PPF vs. Ceramic Coating Part 3: Hydrophobicity

PPF vs ceramic coating hydrophobicityWelcome to the final installment of our 3 part series comparing paint protection films (PPF) and ceramic coatings. This time we’re going to discuss hydrophobicity. Essentially, you can think of hydrophobicity as how well something repels water. A coating with high levels of hydrophobicity will cause beading and sheeting of water on the vehicle’s surface. You’ve probably seen cars covered in lots of unusual but cool looking little water droplets. This is known as beading and results from a slick, hydrophobic surface.

Paint Protection Film

Paint protection films don’t offer much in the way of hydrophobicity and you won’t see the telltale signs of water resistance: water beading and sheeting. Unfortunately, this means that with just a PPF your car is more vulnerable to damage from water spots and improper washing/drying technique. Though the paint underneath may be protected, the PPF itself can be damaged from standing water and surface contaminants. Hydrophobicity is simply not a quality that paint protection films are known for.

Ceramic Coating

Ceramic coatings are super-hydrophobic, fully protecting your car from the contaminants commonly found in water. A ceramic coating will form a chemical bond with your car’s paint and provide a permanent layer of protection, meaning the water never directly touches or etches the paint. You also get that super cool water beading effect, which is a plus!

Ceramic coatings have a “self-cleaning” property which means the dirt and contaminants roll off the coated surface. This property makes cleaning and drying much easier. Keep in mind though that a ceramic coating will prevent permanent damage to the coated surface, but won’t prevent the cosmetic mess that water spray leaves behind so proper washing and drying are essential.

If you have water spots on your car and you’re wondering how to remove them, check out this article.

Which Has Better Hydrophobicity?

In this category, there’s a clear winner, as hydrophobicity is one of the defining attributes of ceramic coatings. A paint protection film, on the other hand, will offer little to no hydrophobicity.

ceramic pro protects car finishThat’s it for our 3 part series, so what have we learned? Ceramic coatings are considered the latest and greatest in paint protection technology, so it’s no surprise that they edged ahead in all three categories, but a PPF does offer some distinct advantages like better protection from rock chip damage. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose just one. You can apply both a PPF and a ceramic coating for maximum protection.

With a ceramic coating, you get unmatched durability and extreme hydrophobicity, helping to keep your car’s exterior surfaces free from unsightly streaks and water spots for years to come. Details Matter is a certified installer of both Ceramic Pro and Opti-Coat Pro, so please contact us today to learn more about our ceramic coating options.