Vinyl Wrap vs. Winter Weather

Winter is coming. And with winter weather around the corner, you may be wondering how your vinyl wrapping will be affected. Whether you’re considering applying vinyl wrapping to a new car or are the proud owner of a truck body wrapped at our Chester County, PA, location, there are some precautions to keep in mind as the temperatures start to drop.

Cold Weather and Other Calamities

Cold weather and vinyl wrapping aren’t exactly compatible, but a vehicle that’s correctly wrapped by an experienced technician should hold up well even through the harsh winter. Snow and ice are known to be detrimental to a lot of things. Fortunately, vinyl is an incredibly durable plastic that’s resistant to moisture. That means that neither rain nor snow should damage vinyl that is properly maintained. 

Professional designers at Full Throttle Wraps & Graphics are trained to use only the best materials. To ensure the longevity of your vinyl wrapping, we use industrial-strength glue when adhering the vinyl to your vehicle. This special adhesive is strong enough to withstand not only moisture from rain and snow but also the adverse chemical effects of rock salt.

Take Precautions

Do you want to see your vinyl wrapping survive this winter to see the years ahead? Then, maintenance is the key. Any dirt that accumulates on your vehicle is bad news for the wrap. Debris that isn’t cleaned immediately will harden and become impossible to remove without damaging the vinyl. Nothing is a better example of this than rock salt. Salt is a severely corrosive material that will eat through plastic and paint over long periods of exposure. We recommend that you clean your vinyl of any road salt as quickly as possible. 

Leaving your car outside overnight in the freezing winter weather will surely cause it to ice over come morning time. Your first instinct will be to reach for the ice scraper, but we urge you to think again. Scraping snow, ice, or anything else off your vehicle could scrape the underlying vinyl off as well. Drop the scraper and grab a broom to brush off any accumulated snow. If you’re looking for ice removal tips, wait for your car to heat up and crank the defroster to melt the ice off your windows and windshields. 

How Winter Affects Vinyl Wrap on Different Vehicles

Winter brings with it a host of challenges, not least for the owners of vehicles wrapped in vinyl. Whether you own a car, a boat, an ATV, or a bike, understanding how the cold season affects your vinyl wrap is the most important way to make it through the winter season. Fortunately, plenty of vehicle owners emerge as the weather gets warmer with a wrap that looks as good as new. And it all starts by knowing just how the weather affects their wraps and what they can do to stop it.


Vinyl wrap on cars can become brittle and lose their pliability in cold weather. The adhesive that keeps the wrap stuck to the vehicle’s surface can also become less effective, making it more susceptible to peeling or damage. However, it’s worth noting that snow and ice do not directly damage the vehicle wrap. Most adhesive vinyls used on vehicles are designed to withstand road salt. Regular cleaning is advised to prevent the build-up of salt, which can dehydrate and corrode the vinyl wrap.


Boats, especially those used in saltwater environments, face similar challenges. The combination of salt and cold can be particularly harsh on vinyl wraps. Regular cleaning is critical to preventing salt build-up and potential damage. Vinyl wraps on boats can also provide a layer of protection against the damaging effects of freezing and thawing cycles.


For ATVs, the impact of winter on vinyl wraps is quite pronounced due to their off-road nature. Exposure to rocks and debris, coupled with the brittleness of vinyl in freezing temperatures, can lead to more frequent chips and damage. Regular inspection and prompt repair of any damage are key to maintaining the integrity of the vinyl wrap in winter.


Bikes, both motorized and pedal-powered, can also suffer from the effects of winter on their vinyl wraps. The smaller surface area and intricate designs often found on bikes make them particularly vulnerable to the effects of cold weather on vinyl. The wrap can become brittle, making it susceptible to damage from minor impacts that would otherwise cause little harm to much larger vehicles.

Preventing Damage: How to Protect Your Vinyl Wrap from Salt and Ice

Winter can be a challenging time for vehicle owners, especially those with vinyl wraps. The combination of cold temperatures, ice, and road salt can put your vehicle’s wrap at risk. However, by knowing what to avoid, you can guarantee that your wrap remains in great condition throughout the winter months.

Neglecting Regular Cleaning

You NEVER want to neglect the cleanliness of your car, especially with a vinyl wrap in winter. Salt, dirt, and grime can build up on your vehicle’s surface, potentially causing damage to the vinyl wrap. It’s recommended to wash your vehicle often, removing any dirt or salt build-up that could corrode or dehydrate the wrap.

Allowing Snow to Turn into Ice

Another thing to avoid is letting snow turn into ice on your vehicle. Ice can cause vinyl wraps to become brittle and more prone to cracking or peeling during the winter. It’s very important that you clear off snow from your vehicle before it has the chance to freeze.

Using Ice Scrapers

Ice scrapers may seem like a handy tool for clearing ice off your vehicle, but they should be avoided on vinyl wraps. The harsh scraping action can potentially scratch or damage the vinyl surface. Instead, opt for a soft brush or a blower to gently remove snow and ice.

Ignoring Road Salt and Sand

Road salt and sand are commonly used to improve driving conditions in winter, but they can be detrimental to your vehicle’s vinyl wrap. While the rock salt itself is not any more harmful to your car wrap than standard road conditions, it’s critical that you safely wash off or wipe away any salt and sand residue as soon as possible.

Overlooking Other Damaging Elements

It’s not just snow, ice, and salt you need to watch out for. Other elements like bird droppings, squashed bugs, tree sap, and gas can also harm your vehicle and its vinyl wrapping. Be vigilant about cleaning off these substances promptly to prevent potential damage.

A Professional Vinyl Wrap Can Set the Right Foundation!

You don’t have to fear winter weather. Full Throttle Wraps & Graphics technicians are dedicated to their art and only use the highest-quality materials when wrapping your car, truck, or boat. We encourage anyone in Hartford County, MD, who is interested in a full truck wrap, as well as those located in Philadelphia, PA, and the surrounding area, to contact us today! We also provide custom vinyl wraps for boats, motorcycles, and ATVs, and more, so get your vehicle wrapped ASAP!