Vinyl PVC Banners: Whether the Weather be Calm or Whether the Weather be Stormy, Will My Vinyl Banner Weather the Weather?
I am often asked whether the weather will affect a one or two-sided vinyl PVC banner. The answer is yes, but probably not the way you might be thinking.
The reason I’m writing this article is because I was asked today if you can leave your vinyl banner outside during a thunderstorm? The inks used for banners today, whether screen printed or digitally printed, or in the case of fabric dye sub printed banners, dye sublimation printed, are very weather durable.
When banners are printed with vinyl compatible inks, the inks “bite” into the banner material and somewhat become part of the banner. In the case of dye sublimation printed fabric or cloth banners, the dye actually becomes part of the fabric. The way it does this is that the dye is first printed on a transfer media, a treated paper, then matched up to a piece of fabric, and run through heated rollers.
As the heat contacts the paper and the poly-based fabric it converts the dye into a gaseous state, and simultaneously expands the cells of the fabric so they open, like a flower, and the gas is forced into the cells as it passes through the rollers, thus completely impregnating the fabric with whatever color it came into contact with during the transfer process. This is also known as heat transfer printing.
So ink being washed off either a vinyl banner or a cloth banner should never be an issue. Similarly, the sun should not be a major concern unless you plan to hang your banner out of doors for multiple years, which is not the norm with most banners anyway. Banners are most often seen as temporary signage, particularly vinyl banners. Fabric banners are used indoors more often than out-of-doors, so they will have less UV damage regardless.
Most digitally printed banners, though, should, if properly installed, last at least 3 years outdoors, though I’ve seen them last 10 years in the case of one very cheap client. There is not much you can do to protect a banner from the sun, but a good quality ink should keep them lasting as long as you’ll need them to advertise your company or event.
Wind is the biggest enemy of banner longevity. I’ve seen wind destroy a poorly installed banner in a period of a couple days, but I’ve also seen a well-installed vinyl banner last over 10 years. The former banner was hung between a couple poles just in time for one of our local wind storms that happen periodically.
Rain does cause an eventual dulling of the matte white vinyl materials, though, as there is some amount of pollution in the rain as it falls. And, over time, all banners will deteriorate, but, for the most part, as banners are considered a temporary advertising sign, most, unless poorly installed in a windy area, will both thrive and survive for however long you need them to be up – within reason, anyway.
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