Why Your Adhesive Tape Is Not Working

Adhesive tape consists of two components: a backing material and an adhesive film mounted on it. The material resists force against the bonding surfaces, while the film offers stickiness for a lasting hold. Just like any other working material, you might encounter problems while working with tape. In case you are wondering why your adhesive strips won’t hold and what you can do about it, read the details below:


Adhesive tapes have a defined temperature range within which they remain in optimal performance. When the heat is low, the sticky component will harden. As the temperatures dip, it freezes and loses the ability to provide the needed adhesion. High temperature messes up the tackiness, making your tape messy. If cold temperatures are making your tape ineffective, opt for tape meant for the cold weather. Otherwise, warm the surface and the tape so that it sticks.

Application Method

The application method that you use will determine the strength of the resulting hold. Go through the manufacturer’s instructions and apply them as directed. When using pressure sensitive tapes, some force is necessary for them to work. In this case, light placement will offer less contact with the application surface, resulting in a weaker bond. When you exert pressure, the surface gets as much contact with the tape as possible. Another thing to avoid, especially with stretchy tape, is stretching it. Since a portion of it shrinks after application, it will detach from the surface and weaken the bond in the process if you elongate it beyond the limit.

Surface Appropriateness

Worker using an adhesive tape for the carpetPreparing your working surface is essential when using tape. Eliminate any oil, water, or dirt from the surface and dry it to boost the effectiveness of the adhesive. Also, some tapes are designed for use on specific surfaces. While double-sided adhesive strips can work well on your walls, the same might not be appropriate for use on wood. Material-specific adhesive works best on the specified surface. Some work best on smooth textures, while others are appropriate for rough ones.

Another thing that can affect the surface is the state of your hands. If they are filthy and likely to introduce foreign elements that will interfere with the state of the surface, they will also affect the functionality of the tape. Wash them before you embark on tape application.

Degradation and Aging

Adhesive tape undergoes degradation with time. Exposure to high temperature and environmental stress affects its adhesion. The extent of the impact depends on the duration of exposure. The longer it is, the weaker the tape. To minimize inappropriate exposure, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on storage to the letter. If, with time, the tape still gives way due to aging, get a new one.

If you are having trouble with your adhesive tape, proper storage, cleaning the surface, and installing it might help. If these do not help, you could be using the wrong type or one that has highly deteriorated. Try a new one and see if it will work.

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