PPF Posts by Jamie Werner
by Jamie Werner
August 19th, 2015

Are Bad Installations a Result of Nature? Or Nurture?

For me, “Nature Versus Nurture” is all about how to get the best install finish with paint protection film (PPF) and whether it comes down to environment, skills or both.

Don’t Get Dirty

Sometimes air bubbles can be helped and sometimes, they cannot.

Sometimes air bubbles can be helped and sometimes, they cannot.

I just came back from doing some field work in North Carolina where I saw some interesting environments in which installations were being conducted. Conditions were so bad, but installers were working with what they had. As an installer myself, I can honestly say that dirt and dust are by far your worst enemy when it comes to PPF. We can all split hairs on other things like temperature or color, but the things that come up all year-round and in every install is dirt and debris. There’s no silver bullet for that problem outside of doing the install in a paint booth. The worst is when you get the job done and there’s this little sucker right in the middle of the hood … You know you can’t leave it there.

Now I pose a question to you: When that happens, is it my fault for not paying attention to it enough during the install, or is it because of the environment in which I was installing?

Nature AND Nurture

That’s a tough question—because it’s both. We can all make excuses and for the most part, they’d be legitimate. “There’s not enough light,” or, “The door kept opening and closing,” the list goes on. Yes, all of those are factors that we have little to no control of. They’re also things you should think about changing if you can.

What You’ll Need

Lighting is a huge must. Not enough light can cause you to miss things like water bubbles, marring of the adhesive, silvering and other issues that come with PPF. A temperature-controlled environment is ideal but not realistic unless you have your own shop. Even having tools such as a lift or race ramps are clutch when doing bumpers or rockers so the film doesn’t hit the ground. (Plus it will save your back a few years longer.)

Protective Solutions

These are problems we all face as PPF installers, heck window tinters, too. There’s no getting around it other than doing what we can to reduce it as much as possible.

Here are some things that could help with that:

  • Use clean water from a water bubbler instead of the sink;
  • Use canned air as a mobile air compressor for crevasses;
  • Pick up a couple clip-on LED’s from the hardware store so you can create your own lighting; and
  • Remember to pay attention to your own work, as we can get caught up in the actual install and forget to look at what we are doing.

Be meticulous in your work and the quality will speak for itself. That’s what we do as installers. Make it look easy when in reality, it isn’t. The more quality work we pump out as an industry, the more we can grow as a network. If I can give you some solid advice, it’s this: Do you best on the prep work, control what you can control and pay attention throughout the installation so you can catch problems before they become worse.

Exceed expectations every day!

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  1. Very good article. ThaNks for that. Leon Levy Klingshield South Africa

  2. The finnish is always as good as the working area and the care the installer takes. Leon Levy Klingshield South Africa

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