Ceramic coating water behavior
Ceramic coatings have the most impressive water behavior of all paint protection products. What I mean by that, is that when water hits the surface, it does not want to stick. Some coatings are not even slick either. Some have a texture that's pretty grabby when compared to carnauba waxes and paint sealants, but this slick texture that most are looking for in a paint protection product is not necessary. What's most important, is what happens when water lands on the surface, and for ceramic coatings, nothing beads and sheets off quite like it. What this does is make the vehicle easier to rinse clean and prevent the water from soaking into the paint.
Ceramic coatings make water bead up
Now, most people incorrectly associate impressive water beading and behavior for preventing water spots. While water does bead and sheet off faster on a coated car than an uncoated car, the very existence and formation of these water beads leaves more risk for water spotting (especially on flat, horizontal surfaces). As a car beads water (showing the tension between the surface and the water bead itself), if left to dry, that droplet of water can leave behind water spots and water spot etching, more than a surface that just soaks up the water. The very protection and barrier between the paint and the environment (ceramic coating), can be the very surface and platform for the water spot to leave it's marks.
This may be disheartening for some to hear, as I know I was a little confused when I heard this and experienced this, but it does make sense. If a water bead can't form and rest on the paint, and instead soak up into the paint, then it is less likely to leave a spot. If a water bead can (with coatings, they definitely will) form. and rest on the surface, it is more likely to leave a spot. And while this truth sucks, there is a positive: These spots left behind on a ceramic coating, are a lot easier to remove than spots on an un-coated car. There are products out there that will help remove these super-superficial spots without compromising the coating.
Tips on how to prevent water spots
Regardless of how much easier it is for a coated car to collect water spots, the best thing to do is to prevent the spots from happening in the first place.
1. Don't park next to a sprinkler system, especially over night or while at work, when you can't move the car.
2. Don't wash the car in the open sun. This is obvious, but some people still have not equated a water spot formation with washing the car in the sun.
3. Dry the car quickly but carefully. While the car is wet, and more water is being sprayed on it, water spots will not form. But if given any chance to sit and bake it's impurities and minerals onto the paint/ceramic coating, it will happen.
4. And lastly, if you have access to deionized water, use it! This water will not leave behind any minerals and impurities, because it has none.
Hi! This blog is written by Detail Pros' very own, Ken! I am the owner and detailer at Detail Pros in Yuba City, CA, which is a smallish town between Sacramento, CA and Chico, CA. Thanks for reading!
Yuba City, CA 95993
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