Are Natural Elements Harmful To Your Paint?

This past weekend was wet and soggy. Luckily, we can now experience some sunny weather before more expected rain this Thursday through next Monday. It could be worse – 2018 saw record breaking rainfall numbers (source), so hopefully 2019 eases up. 

Regardless, the fact of the matter is that in the Washington, D.C. area, your car and its paint experience all of the elements – rain, sun, ice, snow, pollen and let’s not forget the occasional hail (in 2017, for example, Arlington had 15 hail reports (source)). Even wind can be damaging if it’s strong enough, just ask this guy:

car with branch

Being a fanatic about detailing, paint protection and paint correction, we wanted to look at if the elements are harmful. Last week we talked about pollen, and a few months ago we talked about snow. But what about the most common elements, extreme heat and rain?

Does Rain Water Contain Any Harmful Elements?

The short answer, like many answers, is, “It depends.”

One of the most obvious concerns are water marks. While water will eventually evaporate, any dirt or minerals that were in the rain water will not, and will usually result in what are known as water marks. The good news is that regular water marks do not generally damage your vehicle’s paint, they just take away from the shine factor. However, not properly washing your vehicle after several rainy days can result in a build up of water marks which means a build up of dirt. This can, over time, become harder to remove. In Spring and Summer especially, rain is continuous which means you should try to have your vehicle properly cleaned every 1-2 weeks (at least).

What if it’s been longer than few weeks? No need to worry. If a good hand-washing will not work, a clay bar or Nano Mitt (Advanced Clay Bar Surface) can remove ingrained dirt from your vehicle’s paint. This process is included in our Wash + Wax Sealant package.

What About Acid Rain?

Not to turn this into science class, but the EPA defines Acid Rain as “A broad term referring to a mixture of wet and dry deposition (deposited material) from the atmosphere containing higher than normal amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids.” In simpler terms, rain can sometimes contain more pollution and elements than normal depending on the area and weather patterns. The higher-than-normal acidity of this rain is different than normal water spots and can cause paint damage if left unattended.However, just like preventative measures can be taken to avoid engine problems with your vehicle, i.e., oil and fluid changes, steps can be taken to avoid acid rain damage. A good wax sealant or paint protective coating (like Ceramic Pro or Opti-Coat Pro) can help to deflect the harmful elements of acid rain and provide not only peace of mind, but a SHINE unlike any other.

Let’s Talk About Extreme Heat

While it’s great to welcome some sunny weather, we should be mindful of what a lot of that can mean. So just as your skin can get sunburned, so can the paint of your car, truck, van, or SUV. Chances are you have seen a car with sun damage – Does this look familiar?

Sun damage can be the result of not having a vehicle properly washed, waxed and protected. A thorough wash gets rid of dirt and grime that can increase the chances of the topcoat being damaged. Washing alone won’t always help protect against sun damage, however, so be sure to consider adding a layer of protection in the form of Capitol Shine’s wax sealant or paint protection products like Ceramic Pro or Paint Protection Film – it’s SPF for your car!

What’s Our Waxing Process?

At Capitol Shine, our WASH + WAX SEALANT consists of a paint-safe hand wash and dry of the exterior, trunk and door jambs, windows, mirrors, dashboard, console, wheels and tires. We also incorporate bug and tar removal, a clay bar surface treatment, dressing outside plastics and rubber as well as a hand WAX Sealant to the exterior into the process. After that, we polish it all off with a light buff. So take a look at our Wash + Wax as well as our other services by clicking here.

Ceramic Pro

It’s is not a wax or sealant, but a nano ceramic coating that bonds with the paint and is only removed by abrasion such as machine polishing. This coating also never needs to be waxed and is: Scratch resistant, UV resistant, Anti-corrosive, Self cleaning, Provides extreme gloss and contains hydrophobic properties. View all of the packages and information videos on our paint protection website here.

Paint Protection Film

Why would one choose film over a protective coating? Actually, the majority of our customers who receive film also have a protective coating applied on top of the film which results in excellent protection against rock chips – the thicker the layer, the harder it is to penetrate the paint. Another reason our customers choose to wrap their vehicle in film is because of the variety of colors offered. Imagine changing your vehicle’s color while preserving the original paint underneath. The film can be removed at a later time and return the vehicle to its factory color. We offer different packages of film wrapping for different areas of your vehicle. Find our packages on paint protection film here.

Other Tips for Protection Against the Sun 

  • Park in the shade when you can to reduce paint and interior damage.
  • Check your tires! Extreme heat can mix with under inflated tires and cause a blowout.
  • Use a sunshade for the windshield. This can help protect your dashboard from cracking as well as reduce the overall temperature of your vehicle’s interior.
  • Consider installing window tint, which can help block UV rays.
  • Use a car cover when your vehicle is parked for longer periods of time.
  • Did we mention getting a wash and wax sealant for your vehicle?

To book your hand wash or wax sealant detailing, please head over to our scheduling page to make an appointment! Please schedule at least 24 hours in advance to ensure time and date.

To schedule a free estimate for paint protection, such as Ceramic Pro or Paint Protection Film, please visit our paint protection website at