Find the right kind of tape for every application
Tape may seem like a pretty simple material with a limited range of
applications, but that is far from the truth. Tape comes in such a wide range
of types, sizes, colors and adhesive strengths that it’s hard to picture a job
that wouldn’t be easier in one way or another with the right tape. Not every
kind is suitable for every task, however. Choosing tape that is not designed
for the job you’re working on may result in a lack of adhesion or a sticky
residue that’s nearly impossible to remove. Carefully weigh your options and
keep the following questions in mind as you shop:
Types, Usage and Removal
Whether you are looking for a specific type of tape to help you complete some projects around the house or you just need a reliable all-purpose tape, there are a large number of options available. Choosing the right tape for your application depends on the strength of the adhesive required and how smooth or rough your surface is. Some types of tape are available with varying degrees of adhesive power. Others come in multiple colors, a feature that can be especially handy when working with electrical wires or other objects where a system of classification would be helpful. Removing tape can be a sticky proposition if it’s been left on too long, so it is important to know how long tape can remain in place and still be easily removed. You’ll want to take the duration of your project into account when making a decision.
Paint and Masking Tape: Before you begin painting a room, you’ll need to apply tape to trim, molding, electrical outlets, window and door frames and anywhere else that you don’t want to splatter or accidentally brush with paint. In the past, masking tape was widely used for this purpose. While there are still a large number of masking tape options, special tape formulated specifically for paint applications is now available. Painting tape is usually blue in color and features a generous width. It is easy to remove and won’t leave a residue. It is designed to prevent paint from seeping through, keeping surfaces protected from drips and brush strokes. If you’re painting a surface that’s been painted previously, use repainting tape, which is specially designed to come off cleanly after it has been applied to previously finished surfaces.
Carpet and Electrical Tape: Laying down rugs and carpets is much easier
with the help of carpet tape, which features adhesive on both sides. It is
designed for use on wood, concrete, ceramic tile or vinyl floors and helps
hold carpeting in place for easier installation. Electrical tape is used to
insulate materials that conduct electricity. It comes in multiple colors,
allowing you to color code wires for easier identification.
Packaging and Duct Tape: For packing boxes, moving or sending out
packages in the mail, use a packaging, or sealing, tape designed to seal boxes
and other containers. Packaging tape is designed to seal instantly and provide
a strong, firm hold. Duct tape may be one of the most useful and versatile
materials you ever lay your hands on. Originally called “duck tape” because it
was used to provide a watertight seal for ammunition cases, duct tape has
become an indispensable part of any do-it-yourselfer’s tool box. It’s
available in a variety of colors and provides a strong hold. Duct tape is made
up of three layers. The top layer is a durable plastic, the middle layer is a
fabric mesh and the bottom layer is the adhesive.
|Tape||Characteristics and Features||Applications|
Usage and Removal: Tape can be used on surfaces ranging from wood and metal to plastic and plaster. An important point to remember is that different types of tape adhere with varying degrees of success to different surfaces. Make sure the tape you’re using is designed to work on the surface you’re applying it to. Many types of tape will specify how long they can be left in place before they will fail or harm the surface they’re adhered to. This time frame may range anywhere from a few days to a couple months or more. When it comes time to remove tape, do it at a medium pace. Removing tape too quickly may cause it to break or splinter. Removing it too slowly increases the likelihood of transferring adhesive from the tape to the surface underneath. Remove tape as soon as possible to minimize problems.
Tape Gun: When you’ve moving, there’s no shortage of boxes to pack. Taping them by hand can become tedious pretty quickly. For faster, more efficient tape application, and to save some wear and tear on your hands, use a tape gun. Tape guns feature a sharp row of serrated teeth that cut through tape easily, saving you from having to get the scissors out and clip every few seconds.
Pre-Taped Drop Cloths: Drop cloths protect floors, furniture and more during painting projects. Taping them in place, however, can be a frustrating and time-consuming activity. Look for pre-taped drop cloths to cut down on some of the effort. With tape already in place, you can get to work faster.
UV Resistance: Exposure to sunlight causes tape to bake onto the surface it is adhered to, making it much more difficult to remove. When painting or working outside, look for painter’s tape that is resistant to sunlight and UV rays, which will make it much easier to remove when the job is done.
Tape Measure Tape: There are some tasks, such as painting or hanging pictures, where measurements come in handy. Some tape features inch markings, allowing you to measure while you work without having to get out your tape measure.
Clear Tape: If you want to see the surface underneath tape or prefer that it be somewhat inconspicuous, look for clear masking or duct tape.
A tape gun will come in handy for applying packing tape quickly and easily.
Make sure you have scissors or a utility knife on hand to cut tape.