcoat by preventing debris and dirt from corroding the paint’s surface. Another factor to consider is that dirt or accumulated muck can congeal with rain to leave unsightly waterspots and destroy your vehicle’s cosmetics over time.
In addition to washing your car every week, or every other week, to maintain your car’s topcoat, you may want to consider polishing your vehicle in the fall and spring months to keep the top layer of paint in pristine condition.

Laying Low in the Shade 
Parking in the shade should help maintain your car’s topcoat from heat damage, and potentially waterspots, while preventing interior cracking and deterioration to the dashboard and steering wheel. Leather seats tend to retain heat, so parking in the shade could help protect the investment in your car while making the ride home more comfortable.
In the absence of natural shade, car owners might want to consider purchasing a car cover to shield their car’s topcoat from the elements. Car covers help protect the investment in your car by protecting the exterior cosmetics from dirt, rain and water spots and the sun’s paint-cracking rays.

Protection Film and Clear-Coat Paints 
Sealers or clear-coat paints have been used for over a generation on vehicles leaving the new-car lot to protect the paint’s topcoat. Clear paint is actually a paint protective film that covers the colored, pigmented topcoat of paint.
A protective film gives the topcoat a sterling sheen and helps protect the paint from damage later on. It is important to bear in mind, however, that protective film can still absorb moisture and erode. Still, a protective film would be an excellent counterpart to regular waxing and washing.

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