The rainy season brings a whole list of problems for road users that make commuting a challenge. Besides increasing the possibility of floods, regular downpours reduce visibility on the road and cause your car to be caked with dirt or mud.
One thing you can do to make it easier to drive and care for your car in the rainy season is to use a car rain-repellent coating. This hydrophobic coating ranges in price and performance and is supposed to keep water from sticking to your car.
So should you use car rain-repellent coatings? Let’s find out.
How Does a Rain-Repellent Car Coating Work?
A rain-repellent coating is a solution that you apply to your car windows or body panels to protect the surface from rain and dirt. Once applied properly, it will adhere to the surface and create a hydrophobic or water-resistant barrier on the surface which prevents water and other residues from sticking to your car’s surface.
If you’ve seen water droplets forming beads on a windshield and just rolling off, that is the work of a rain-repellent coating.
This microscopic layer can be made of different materials such as silicone polymers, ceramic, and glass. And while they all function in a similar way, each material has different functions, cost, and durability. A rain-repellent coating can last anywhere from a few weeks up to over a year depending on its formula and how often you subject your car to the rain.
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Advantages of Using Rain-Repellent Coatings
Using a rain-repellent coating can give you multiple benefits, especially in the rainy season. Here are some of them.
1. Improves Visibility in the Rain
Having a water-repellent coating on your windshield will prevent water from pooling and obscuring your vision in the rain, ultimately preventing an accident while driving. Any decent coating should work both in slow traffic and at highway speeds so you should be able to drive with good visibility in all conditions except the heaviest of downpours.
2. Keeps Surfaces Looking Cleaner for Longer
As it adds a hydrophobic layer of protection to your car, a coating can keep dirt and water stains from sticking to your car, which we can often see during rainy seasons. And if there are water stains on your windshield, you can often easily rinse them off thanks to the hydrophobic layer underneath. There are rain-repellent coatings available for both glass and body panels so make sure you use the correct one to provide the proper protection to your car.
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3. Prolongs the Life of Your Wipers
Since you will need to use your windshield wipers less if you have a coating on your windshield, your wipers will be subjected to less wear and tear. And when you do use them, they’ll face less friction on the windshield leading to longer-lasting wipers.
4. Protects Surfaces from Damage
While most rain-repellent coatings aren’t designed to protect your car’s surfaces from scratches and other damages, they can still protect your car. The thin layer that the coatings form can prevent dirt and dust from sticking to your car and also give some protection against chemicals and oils on the road.
The dirty water from the road splashing onto your car when you drive in the rain can contain mud, oils, and chemicals that can stick to your paint and windows. Most coatings can prevent these impurities from sticking to your car, including to your windshields.
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Types of Hydrophobic Car Coatings
Basic Coatings for Windows
There’s no shortage of water-repellent coatings for car windows on the market. These products are mostly designed to protect glass windows and your side mirrors against water, dirt, oil, and some chemicals, and function to keep your windows clean. However, you can find professionally applied window coatings at car detailing shops that are more durable and scratch-resistant.
Since rain-repellent window coatings come at various price points, you should note that their performance can vary widely according to the brand and price of the product. Most off-the-shelf window coatings generally last up to two months but you can find products such as the Gtechniq G1 that claims to last up to two years.
Popular brands of window coatings in Malaysia include Rain-X, Waxco, Glaco, and Gtechniq. Applying these coatings on your windows usually only takes a few minutes, and it’s as easy as following the instructions on the bottle.
A glass coating is made of silicon dioxide. It’s usually applied to the whole car to protect the paint from damage. A glass coating has excellent durability as well as UV (ultraviolet) and chemical resistance. It’s also more resistant to water spots so you’re less likely to have a patchy paint job on your car.
Glass coatings contain a resin that glues the coating to your car paint. While it gives durability and extra thickness to the coating, this resin is less resistant against extremely acidic or alkaline cleaners, so keep that in mind if you decide to choose a glass coating. It also has a slightly matte finish.
A ceramic coating contains silicon carbide and offers similar protection to a glass coating. Ceramic has better hydrophobic properties and a shinier finish, though it’s slightly less resistant to UV rays and chemicals. Compared to glass, a ceramic coating doesn’t need a resin to adhere to the paint, and is, therefore, more resistant to acidic and alkaline cleaners. Ceramic coatings are often slightly cheaper than glass coatings.
Is Professional Car Detailing Better than Off-The-Shelf Products?
The short answer is, yes – the professional coating you get at a car detailing shop provides better overall protection for your car. Not only does it repel water but it also provides additional physical, chemical, and UV protection.
That’s not to say that off-the-shelf DIY rain-repellent coatings are not good. They’re mostly designed to be water-repellent and do a good job for the price. As long as you apply the coating regularly, you’ll be able to keep your windows and paint job clean from blemishes.
Coatings may keep your windshield and paint job clean but a good refurbishment can really make a car sparkle, and that’s what you get with a CARSOME pre-owned car. With our professional refurbishment, you can rest assured that every CARSOME Certified car has excellent aesthetics besides being safe and comfortable.
Devan is a long-time writer who has dabbled in different fields from media to marketing. He enjoys some virtual driving on Forza Horizon and likes reading about various topics including cars.