We can’t control the weather. Sometimes we can’t even predict it accurately. But we can prepare for it. The same is true for tape. When it comes to selecting the right tape for the job, it’s important to prepare for the worst, and that means understanding how field conditions affect the performance and longevity of adhesive bonds.
- What Kind of Surface Do You Have? Flat. Smooth. Porous. Non-porous. Chemical nature. All these surface characteristics play a vital role in tape selection. If your project involves taping metal or glass, you would choose something totally different than if you are trying to tape concrete or wood.
- Inside or Outside? Exposure to weather elements plays a factor in tape selection.
- How Cold Will It Get? Sub-zero arctic cold requires a totally different adhesive than Atlanta, Georgia cold. We explain why here.
- How Hot Will It Get? If tape can freeze, it can also melt. If your project will be subject to extreme high temperatures, (up to 500°F or 260° ), it’s important to choose a maximum temperature tape to avoid any meltdown. [pun intended!]
- What About Temperature Differences? One hundred degree temperature fluctuations cause building materials to expand and contract. Can your tape handle that?
- How Dirty Is The Job Site? Whether it’s particle dust from other construction projects nearby or leftover grit from your hands, dirt significantly affects the adhesive bond. Make sure the surface is clean, dry, and dust and oil free.
- Temporary or Permanent? It’s important to consider how the tape is going to be used and for how long. A temporary adhesive can be placed on a substrate with strong adhesion and holding properties but can easily be removed or repositioned. Think of permanent adhesives as a replacement rivets, welding, and fasteners — thing that are meant to last forever.
- Do You Need UV Protection? Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light can cause chemical changes to adhesive materials. We discuss that in depth here.
- What About Wind? Obviously tornadoes and hurricanes would be critical considerations when selecting tape, but any high wind event can cause serious damage. Is your tape rated for high wind performance?
- Will Tape Get Wet? Moisture in all it’s forms is sneaky. Not only can surface condensation negatively affect adhesion strength, but so can high humidity. Builders and contractors rely on tape to create a water-tight weather barrier, but it won’t do it’s job if it’s not dry to begin with.
If you are having issues with tape performance, use this checklist to troubleshoot. And if that doesn’t answer your problem, then give us a call. We love a good tape challenge!