The most common form of applying branded vehicle signs and vehicle decals is through the application of custom-designed adhesive vinyl graphic or vinyl lettering.
Want to know all the insider tips from vinyl wrap experts for removing signage and decals from your vehicle? Check out our extensive guide on everything you need to know before attempting it yourself.
How long does vehicle signage last?
The signage on a well-cared for vehicle should last you around five years. Therefore, after the vehicle's lifespan, it may be time to remove or replace it to either rebrand or keep your current signage looking fresh. If you would like to know more about how you should care for your vehicle vinyl wrap signage, check out our other blog here.
Is vehicle signage easy to remove?
The short answer is yes with the right technique. However, some factors can cause the vinyl wrap and signage removal process to become significantly more difficult.
Some of these factors include:
- Non-branded or poor-quality vinyl sign may leave unwanted adhesive residue. Therefore, the removal process may be a bit more laborious if your wrap is not manufactured by a well-known brand such as Avery or 3M.
- The vinyl wrap used on the vehicle was not intended for vehicles. In some cases, vinyl wrap that are designed to be applied to non-vehicle surfaces, have a stronger adhesive that may cause the vinyl wrap to become difficult to remove or will cause damage to the paintwork of the car. Ensuring your vehicle is wrapped by a specialist or choosing the correct vinyl wrap when wrapping your vehicle is incredibly important in a smooth removal process.
- The length the vinyl wrap has been on the vehicle. If the vinyl wrap on your vehicle has been left on for an extensive period (e.g., 10 years) the wrap will be brittle and weak. When removing the wrap, it will be flaky and may take some considerable patience to remove the chips. If are concerned that the vinyl wrap removal will be too difficult due to the age of the wrap, you can test remove a small section. If the vinyl is coming off in small, chipped parts, it is best to leave the full removal to a vinyl wrap expert or professional.
Of course, the right use of tools and techniques are imperative in the removal process. If you’d like to know more, continue reading below.
Equipment & Tools to Remove vinyl wrap and signage
- Heat gun or source of heat (powerful hairdryer may work)
- Strong paper towel or cloths
- Plastic razor blades
- Adhesive residue remover
- Protective equipment (gloves & ventilation mask)
The process to remove the signage
Heat a small section
Use your heat gun to soften the vinyl to make for easy removal. Start from a corner or an edge of the vehicle, preferably around the hood. If it is a particularly cold day, you may have to heat the surface longer than usual.
Peel back the vinyl
If your vehicle’s vinyl wrap is only a few/couple years old, you may be able to peel the vinyl back easily. Be sure not to yank as it will leave the laminate behind. Attempting to remove laminate from your vehicle’s surface will be incredibly difficult. Peel the vinyl up at a 45-degree angle (with the vinyl surface still showing- NOT folded over itself). You may be able to encourage the lifting with the use of the razor blade.
Be patient and keep consistent with the technique
As you continue around the diameter of your vehicle, stay consistent with the angle and speed at which you are pulling the vinyl. Keep the heat gun nearby if it proves to be slightly stubborn.
Remove adhesive residue
You may experience some adhesive residue from the vinyl on your vehicle. To remove this, take your paper towel or cloth and apply an adhesive residue remover. Leave to soak for a few minutes. In some cases, your vinyl wrap manufacturer may have a recommended product list to aid in the removal of the remaining adhesive.
Other handy tips when removing vinyl wrap from your vehicle
- If your vinyl has torn, be patient and continue heating the section and begin at a new edge/corner of the vinyl wrap.
- Avoid heating areas where vinyl is covering the chrome. Using back and forth even motions when using the heat gun to avoid overheating a particular section (we suggest no hotter than 60 degrees).
- If you have accidentally overheated the vinyl, allow the surface to cool then soak in adhesive remover. Gently peel away the vinyl and adhesive with your plastic razor. Rinse the area thoroughly before continuing with the rest of the vehicle vinyl wrap.
- Use both hands when peeling back the adhesive.
- Ensure you are wearing protective gear when using solvents or other chemicals.
- Do NOT use a metal scraper as this will damage your vehicle’s original paintwork. We recommend that you stick to the plastic razor.
Stuck? Check out the benefits of getting a professional vinyl wrap removal service
They’ve got the tools of the trade
You won’t need to spend money and time on purchasing tools only to use it once on your vinyl wrap removal. Additionally, the tools that the vinyl wrap expert will carry are incredibly advanced, aiding in a clean and efficient removal.
Got a fleet of trucks? No worries.
Elbow grease will only get you so far. If you own large vehicles or multiple vehicles that require vinyl wraps to be removed, plastic razors and cloths may be incredibly tedious and time-consuming. Professionals will have a team and the necessary equipment to handle large volumes.
Peace of mind
Paying for a service will not only save you time and money in possible repairs/damage, but you will also have peace of mind knowing that a professional is taking care of the hard work.
A trusted vinyl wrap specialist will be able to back their work by providing a warranty on the removal or any other service that they offer.
If you are removing your vehicle vinyl wrap to replace it with a new wrap, you may find it will be more convenient to leave it with the experts to complete in one go. Also, you won’t have to buy more equipment and materials to complete the vinyl wrap application.
Need an expert? Call Wrap Co today
Wrap Co have executed countless vinyl wrap removals and have over 20 years of experience. We are proud to provide a 1-year workmanship warranty so you can be sure that we get the job done right the first time. If you are interested in having your vehicle wrap removed by Wrap Co, get in touch with us today.