Ceramic coatings have become increasingly popular in the detailing world over the past few years, but even with the popularity of ceramic coatings there is still a lot of misinformation about coatings and what they can do.
Ceramic coatings are one of, if not the best product to protect and preserve the integrity of your surface, far superior to traditional wax and sealants (especially in the marine and RV market). One of the most common misinterpretations of a ceramic coating is that they are almost maintenance free, or your boat/vehicle/RV will not get dirty if it has a ceramic coating. That is simply not the case.
While ceramic coatings are extremely durable, they require ongoing maintenance to ensure that you are getting the full benefits and protection out of your ceramic coating. With that being said, the main benefit of having a ceramic coating is that your ongoing maintenance is much easier and more effective (with less effort) than using a traditional wax or sealant.
In this guide we will explain how to properly maintain a ceramic coating to ensure you are getting the most out of your ceramic coating, and properly protect your investment.
After the application of any of our ceramic coatings, it is important to let the coating fully cure before getting the vehicle wet, washing the vehicle or putting your boat back in the water. A full cure of our Marine and RV ceramic coatings is between 12–15 hours, whereas the Auto 9H and Trim Ceramic Coatings fully cure in 48 hours. Cold temperatures cause the coating to cure slower, so plan for maximum cure time if applied in cooler weather.
If rain is imminent during the application, make sure you stop applying the coating at least 1-2 hours before it rains to allow the coating to begin the curing process. If the vehicle/boat gets wet or rained on during the curing process, dry as soon as possible, and avoid leaving the vehicle/boat to air dry to prevent potential water spots on the surface.
Note: Allow a minimum of 48 hours before washing to ensure the coating has fully cured.
After the coating has fully cured, we recommend bi-weekly washes, and spot cleaning as needed. For marine coatings, we also recommend the ongoing maintenance of rinsing (and drying) after every use. For RVs, we recommend rinsing (and drying) after every long trip.
Ongoing maintenance is an important factor in ensuring that you get the most benefits from your ceramic coating. If a coating is too dirty, this layer of contamination (salt, bugs, dirt, bird droppings, water spots) will diminish the stain resistance and hydrophobic properties of the ceramic coating, making the surface more difficult to clean, defeating the main purpose of a ceramic coating.
Here are some general guidelines for ongoing maintenance of your ceramic coating:
In between your bi-weekly washes you may need to do some spot cleaning. Whether it’s salt build up on the hull, water spots from the rain, bird droppings or bugs, we recommend cleaning them as you see them to make your ongoing maintenance that much easier.
Here are some general guidelines for spot cleaning:
In addition to ongoing maintenance and spot cleaning, ceramic coatings benefit from a maintenance spray every 3-4 months, such as Glidecoat Shine and Shield. For Marine use, we recommend applying every 3-4 months in Southern States, whereas Northern States should apply one a season. Simply choose the product to meet your need – Marine, Auto, or RV. Shine & Shield will enhance the shine and hydrophobic effect of the surface, while adding an additional layer of protection on top of the ceramic coating to promote longevity.
Shine and Shield is a simple spray on, wipe off application.
Here are some general guidelines for applying Shine and Shield for quarterly maintenance:
We recommend having your ceramic coating inspected at least once a year by the initial installer to ensure everything is working properly.
An annual coating inspection typically consists of a decontamination wash with Glidecoat Iron Remover to remove contamination from the surface that could be impacting the hydrophobic properties of the ceramic coating. After applying the Iron Remover, wash with Glidecoat Nano Wash or Glidecoat Ceraglo. Then, closely inspect the coated surfaces to ensure that the ceramic coating is holding up as expected.
If any of the high sun exposed areas have significantly diminished in gloss (determined by the gloss meter) it may require a light polish to restore the shine to that area and an additional coat of the ceramic coating to be applied. Otherwise, apply Shine and Shield to all coated areas.