Tape; it's certainly a multipurpose and versatile product that we all have in our homes and toolkits. How many times do we see the 'tape'll fix anything' attitude? Pop a bit on your car bonnet or even whack it around that cut on your finger/leg/arm, we've seen it all. But what should we really use construction tape for? We'll explore those must-have tapes for your toolbox and when to use them.
Builders Tape is a key part of the building process and can be used at every stage. Let's begin by taking a look at the well-known Duct Tape. Duct tape is a staple in the construction tape world. It's a multipurpose tape handy for all trades as well as domestic use. It sticks to most items and is pretty inexpensive. With its flexible cloth backing and waterproof polyethylene coating it is exceptionally durable. Since it is designed with hot melt/synthetic rubber technology, it has a powerful adhesive hold. It can be used indoor and outdoor for general sealing, patching holes, temporary or permanent repairs, joining materials, strapping or bundling. Despite its name, unless specified, it should not be used for sealing ductwork as it may not be certified and could fail at extreme temperatures. Check out CES's Duct Tape here.
Drywall tape such as CES's Everbuild Euroscrim Tape is another important tape when working with sheets of drywall or plasterboard. This construction tape creates a strong bond on the joints of the plasterboard sheets ensuring that the seams are invisible. It is an essential part of using drywall sheets since, no matter how skilled a plasterer you are, the gaps will always exist and without this tape cracks and weaknesses can easily occur. Drywall tape comes in two forms, either a paper tape or a fibreglass mesh. The paper variety is non-adhesive and requires a drywall joint compound to stay in place. However, whilst the fibreglass design is self-adhesive, you must ensure that the wall is entirely dust-free and dry in order to adhere to it.
Masking tape is, as the name suggests, creating a mask. It prevents paint, plaster, render, dirt and debris damaging walls, floors and surfaces. Using this type of construction adhesive tape prevents costly re-work or touch ups. There is a huge range of masking tapes available with varying levels of durability and adhesion. At CES we have two popular masking tapes for entirely different jobs. Our Blue Dolphin Rough Surface Masking Tape is designed with high adhesion and weather resistance and is perfect to mask over brick, block, concrete, cement, timber and other uneven surfaces. This tape removes cleanly for up to 7 days. Alternatively Blue Dolphin Window Tape is ideal for masking off smooth surfaces such as glass, plastic and metal. Again, this builder's tape, is highly adhesive so remains in place and can even stay in position for up to 30 days and boasts clean removal even after this length of time.
Whilst Painters Tape and Masking Tape have similar properties in terms of easy tear, excellent durability and a variety of adhesive levels, they are also very different. Remember 'all painter's tapes are masking tapes but NOT all masking tapes are painters tapes' as discussed in our earlier blog. Painters Tapes are a construction adhesive tape that is worthwhile investing in for painting and decorating. Yes, it is more expensive than traditional masking tape but equally the clean, bleed-free lines you will achieve really give that professional finish. Painter's tape are also designed with a lower level of adhesive to ensure they cope with delicate freshly painted or plastered walls and can be removed without damaging the surface or causing frustrating re-painting work. CES would recommend taking a look at our Deltec Painters Tape Range to find the right tape for your project.
Other Specialist Tape: Electrical and Insulation Tape
Whilst electrical and Insulation work is a little outside of CES's specialism, these are also key tapes for your tape arsenal. HVAC (heating, ventilation and are conditioning), housewrap and insulation tape are all key in sealing joints on pipe and duct insulation. It ensures these areas are waterproof, airtight and permanently sealed preventing air and moisture infiltration. These tapes are specifically made for this job and will be certified to do so enabling them to remain effective at extreme temperatures; this is where shoving on a bit of duct tape is really no good. Similarly electrical tape is designed for the specific purpose of electricals so again, that old chestnut of 'Duct tape on anything' really won't work. Electrical tape insulates electrical splices, creates wire jacketing or bundles wires together. The Vinyl/PVC properties mean it is durable and stretchy. Electrical Tape has a dielectric strength, meaning a maximum electrical field strength it can withstand before breaking down; it is very important to take note of this.
Tape and More
Whilst tape is fantastic for sealing, repairing and masking, generally tapes have a maximum width of around 2". However if you're looking to mask off or cover a wider area, CES's polyethenes or drop films work well alongside our tapes to cover and protect much larger area.