Car Vinyl Decals: Effects of Your Defroster, Weather Resistance, Effects on Tinted Windows, and Strength of Adhesive Glue
Question: Will the rear window defroster affect the decal on the rear window?
Answer: It shouldn’t. Most rear car window decals on cars or trucks have an acrylic adhesive that should withstand temperature up to 180ºF (82ºC). Your rear window defroster, if functioning normally, is likely never to get near that temperature.
Question: Are vinyl car decals and stickers weather proof?
Answer: Vinyl stickers are 100% weatherproof, and if the ink is of good quality, then there really shouldn’t be any problem with water at any temperature, or snow either for that matter. Sun is probably the hardest on decals as it causes ink to fade.
Vinyl decals, also known as PVC or polyvinyl chloride decals, are a supple plastic material that is either hot cast or cold rolled (calendared). The cast vinyl is more dimensionally stable as the calendared material has “memory” of it’s original shape and size and will tend to shrink over time (don’t worry, it will never get all the way back!).
Because cast vinyl is poured hot, the production process is costlier, the material is actually thinner than calendared, and it usually carries a longer warranty. However, most decal printers use calendared films, except for vehicle wraps or other high end graphics that most often are printed on cast vinyl.
Either way, though, to answer your original question, yes, vinyl stickers are definitely weatherproof. And if you find whatever you stuck on your car is not weatherproof, then it wasn’t a vinyl sticker, but more likely a cheap laminated paper sticker.
Question: Do vinyl or polyester decals affect window tint?
Answer: Most normal vinyl or polyester stickers or decals should not affect your window tinting. Most factory tinting is done with liquid tinting now, but if you have an aftermarket tint, the adhesive is very aggressive and if you use some heat, like a hair dryer, the decal should release with relative ease, although it may leave adhesive on the window tint.
Most hardware stores have orange peel oil based glue removers that won’t harm the window tinting, but will remove the decal adhesive without hazing the window.
However, if you’re worried about it, then get only vinyl car window stickers that have back adhesive, and stick them to the outside of the car window, or, if you want interior decals, choose static cling which has no adhesive, or a removable sticker or decal.
However, be sure that the removable decal is removable for a long period of time if you plan to leave it on your car window, as many removables have a time limit on how long you’ll be able to remove the sticker.
Question: Do vinyl car window decals wash off?
Answer: Short answer is if they do, you probably don’t have a vinyl window decal, you probably have a paper decal with a laminate or varnish which was not supposed to be used on the outside of your cars.
Often companies will promote a product with an inexpensive paper label that works fine if you are sticking them to a notebook or a refrigerator, but they’re not good for sticking to things outside your home or school.
Vinyl stickers, made of PVC cast or calendared vinyl sheeting, should never wash off your car, and should last 2-3 years before the ink fades out completely. So if you’re ordering window decals for cars to promote your product or service, make sure you’re getting outdoor durable stickers.
For more about stickers and decals designed for cars and other types of automobiles, see here.