Applying vehicle graphics in winter can be challenging, but it is not impossible. With the weather lingering at temperatures below 0, one might question how graphics can still be applied to a vehicle especially when the optimal application temperature range is between 50⁰ and 90⁰F (10⁰ to 32⁰ C). The best environment to apply a graphic happens to be at room temperature since the temperature range is usually between 65⁰ to 74⁰F (18⁰ to 23⁰C). In most cases, a vehicle cannot just pull right into an office building thus making a garage or the outdoor elements the only options.
While usually vehicles are left outside until the time for graphics to be applied, there are ways to prepare the vehicle for a winter application. The day before the application, vehicles should be washed. When temperatures are below zero, it is necessary to pull the vehicle into an indoor environment the day before so that it can have time to heat up. This is even more important for heavy construction equipment as it can take days till it reaches an ideal application temperature. Before the vehicle is pulled indoors, snow and ice should be removed thus preventing water from dripping during the application process as well as speeding up the heating time.
Once the vehicle is inside from the outdoor elements, open all of the doors on the vehicle to release cold air. To speed up the heating process, place portable heaters facing directly at the vehicle since the application temperature means the substrate’s temperature, not the air temperature. Even if the application environment is not sufficiently heated, portable heaters can make graphic applications possible. Although the weather cannot be changed, application conditions can; thus helping the process of applying vehicle graphics in winter.