One of the most common questions we are asked by our fellow detailers is “What do I need for my installation bay?” If you’re a first time PPF installer, or maybe just thinking about giving your existing bay a face lift, here’s a few tips you might find useful.
Not too warm, not too cold
Most paint protection films these days are made with a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material. In other words, plastic. Although the manufacturing process of TPU allows it more flexibility than your typical PVC (think pipes and vinyl records), the material still works better in some temperatures than others. Extreme cold or heat might change the texture of paint protection films, making them harder to work with. For this reason, investing in an air conditioning system and keeping a regular temperature at your working area might be a good idea.
Keep it clean
Paint protection films are fitted with an adhesive layer that is designed to stay on your car paint for years. What that means is that if your film’s adhesive comes into contact with anything, and I do mean anything, there’s a more than likely chance that it will stick. Sure, you can prevent this by saturating the adhesive with installation gel or soap solution prior to your install, but unless your name is Barry Allen, your film will inevitably be exposed to the air. However short that period of time might be, it is more than enough for your film to pick up any particles or dirt that is present in your installation bay.
Because paint protection films are completely transparent, any contaminants stuck on the film will be very visible, especially on light-colored vehicles. To eliminate dust and other particles, it is incredibly important to carry out your paint protection film installations in a separate bay away from other daily operations that might generate dirt or soot. Before starting your installation, it is also worth spending some time cleaning the area and spraying the space with water. While it might seem like an odd thing to do, the water will help weigh down any particles that might be floating around in the air, decreasing the chance that they will be attached to the film.
This one deserves an exclamation point because it’s just that important. What you may not realize is that when you’re installing paint protection film, there is a lot of spraying, misting, and squeegeeing involved. You will be using a combination of alcohol, water, soap and installation gel to facilitate the process. Simply put, you will make a bit of a mess. With all these liquids used in installation, a good drainage system is the key to avoid accidentally flooding your shop. It also helps to have a slight decline in your installation bay, which can help prevent the pooling of fluids.
And there you go. These are just a few things to keep in mind when you’re designing your dream installation bay. If you want to learn more about starting your paint protection film business, don’t hesitate to send us a message today!