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Does Humidity Affect the Curing of Ceramics?

5-year Ceramic Coating

If you are thinking about having your car or truck (or other vehicle) ceramic coated, it’s important to take a hard look at the shop you select to do the work.

You want a reputable shop. You want a shop with trained and competent workers. And you want a shop that uses high-quality materials.

But there is another very important factor: does humidity affect the curing of ceramics?

High humidity can have a very serious negative impact on the ceramic application that you end up with. That’s why ceramics that are applied outside, or in shops that are not climate-controlled, can leave you with a bad outcome.

When it comes to automotive ceramics, humidity that is too high or too low can harm the curing process. That, in turn, can shorten the longevity of the ceramics that are applied to your vehicle.

 Here are things that humidity can influence on your car or truck:

Curing time

High humidity can slow down the curing time of ceramic coatings. Curing involves the evaporation of solvents in the ceramic coating, and high humidity can slow that evaporation process. If that happens, curing can take longer than it should. That, in turn, can affect the ceramic coating’s performance.

Just as high humidity can cause problems with ceramic coatings, so can low humidity. Low humidity can lead to faster solvent evaporation, and that can mean a faster curing time. A curing process that happens too quickly can hurt the quality of the ceramic coating, just as high humidity can. Low humidity can lead to streaks or uneven coverage during the application process.

Application consistency

In high humidity conditions, it can be challenging to achieve a uniform application of the ceramic coating. The excess moisture in the air may lead to uneven drying and potentially affect the coating’s appearance and performance. Low humidity can result in streaking.

Adhesion and bonding

Excessive humidity can interfere with the adhesion of the ceramic coating to the substrate. If there is moisture present on the surface during application, it can create a barrier that hinders the proper bonding of the coating to the substrate. Low humidity may affect the bonding process as well, potentially leading to poor adhesion between the coating and the substrate.

Longevity

While high humidity during application might pose challenges, it is generally considered beneficial for the long-term performance of the coating. Ceramic coatings are designed to protect against environmental factors, and a certain level of humidity can contribute to the coating’s durability. When it comes to low humidity, extremely dry conditions may not be optimal for the long-term effectiveness of ceramic coatings. Adequate humidity levels can contribute to lessening the flexibility and resilience of the coating over time, helping it withstand various environmental conditions.

SUMMARY: Both high and low humidity levels can influence the curing process and performance of ceramic coatings. It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for application. Make sure to take into consideration the environmental conditions at the time of application and car maintenance afterward. Proper surface preparation is critical before applying the ceramic coating and is crucial for achieving the best results and ensuring long-lasting protection.

Things to watch out for

When selecting a shop to apply ceramics to your car or truck, be sure to ask the right questions:

Do you do the work inside or outside?

Work that is done outside cannot be done in a controlled environment. This is why mobile businesses are not recommended for ceramic coatings. 

Is your shop climate-controlled?

For the best results, automotive ceramic shops should be environmentally controlled, both for temperature and humidity. Also, watch for shops that aren’t scrupulously clean. Dust or dirt particles can get into the ceramic coatings during application. If that happens, they will become permanent during the curing process.

Are the technicians properly trained?

Workers who have not received proper training may not be able to discern when environmental conditions are less than perfect.

 Is the shop clean?

Look around when you visit the shop. Is it clean and free from dust, debris, and other contaminants?

Is the shop well-ventilated?

A shop that is well-ventilated will disperse fumes and help maintain a healthy working environment. 

Is it well-lit?

Lighting doesn’t impact humidity levels directly, but a well-lit environment helps technicians watch for streaking and other indicators of humidity problems. 

Surface prep

Humidity can impact the adhesion of the ceramics, but so can proper surface preparation. The processes for preparing the surface can vary widely from shop to shop, so be sure to ask for details of the procedures the shop uses to prepare the surfaces for ceramic application. Humidity problems will be made worse when surfaces are not properly prepared.

Quality control

Be sure to ask about the quality control procedures the shop uses. Humidity problems, such as streaking or poor adhesion, may be identified and corrected if the shop employs good quality control measures to review the quality of the work.

By following proper procedures to control humidity, you can enhance the effectiveness and longevity of ceramic coatings while maintaining an efficient working environment. 

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