Many parts of the country and world, for that matter, deal with large amounts of snow and ice for several months of the year - sometimes even before and after winter officially starts and ends. In areas such as Colorado, where our headquarters is located, we experience large snowfalls that can bring a foot or more of snow in under 24 hours. Plowing snow and treating roads during winter is critical for safety, and CDOT spends nearly $70 million dollars annually on snow removal alone, so that shows how important it is to keep drivers as safe as possible. Roads here are commonly treated with liquid Magnesium Chloride, or mag chloride, because it works in colder temperatures where rock salt and liquid salt are no longer effective. It is less harmful to the environment, but it can harm your vehicle’s finish, such as corroding chrome trim pieces - making them look spotted and stained.
In other parts of the country, such as Massachusetts in the northeast, roads can be treated with 5 different types of materials: mag chloride, rock salt, liquid brine (saltwater), pre-mix (rock salt and calcium chloride), and sand. Some other areas use coal ash and even small stones, called anti-skid, for traction on slippery roads. States around the Great Lakes such as New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio can experience 40 or 50-degree temperature swings in one day during the winter, going from sunny and 60’s to rain to sleet to snow and temperatures dropping to 20℉ and lower, making it difficult to use some treatments like liquid salt, since it will freeze. Using a combination of these materials melt snow and ice to provide safer driving conditions, but they stick to your vehicle and can lead to frame and suspension rust, as well as rust on lower body panels, such as fender lips, bedsides, and tailgates. Sand and anti-skid can stick to the vehicle and then cause scratching when you go to wipe them away with a wash mitt.
The bottom line is that all of these road treatment materials can cause significant damage to your vehicle if you do not take care of them, so it is important to remove these contaminants from your car as soon as possible. Before the snow and ice arrives, take the time one weekend or a free evening to add a new layer of durable protection onto the vehicle that will last throughout the winter months. Whether your vehicle is already ceramic coated or brand new, Graphene Ceramic Spray Coating™ Advanced will greatly improve protection and water-repelling behavior, making it more difficult for winter contamination to stick to the vehicle. Thoroughly wash your car using our Car Shampoo or Mega Foam, rinse, then re-suds it down and decontaminate the surfaces with a Clay Mitt, focusing on areas that see the most wear when driving - bumpers, doors, rocker panels, windshield, and the trunk or tailgate. Adam demonstrates claying while washing in this video here: How To Properly Decontaminate A Vehicle With Clay
With the vehicle washed and decontaminated, now you are ready to apply Graphene Ceramic Spray Coating™ Advanced. You could polish the paint first to remove any imperfections, but you will most likely encounter some unavoidable light scratches or swirl marks during winter, so you can save time here by waiting to polish the paint after winter when the weather is much nicer. Use Surface Prep and a plush microfiber towel to remove any clay residue to ensure the surface is as clean and smooth as possible, and then you are ready to apply Graphene Ceramic Spray Coating Advanced. Apply the coating to one or two panels at a time by spraying in a Microfiber Applicator Pad, spreading it onto the surface, and allowing it to flash for a few minutes. As the coating begins to feel like it has a bit of tension or stickiness with your towel, and you see the oily rainbow appearance begin to dissipate and turn to a more clear finish, those are the main indicators to take your plush towels and wipe away the residue very thoroughly - wipe the panel more than you think you need to, in order to have minimal high spots to fix later. For a quick how-to video on application, click here: How To Apply Adam's Graphene Ceramic Spray Coating Advanced
Make sure to also do an extensive cleaning of your wheels, and apply the spray coating to them as well…road salt and mag chloride can be corrosive to certain wheel finishes and cause the clear coat to fail prematurely or stain certain colors. While coating the wheels, make sure your tire pressure is where it should be, since colder temperatures will usually cause your tires to lose a few pounds of air. Now is also a good time to top off any fluids in the engine bay - windshield washer fluid and coolant especially - and to change your oil if it is nearing the service interval for your car.
You will be dragging large amounts of snow, slush, and dirt into your vehicle during winter, so the best way to protect things and make cleanup easier is to install some all-weather floor mats if your vehicle does not already have them. Graphene Ceramic Spray Coating Advanced can be applied to these floor mats and allows for easier cleaning of the floor mats without making them slippery. Some other optional interior prep would be to keep a bottle of Interior Detailer with Microban and an Edgeless Utility Towel inside to wipe down seats, armrests, and the center console if you have an accidental spill of coffee or hot chocolate. Keep a blanket and a bag of sand in the trunk or backseat in case of a traffic pileup on the highway, as well as a snow brush - but be very careful when using a snow brush not to brush all the way down to the paint, as this will definitely leave swirl marks and scratches in the vehicle’s finish!