Today at Coach Specialists of Texas we are talking about Diamond Shield.
If you are new to RVing and have heard the term mentioned Diamond shield is a name brand o f a clear vinyl protective film that many RV’s have installed to protect the paint. There are other similar products such as those from 3M, but Diamond Shield is the most commonly found paint protective film in the RV industry.
But like all RV exterior materials such as the gel coat, decals, paints and exterior parts, the success and longevity of the product comes down to the diligence and care of the owner. Perhaps you are on this blog today seeking answers to a Diamond Shield issue because you are the second (or third) owner of an RV with Diamond shield, or perhaps yours has simply seen better days.
Much like the paint or Gelcoat on your RV, it properly cared for it will look great for a long time, but not forever. The question then becomes what to do about a failing or unsightly diamond shield coating?
If you continue to Google this subject, you will find all kinds of advice on how to remove it yourself to save a few dollars. But we sincerely caution you in doing so and we will explain why in a moment.
Problems associated with an aging RV Diamond Shield application
Since Diamond shield is designed to protect the front of your RV from sun fading, rock chips and bug damage, the materiel itself will take the brunt of the damage. The idea is that once this product has lived its life, you simply replace it without having to re-paint the front of the coach. Over time and especially if it is not cared for, Diamond shield will begin to yellow, get chipped up and even get some suborn or downright un-removable bug stains. The 3M product was also very prone to yellowing issues. We have even seen some instances where a little bit of mold can develop on the film or behind it if the bond has been compromised. If you can live with some of that, a good cleaning and waxing can bring it back to like for the most part. See the diamond Shield care section below for specifics on how to accomplish this.
But if you simply cannot take the look of the aged Diamond shield any longer you have a few options: Remove it and repaint the front, or remove and replace the diamond shield (which can sometimes involve a bit of painting).
Why We Recommend That You Reconsider Removing Diamond Shield Yourself.
You might be tempted to try this yourself. Most of the blogs on the internet discuss how to do this as a DIY. But if you do, be prepared for some paint loss, the use of harsh solvents and a lot of time spend rubbing. Some people have reported that it can take over 24 man hours to remove the film and the remaining glue themselves. If you have any vinyl decals on top of or underneath the diamond shield, there is an almost certainty that those will be damaged in the DIY removal process. With a heat gun and some time and patience, you can peel the diamond shield off yourself, but the remaining glue residue is the biggest challenges. And if not removed properly, you can at a minimum, peel off some of your clear coat, and at worst peel off the Gel coat. If you damage the gel coat, then suddenly your repair will go from a simple paint touch up, to a major Gel coat repair job.
When dealing with the residual glue using improper solvents, or using solvent improperly can damage the paint, gel coat, and in some cases, people have damaged parts such as headlights and front grilles. Please do not use Xylol to remove any residual glue, and please do not use gasoline as a solvent. Yes we have seen this advice on the internet and quite frankly this advice is both It is dangerous and a risk to your health.
How much does it cost to remove and Replace Diamond Shield at Coach Specialists of Texas?
Because we are a full service RV repair shop, we have the tools, materials and expertise to do this the right way for you, and do it quickly. But even we run into issues where some paint loss occurs. It comes down the age of the unit, the care of the overall paint and the extent of the damage to the Diamond shield especially any hard hits from road debris.
Typically we can remove and replace Diamond shield in a one or two day turn around for $3,000- $3,500. That includes removal, cleaning and replacing with a brand new Diamond Shield. If there is any paint loss, or if the customer desires some paint or decal work prior to re-installing, we can quote that on a case by case basis. Typically a little paint retouch will only add a couple of hundred dollars to the price tag.
Once you have your Diamond Shield replaced, you are going to need to take care of it. The following information is pulled directly from the Diamond Shield Website which can be found here.
Diamond Shield Product Care (from https://www.diamond-shield.com)
1 .Once Diamond Shield is applied, Do not wash the RV for 48 hours. After 48 hours, washing presents no problems.
2. DO NOT USE HARSH OR ABRASIVE CLEANERS OR DETERGENTS.
3 We do not recommend ANY of the dry wash types of cleaners as they are intended for non-porous surfaces and paint protection films are a porous material.
4. Car wash type soap is recommended to wash your Diamond Shield
5. Bugs should be washed off ASAP. One bug cleaner we recommend is Bug Magic, but any similar product should work just as well.
6. Use EXTREME care if using a pressure washer, as too high of a pressure or misuse of pressure washer may cut or tear the film. Pressure washer damage IS NOT covered under Diamond Shield’s warranty.
7. The application of ANY products over Diamond Shield such as vinyl bras, banners, will void the Diamond Shield warranty.
8. Diamond Shield recommends the use of 303 Aerospace Protectant™, especially before any trips or Protect All (www.protectall.com) as both of these products replenish and provide UV screening protection, repel dust, soiling and staining, and should be applied every time you clean the front of your auto/truck/rv/etc.
9. For minor scuffs we recommend the NOVUS line of products.
10. Waxing of your coach is recommended at least 3-4 times/year.
11. Prior to putting your RV in storage, Diamond Shield Nano-Fusion Paint Protection Film should be cleaned and waxed. We recommend Mothers or Maguire’s Liquid wax.
12. DO NOT USE wax designed for specific colors.