Protecting Paintwork: The 8 Environment Effects

How you can help to protect your ride’s paintwork

Finding it is hard these days to give enough time to maintain your car. Cleaning the car may feel like a chore, or for some of us, we simply do not have the space available to clean it ourselves, hence why you find a car wash place on almost every corner these days! 

A lot of the reasons why we need to wash the car are unrelated to the day-to-day use (dirt), rather are caused by environmental effects out of our control. 

Bird Dropping

Leaving bird droppings on the body of the car may cause damage that ranges from simple paint discolouration to the worst case of the paint film layer dissolving completely. The bird droppings composition and quantity hold a large amount of acid caused by the different variety of food products birds consume. 

Leaving the bird droppings on the paintwork for extended periods is strongly not recommended, especially when exposed to high/hot temperatures. Paint may appear bubbly, with swell or etch like characteristics. Extended periods of exposure may require the panel to be completely resprayed.

As soon as you notice bird droppings on paintwork, wash immediately to prevent any further paintwork damage. Roar Wash & Gloss is an excellent product to assist in the removal of contaminants.  

Stone Chips

Stone chips can be almost impossible to avoid, especially common to find at the front end of cars. The tiny ‘chip’ impact holes in the surface of the paint cause paint film layers damage. The simple solution to take your eye off the stone chip would be to brush touch it. However, these days with the different degree of paint types (solid, metallic or three-layer pearls) a simple brush touch may not actually make it look any better or ‘hide’ the stone chip. It is also important to be aware of the use of water-borne paint,  the brush touching will apply and dry differently in comparison to proper paint and bake in a spray booth. If the panel has suffered widespread stone chips it may be better to be repaired or replace the panel before repainting. 

Tree Sap

The chemical aggression from tree sap or blossom resin has the ability to etch deep in the paintwork. Tree sap appears in thread or droplet like deposits. As soon as you notice tree sap it is important to remove it immediately to help prevent long term damage. Try first to remove the tree sap with soapy water with a Roar Microfibre Car Wash Sponge. If further removal of the tree sap is needed, polishing products can assist. In a worse case, it may be necessary to re-spray the panel.

Bug Marks

Ever noticed those faint yellow marks on your car? Those are little bug secretions marks. Bug marks may cause the top paint film layer gloss to discolour. Like all environment effects mentioned so far, it is important to remove immediately. Wash with soapy water. If that does not fully remove the bug mark, the use of polish should do the job. If all else fails the last resort would be to re-spray the panel. This is the absolute last resort. Bug marks in comparison to other environmental effects are easier to remove from the body (paintwork) of the car (not so many plastic grills and trims though!).

Industrial fallout

Industrial fallout is probably my most dreaded and hated environmental effect. Why? The industrial fallout in particles of rust that sit on the top film layer of paint. It is especially noticeable in the paint of light colours. The fallout has the ability, if and when left on for extended periods to cause corrosion on the paint film. Using a soapy Roar Deep Wash Clay Mitt clay to remove the fallout is a great recommendation. The clay cloth helps pick up the tiny particles that are sitting on the panel surface. Depending on how long the fallout has been sitting on the car, it may require additional buffing and polishing to help remove the fallout. 


For those especially who live close to the beach may notice more often than others the effect salt has on paintwork. This environmental effect has little prevention in relation to polishing, rather the panels affected will require re-spray to properly rectify the corrosion. Prevention of corrosion recurring is to strip the panel back to bare metal to be able to remove all the corrosion. In some cases, the panel might require replacing if the rust caused by the corrosion is serious. 

Car Wash Scratches

Going to the local car was in some cases the most ideal situation or it might be the only option you have to clean your car. Car wash places present a range of potential paint safety concerns. Beyond the uniform of car wash employees leaning against the car, the quality of the products used is vital. The products should be silicone-free (silicone is not good for your car – both interior and exterior!), all clothes used in the process must be washed, clean and dry regularly to clean off any particles that could cause scratching. Roar’s Absorption Cloth (for dying off) is excellent as the cloth is suitable for paint, chrome, glass and trims to assist in the prevention of scratches. 

A good idea is to wax the paintwork as it helps provide sealing protection – and it feels smooth!

Colour Fade or Change

Over time, especially with particular colours you may start to notice a colour variation in some panels due to the colour fading. UV radiation and weathering are major contributors to colour fading or change. As like corrosion, colour fade or change has little prevention in relation to a simple polish, rather the panels affected will require re-spray to properly rectify the colour difference. Not ready to respray your whole car? Roar’s Wash & Gloss may help in providing some additional gloss to the paintwork. 

AutoFlare does not recommend using polishing products on plastic trims or finishing moulds. Plastic does not react well to having polishing products used – plastic is sensitive! If your plastic trims or finishing moulds suffer fading or colour change due to UV radiation and weathering, we recommend the use of Wipe New Trim Restore kit. It is a safe and cost-effective way to renew your plastic trims with easy application. 


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