How To: Banner Care and Maintenance - FASTSIGNS
Banners are highly-effective visual communications tools that are excellent for promoting special events, new products, store openings and many other occasions. Vinyl banners can be used indoors or out, but they will begin to deteriorate after months exposed to the elements. Make the time and resources you invest in a quality banner worthwhile by following these tips for banner care and maintenance.
Making a banner look it’s best for the long haul starts with proper installation. Banners are usually installed one of two ways: hanging between two poles or affixed to a flat surface. When hanging a banner from two poles the goal should be to make the stress on each grommet roughly equal. If two grommets are bearing the majority of the tension, they are more likely to rip eventually. Use bungee cords instead of rope to help spread the tension. The stretch provided by bungee cords also allows wind to pass around the sides of the banner.
If the banner will be hung in an area with high winds it must have wind slits cut into it. These “smiley faces” are two to three inch half-circle cuts that allow air to pass through the banner, reducing strain on the contact points. They should be spaced 12 to 18 inches apart and skirt around the graphic elements. Wind slits cut across a graphic are likely to cause peeling.
Any banner will need to be cleaned over time, especially one that hangs outdoors. The most important thing to remember is that the surface of the banner can be easily damaged by harsh cleansers. Use only a soap and water mixture and avoid any cleaning product that contains ammonia. A spray bottle filled with a solution of water and dish soap is ideal. Spray the banner and use a damp, soft cloth to wipe away dirt, dust and debris. Use another cloth with just water to remove any traces of soap, which can dull the banner’s finish.
If a banner’s message is seasonal you should always take it down and store it during the off-season. Clean the banner using the methods above and be sure it is completely dry before storing. Never fold a banner! Folding causes permanent creases and graphic peeling. Roll the banner with the graphics or letters to the outside to prevent letter separation and air bubbles. Store banners in a temperature controlled, sheltered area during the off-season.
Use these tips to keep your banner looking fresh over time. While vinyl banners can be very durable, they are still going to break down more quickly in the elements than a permanent sign. If you find yourself replacing the same banner frequently, consider a more permanent solution such as wood, acrylic or brick.