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Need Help Huge water bubble behind wrap on box truck

Discussion in 'Vehicle Wraps' started by Pete femia, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. Pete femia

    Pete femia New Member

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    Have a truck that was wrapped in 3M ij180 printed on a latex HP. Huge bubble from what seems to be water that crept down from top seam. I have yet to go investigate but was hoping someone with a similar issue had a reason why this would occur and/or method that would prevent this from happening.. Seems to be in one spot only. Wrap is about a month old. Pic shows bubble and also after install was finished. I recall primer being used down the seam by the rivets.

    Thanks for any insight.
     

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  2. ikarasu

    ikarasu Active Member

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    Did you slit down the Panel or just wrap over it? If you wrapped over it that's where the water is coming from. It's always best to slit

    (edit) maybe I'm wrong...we don't do many trailers. Lots of cars, but we never have that big of a gap in the cars we do. But to me it looks like the gaps too big... So water will seep all down it. I would have heated it.. Pressed it in, then did a slit / repressed it in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
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  3. ikarasu

    ikarasu Active Member

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    I got curious so I watched a few trailer wrap jobs. They all seem to cut the seam at the edge of the panel overlap... So I do think that was why you got a huge water bubble. I kind of remember that from 3M training years ago. I've been lucky enough not to have to do any box trucks though.

    You might be able to fix it, if the water wasn't too too dirty... Slim chance, but we've been able to reapply with a heat gun. Sometimes a bit of primer to make sure it holds.... Worth a shot and beats redoing the whole side panel.
     
  4. crystalcoastgraphics

    crystalcoastgraphics Member

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    The wrap needs to be cut at every seam in the metal. Always. Now as far as fixing goes, you can cut the seam, and try to lift it up and let it dry. Since it is only a month old, I’d just remove that piece and replace. Chalk it up as a learning experience and make sure the rest of the seams are cut correctly.
     
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  5. crystalcoastgraphics

    crystalcoastgraphics Member

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    And also now that I'm looking at it on a bigger screen. I see it has horizontal seams on the vinyl. Did you face the overlap up? I look like you did. If so, that is also a problem. Make sure if you are going to do a horizontal seam, you face the overlaps down. That will probably cause another issue down the road.
     
  6. Kentucky Wraps

    Kentucky Wraps Kentucky Wraps

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    Exact same thing happened to us within days of wrapping a Van. The rain water had made it's way from the roof line down into and along the small rubber joint which pooled up half way down the wrap.

    LeakBubble.jpg
     
  7. crystalcoastgraphics

    crystalcoastgraphics Member

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    We always cut those rubber stripes out also. Those you always have to do slowly and carefully to get a good clean even cut.
     
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  8. Modern Ink Signs

    Modern Ink Signs Member

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    As others have said, you MUST cut the vertical where the pieces of aluminum overlap.

    Rule of thumb for overlapping panels is back > front and bottom > top

    You will have to replace the affected pane(s). Your adhesive is now contaminated and failure will continue if you try to fix by “just letting it dry”.

    Also looms like your rivets need to be done better. You have a lot of tenting.



    Just curious, in looking at what we can see of the design, why did you do a wrap and not just do graphics? Unless covering something up and the truck you used more material and took more time to do this project.
     
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  9. Jonathan Baltic

    Jonathan Baltic New Member

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    Jan 3, 2019
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    Interesting thread. Does anyone have any recommendations when a wrap or decal has to go over a heavy steel plate weld seam?
     
  10. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    I keep on coming back to this post just to see that huge water bubble that formed. Hope you can match the color on the new panel you are going to print again. I have read on this site how difficult it is with a HP latex printer. Good luck.
     
