Regardless of how well-made a car is, its parts are prone to breaking down over time. A car’s headliner is no different. Age, overheating, and insufficient upkeep all contribute to a headliner becoming loose and sagging.
Naturally, this is a hassle you want to sort out as soon as possible. Replacing an entire headliner, though, is quite expensive and time-consuming. So it is best to leave that option for cases of irreparable damage.
So what about the damages that don’t seem that bad? Well, there are ways to repair a sagging headliner and increase its lifespan without removing it! This article will walk you through a few of those quick fixes. So read on to know more!
Why Is A Headliner Important?
A headliner’s primary purpose is insulation. This soft fabric, glued along the roof, helps maintain the temperature within a car during hot summers and freezing winters.
The headliner is also responsible for absorbing soundwaves. As such, it keeps the inside of the vehicle relatively quiet despite noisy surroundings. That is especially crucial because loud noises can be pretty distracting while driving.
Apart from its practical uses, a headliner also adds to the overall aesthetic of a car. Its smooth fabric texture is just as pleasing to the touch as it is to the eye. So it goes without saying that keeping your headliner in premium condition is important.
6 Methods For Fixing A Sagging Headliner Without Removing It
Removing and replacing a headliner as a whole is not the most cost-effective solution. In fact, in some situations, it may not even be necessary! Here are some practical methods you can use to fix your sagging headliner without breaking the bank:
1. Use Glue
Glue gets used to stick a headliner to a car’s roof in the first place. It’s simply that its effects tend to weaken with time. So sometimes, a headliner fix can be as simple as reapplying glue to loose or sagging areas!
Before applying the glue, ensure the surface is dry and free of dirt. Also, try to be as even as possible while using the glue for the best results. Then apply some pressure on the areas as the glue dries. That way, the headliner is likely to stay in place once you remove the pressure.
Glues are available in abundance in the market. However, many prefer to use hot glue since it works a lot quicker. You can even find adhesives designed explicitly for fixing sagging headliners. These may be more to your liking since they are much cheaper and don’t require additional tools.
2. Use Double-Sided Tape
Perhaps you want to stick your sagging headliner but don’t have any glue on hand. Well, don’t worry because there’s another easy solution: double-sided tape! Not only is this tape a lot less messy than glue, but it’s something found in almost every household.
First, cut a few pieces of double-sided tape and stick them to the headliner’s surface. Then gently press the headliner to the backboard until it sticks.
This method has an advantage over the glue. Whenever the headliner comes loose, you can just remove the old tape and stick on new pieces! Adhesive, on the other hand, is a tad messier. Although you can reapply glue, the previous layer will still be on the surface, which doesn’t look the neatest.
That said, double-sided tape is not without its faults. You can’t spread tape evenly like you would with glue. So this leaves you with two options. For one, you can cut the tape in the shape of the sagging headliner areas. However, this is both tricky and time-consuming.
The better option is to apply tape to the headliner edges and leave air bubbles in the middle. Either way, though, it’s best to use tape only in cases of minor damages.
3. Use A Hairdryer Or Steam Cleaner
Sometimes you’ll find the headliner still sticking to its backboard despite being loose in some spots. That usually happens because the adhesive is still in place but is just starting to lose its stickiness. In this case, a simple revival of the glue’s stickiness should suffice to make your headliner as good as new!
All you need to do is heat the headliner enough to melt the adhesive. Hairdryers and steam cleaners are ideal for this purpose. Simply apply the heat or steam to sagging areas until you feel the glue has melted enough.
Then press the headliner to the backboard so it sticks. You can also use a paint roller for this purpose for greater uniformity while spreading the glue.
4. Use Thumbtacks
Yes, you read that right. You can use thumbtacks or pins to hold your headliner in place! This method is time-saving, efficient, and the cheapest of all. Simply place the pins along the loose edges of the headliner and press hard to attach it to the backboard.
Of course, thumbtacks are not as inconspicuous as the other methods. However, with a little bit of creativity, you could make it look appealing! For instance, consider using different color pins or arranging them in a pattern.
This method, too, has its flaws, though. For one, the pins may eventually be unable to hold the headliner in place. If that happens, or you remove them, you’ll likely need to apply even more pins. Not to mention, if you ever want to try another method, the pinholes will still be visible.
5. Use Staples And Hair Spray
Yet another innovative fix for sagging headliners involves using staple pins and hairspray! The way it works is you first use the staples to hold the headboard in place. Then you spray over it with hairspray.
Naturally, a simple stapler will not suffice in this case. However, a staple gun should effectively help attach the headliner to the backboard. Since headliner fabric is usually soft and thin, staple pins from a gun should easily pass through it.
The purpose behind spraying the headliner with hairspray is to help it regain its stickiness. After all, hairspray has properties capable of melting adhesives.
Once you complete spraying the headliner, you can pull the staples out. Do be careful while doing this, though. If you’re too rough, you might end up ripping the headliner fabric. Also, it is best to use as few staples pins as possible. They tend to leave tiny holes behind that aren’t the most aesthetically appealing.
6. Use Sequin Or Clear-Headed Twist Pins
Twist pins, usually used in upholstery, have a unique corkscrew design. Due to their design, the pins tend to twist and lock the fabric more securely whenever you fix them into place. Not to mention, the clear heads of these pins make them a lot more conspicuous to your passengers!
As a result, many consider these pins to be the ideal solution for sagging headliners. Simply attach the pins to the headliner by twisting them into place. You could also arrange them to create an innovative design!
Yet, another advantage to clear-headed pins is that they leave no holes behind. Besides, they are also relatively cheap, easy to find, and extremely affordable.
General Tips To Follow Before Fixing A Sagging Headliner
Before you get to work on your sagging headliner, there are a few tips you should practice. These will ensure that no matter what method you use, it is as efficient as possible. At the same time, they will make sure you receive the best possible results.
- First thing’s first, clean the backboard surface. That is especially important if you intend to apply glue or tape as dust can reduce the effectiveness.
- When using pins or staples, try to use as few as possible. The fewer pins you use, the fewer holes will be left behind in your headliner when you remove them.
- If you ever need to remove the thumbtacks or staple pins, be extremely careful. Being rough when taking out pins can cause you to rip the headliner fabric.
- When applying glue or adhesive, do your best to spread it uniformly. In fact, it is highly advisable to use a paint roller for this purpose. Uneven spreading of the glue could leave you with an aesthetically unappealing and distorted headliner.
Tips On Protecting Your Car From Overheating
Extreme heat is one of the primary causes of sagging headliners. After all, the overheating is responsible for melting the headliner’s glue and loosening it from the backboard. So besides repairing your headliner, you should follow some tips to prevent it from further damage. Here’s how you can protect your car from excessive heat:
- Park in the shade whenever possible.
- Always use a windshield sun protector to keep your car’s interior cool.
- Wax your car now and then.
- Install seat covers for further temperature control within the car.
- Wash your car’s interior and exterior whenever you can.
While these fixes are pretty efficient, it is important to remember that they are not permanent solutions. Also, bear in mind that these will work best in the case of minor damages.
So it is best to start using these methods as soon as you notice the slightest change in your headliner. That way, you will be able to prolong your headliner’s life and put off replacement for the foreseeable future!