We may be in the middle of troubling times, but still, there are things to be grateful for. One of those is that days are getting longer and the weather drier. This can only mean that spring is around the corner. You might be thinking about getting your convertible out of storage for the season. Or perhaps, you’re thinking about buying one for summer. With this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to give some handy advice on convertible roof care. Read on if you have a convertible car because I’m including information on fabric, vinyl and folding rooves, plus removable hardtops.
Convertible Roof Care:
When it comes to convertible roof care, there are four main points I’d like to go over; cleaning, protection, maintenance and storage.
If you’ve just removed your car from storage or you’ve bought an older car that’s never had the convertible roof cleaned properly then this is the first thing to do. It’s only after a thorough clean that you can consider protective coating.
If you’ve got a fabric roof you’ll want to soak the fabric down with water then use a dedicated fabric cleanser. Use the same one that you’d use on the inside of the vehicle. We use AMMO Shag Fabric Cleaner. Spray the roof down and work the product in with a stiff bristle brush making sure to get into all the tight areas, seams and edges. If the fabric is worn and looking a little frayed or delicate, then use a softer bristle brush.
The next stage is to thoroughly rinse the roof with plenty of water to ensure no product residue is left behind. Do take care when using a pressure washer; don’t get too close to it.
If it’s a vinyl roof, then the procedure is the same except you’ll be using a cleaner that’s safe for vinyl. We use AMMO Lather Interior Cleanser.
Hard Top Rooves
If it’s a painted hardtop, then wash it like you would the rest of the car.
Finally, dry the roof. The process here is the same for all roof types. Use a microfibre towel to soak up as much of the water as possible then leave to air dry. We like to use a vehicle air blower as well as an additional step to speed up the drying process.
It’s important to coat a fabric or vinyl roof. A coating protects it from staining and contamination as well as making it water repellent. Additionally, a suitable coating will make convertible roof care much easier in the long run. Make sure the roof is bone dry before applying any coating. If you’ve just washed it leave it to air-dry indoors for 48 hours.
Depending on the coating you’re using the application method will differ. Always follow the instructions for the specific coatings you’re using and make sure it is designed for the material you intend to use it on.
For a fabric roof, we like to use GTechniq’s I1 Smart Fabric AB V2 coating. This product has an anti-microbial function to inhibit the growth of mould and mildew, which is very handy for cars that live outside. For vinyl rooves, we use Gyeon’s O2M Preserve coating. Finally, if it’s a painted hardtop we ceramic coat it just like the rest of the car, usually with Kamikaze Collection’s Miyabi coat topped with Zipang coat.
Maintenance of the properly protected roof is simple. Just give it a quick wash with a microfiber towel or mitt soaked in a Ph neutral car shampoo during the normal wash and rinse off all the suds. There’s no need to do any harsh scrubbing. Simply use enough pressure to remove any dirt that may have built up since the last wash.
When you notice the water beading start to weaken, you’ll want to make sure the roof is completely clean and dry before re-applying the protective coating.
Finally, it’s important to correctly store a removable roof that doesn’t fold away into the car or have anywhere in the car to store it when not in use. Store it in a clean, dry, indoor area. Sometimes you can buy stands that are purpose-built to hold a removable hardtop when not in use. Be careful to not let any painted surface rest against anything for too long as it can end up leaving a mark on the paint, use plenty of soft padding to help avoid this.
Don’t bury the roof under anything. Placing boxes or other items on top of the roof may damage it, especially over a long period.
If you have a car with a retractable roof and you’re putting the car into storage make sure to store it with the roof up so that it doesn’t get creased from being folded up in the car for extended periods.
At Black River Details we can help you with your converible roof care. Talk to us about our detailing services that can help! Contact us HERE.