Tape 101: Making it stick

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Risa Edelstein
Risa Edelstein
For most of us, tape is not something we think much about until we need it for something, but a healthcare provider might be surprised by how many considerations go into picking the appropriate tape.

Duct tape has become known as the “fix-it” tape for every type of repair, but if that's your go-to selection, you might want to think twice. So many factors go into deciding what the appropriate tape is for each application – perhaps even some you haven't considered. While large-scale painting would likely to be outsourced at a nursing home, administrators often try to find quick and cheap fixes for décor. The right tape can be the answer.

Residue-Free: Don't Leave Anything Behind

You must consider how long you need a tape to last. Is the tape being used to help residents hang pictures on the wall, or as a quick fix for a hose? Each tape's adhesive features a different level of removability, which indicates how long it can be applied without leaving residue.

Some tapes are designed to last only a few days, such as painter's tape – which can typically remain on a wall or floor for a couple of weeks before it will start to leave residue. Others are meant to be more permanent, such as industrial-strength double-sided tapes and consumer tapes used for mounting. What is your policy for what employees can hang in their office or unit? Some tapes are known as “permanent repositionable,” which means that you can attach something using the tape, and then have a few minutes to reposition it before the adhesive sets in and starts to become permanent.

How Heavy Is It? Don't Forget Gravity

The weight, gravity pull, and texture of surfaces you're taping all come into play as well. An adhesive holding something to the ground likely won't need to be as strong as what you'll need to hang something from the ceiling. And a textured surface will need a far stickier or tackier adhesive to stick to all the little bumps and nooks, than will a smooth surface such as glass.

Heading Outside? Prepare for Extreme Weather

You must also consider your local climate. If you'll be taping something outside –for example, a sign – can it withstand extreme changes in temperature? You'll have to consider the temperature at the time of application, as well as the highs and lows the tape will experience, to pick the one with the right adhesive. If you live in a rainy or snowy climate, or if the tape will be in a wet location, waterproofing features will be important as well.

ECHOtape has been providing pressure-sensitive tapes for a variety of applications for more than 40 years. We now offer a Contractors Choice line of tapes to independent builders and do-it-yourself designers and repairmen, with a comprehensive selection of tapes to fit most needs. Sometimes it's difficult to pick the right one, but I can guarantee you there's a tape out there to suit your needs, and our professionals are ready to match you to the right tape for your needs.

Risa Edelstein is the Director of Marketing and Retail Products for ECHOtape, which has matched companies across North America with pressure-sensitive tape for specific application needs for more than 40 years, and now offers an online product marketplace at shop.echotape.com. You can email her at RisaE@echotape.com or call 800-461-8273.

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