The car detailing industry is often guilty of glamourizing the names of products and services. This isn't the case with the versatile paint sealant. Its actually called a sealant. You may see a few instances where it has the word "ceramic" in front of it, but other than that, its just a sealant. So, what is it?
A paint sealant is another form of vehicle protection, just the same as a wax or a ceramic coating. It actually falls right in the middle of the two when it comes to durability and function. Just like the other two products, some are better than others. Sealants are more durable and perform better than a traditional wax, but they fall short when stood next to a ceramic coating. Some of them last for 3 months, while others claim up to a year of durability. We personally haven't used one that lasts a year.
We use Gtechniq C2v3, which does have SiO2 (ceramic) properties. This product claims 4-8 months of durability when properly maintained. We always advertise it as a 6 month sealant. For one, 6 months falls right in the middle of the company's claims. Secondly, we've never had it fail at 4 months. We do see it last 8 months regularly, but we don't advertise it that way because we don't want to set unreasonable expectations.
From our experience, most sealants will provide better gloss and are more water-resistant than waxes. They make washing your car much faster and easier as well. However, the gap between waxes and sealants is not as big as the gap between sealants and ceramic coatings. This is reflected in the price point and the preparation involved for each product. It falls right in line with "you get what you pay for." This is why we at SpeeDetail think sealants are the perfect budget-friendly solution. We do advertise 6 months of durability from our sealant, but we recommend having a sealant applied 3 times per year. This ensures the sealant is performing its best at all times.
Looking at the bigger picture, a 1 year ceramic coating costs the same as it would to have a sealant applied 3 times per year. A ceramic coating is a one-time payment, versus paying 3 times for the sealant. Our 1 year coating for a sedan in good condition is $449. To apply a sealant 3 times on the same car, it would cost you $447, divided up into 3 payments. One thing to take away from this post, is that we will always recommend a sealant over a wax, but we won't always recommend a ceramic coating over a sealant. We go into more detail on this in our 5 Reasons You Shouldn't Get A Ceramic Coating blog post.
In closing, we want to thank you for reading and as always, reach out to us with questions about properly maintaining your vehicle. If we can't help you, we'll send you to someone who can.
Your SpeeDetail Team
Butler & Warren Counties