According to Peter Bourgeois, Territory Sales Manager for Western Canada and North West USA, at Drytac, when installing graphics, the first thoughts often relate to how easily an image will go up and how well it will anchor to the surface it is mounted to. Often forgotten is what will happen at the end of the life of a graphic. Does it need to stay up for days, weeks, months or even years?
When I do a training session on Drytac products with end users and installers, I usually start by asking if anyone has ever had an issue with an installation. Usually, a few people sheepishly put up their hand. I then ask the follow up question, ‘Has anybody ever had an issue with removal of a graphic?’, and just about everybody puts up their hand.
Knowing what will happen at the time of removal is critical to customer satisfaction. Complications in the clean removal of graphics can cause many issues and a costly clean-up. In the worst case, it can damage the surface to which the graphic is applied, leaving your customer extremely disappointed and potentially creating liability.
The most common options available are permanent or removable adhesive substrates. Permanent is just that: the adhesive is designed to stay up long term and there are no expectations about how easy it will come off. Removable adhesive is less aggressive and is designed to come off. Depending on the surface you have mounted to, it may require some heat and elbow grease but should cleanly come off. It is important to remember that with time – usually six months to a year – a removable adhesive will become more permanent due to changes in the chemistry of adhesive.
Repositionable (or peelable) adhesives can be used multiple times and are designed to be easy to apply as they can be put down and picked up to ensure proper placement. They can be used multiple times and are residue-free upon removal.
Whether using a professional installer or an inexperienced end user, the right adhesive will guarantee predictable installation and predictable removal. When you pay attention to the entire life cycle of a graphic, you will help to eliminate customer disappointment – and hopefully gain more repeat business.