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  11. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    If it is a weld that is solid, I'd use a heat gun and roller to really mash it into the grooves/bumps of the weld. If your material doesn't look like the surface it went onto at just the right angle, it hasn't been pressed down with enough heat. We did a handful of ATM's for a bank that changed their name recently. Some of the ATM's had a texture similiar to EFIS or stucco. Halfway through I realized we were not actually adhearing, so I took off for the local fellers and got one of those $80 2" rollers and spent the next hour or so burning my knuckle hairs off while rolling it. Later the same company that handled the bank conversion requested we redo a few of the ATM's that another company had done. Turns out they did not notice the vinyl was not adhering, and the whole side of the ATM's were flapping in the breeze. I invested in the 3m TSA roller and that thing has been a blast. It'll even do louvers if you go at them properly!

    Also on this thing, all seems need to be slit, primered if it's a clandared film. All rivets should be pressed with heat thoroughly. Honestly unless this trailer needed some love, I probably would have printed and plotted the graphics.
    Also, is that a horizontal seem in the pink?
     
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  12. jfiscus

    jfiscus Adobe Shinobi

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    We usually cut those out. It might be possible to roll them down and leave them but that leaves the possibility for failure at a later date.
     
  13. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    I was wondering the same thing.
     
  14. Pete femia

    Pete femia New Member

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  15. Pete femia

    Pete femia New Member

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    Aug 21, 2018
    clifton nj
    Seems it was a bit of a mis judgement. Even with primer applied to this seam. The seam was not as firm as a weld. As well a very small divot at the top of the seam is apparently where the water gained entrance. I was able to pull back the wrap, clean and reapply. and also trimming the white in front of the seam away. I generally cut down the overlap seams that are not sealed. When sealer/paint is present I feel it is a gamble to trim being the paint may split and/or the sealer may let the vinyl curl back. The other side and other seams/rivets were fine on the truck.
    Wrap was done full cover at customers request and the seam on the pink was to fix a panel art misalignment.
    Thanks for all responses.
     

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  16. jfiscus

    jfiscus Adobe Shinobi

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    Probably wouldn't hurt to run a strip of edge seal tape along the top of the "fine" side.
     
  17. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Both that I see are installer failing to do the installation properly. As others mentioned, metal panel seams should always be cut. Rivets (also as already mentioned) are not looking very well done either. On Sprinters and other vehicles with a rubber transition between body joints, that always needs to be cut out unless you want to slather the rubber with primer. Even then you would still at minimum cut each side as the rubber and metal panels expand and contract at very different rates. Regardless of what it is, moldings, panel seams, anything that there is a sharp difference in the two surfaces should always be cut. No matter how small the gap might seem, water will get in and then collect and then cause a failure.

    On a weld, if you must or the customer insists on wrapping one, as Jburton said, heat it and rollepro or rivet brush it into the texture. Depending on the material I'd also put some primer on the weld first as well.
     
  18. Jb1983

    Jb1983 Member

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    All seams MUST be cut, its not a customer option if im doing the job!

    For those sprinters and similar if you dont cut those areas which lots of guys don't as they would rather live with minimal lifting than body color showing thru., you've got to make sure you seal that top edge, wether this be using clear edge sealing tape as it molds very well or even a dab of silicone at that spot..... That area doesn't flex or move around anywhere close to how a box truck or trailer aluminum panels do like this post is about.
     
  19. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    If you aren't comfortable letting the guys cut on your customers paint job, get a couple of rolls of the knifeless tape. That stuff is magic. Additionally you can go to a scrap yard and pick up a tailgate with nice paint for pretty cheap, and let your guys practice trimming material on it. 12"x12" square, cutting away 1/4" off each edge 3x in a row without cutting the paint is 3m's test if I recall correctly.

    I'll also say every time your vinyl bridges two pieces of material, cut the seam. We assemble multiple .090 aluminum panels on a 2"x2" aluminum angle frame, welded together and painted, then lettered. Even when the two panels are made from identical materials, and the whole thing has a very sturdy frame and is welded, I still cut the seams on the vinyl. Unless you have a seam that is imperceivable from the finished surface, cut it!
     
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