Floor Graphic SafetyMARCH 13, 2020| SpeedPro
Floor graphic safety is crucial to effective marketing. After all, visually appealing graphics won’t matter much if people are constantly slipping or tripping on them. Instead of remembering your message, people will associate your graphic and, by extension, your company with a lack of safety.
Along with protecting people, floor graphics need to be protected from environmental factors that stand to damage the decals. A damaged decal can make the floor unsafe to walk on, and it can cause your decal to be less attractive to viewers.
Top Materials for Indoor and Outdoor Custom Floor Graphics
Whether you’re installing permanent or temporary floor decals, you’ll want to look to vinyl as your primary material. The best floor clings and graphics are made with three parts.
The first part is the base, which should be made with a vinyl substrate, as the material is easy to print on and incredibly flexible. Next, there should be an anti-skid laminate, along with a matte mask, placed over the base. This layer is meant to prevent people from slipping or tripping on the material, while also protecting the graphics from scratches, skid marks and discoloration. Finally, a strong adhesive is crucial to binding the decal to the surface.
Outdoor Safety Tips
Outdoor decals are durable and designed to stand up against the weather. When installing them, you’ll need to apply the decals patiently to make sure the graphics and images stay intact and don’t wrinkle when you place them on the surface.
The most common surfaces for outdoor floor graphics include concrete and asphalt. These surfaces are often prone to large cracks, uneven terrain and bumps in the material’s base. These conditions create an unsafe surface that’s prone to breaking down prematurely, increasing the likelihood that people will slip or trip. To ensure that your custom floor graphics are safe for those walking on them, consider the following tips:
- Fill in moisture and condensation spots: Before you install your floor graphics outside, look for holes, cracks and nooks in the surface materials. If you find any, you’ll need to fill them in. Leaving them open invites in condensation that builds up and causes harm to your graphics, along with potentially making your floor slippery. After filling in the openings, its best practice to wait 24 hours for the fill material to dry out before placing your graphics.
- Choose slip- and skid-resistant laminates: Perhaps one of the safest steps to take in decal installation is selecting a laminate that features slip and skid resistance. These types of laminates will be specially formulated for the outdoors to prevent outdoor floor decals from becoming slippery when wet from rain, snow and ice.
- Use extra matte protection and a strong adhesive: Whether you have small or large floor decals, you need to opt for the strongest adhesives and extra matte protection when placing them outside. The adhesives will keep the graphics rooted in one place, crucial to making sure that they don’t come loose. A loose surface causes people to lose their balance and slip. Additionally, extra matte protection prevents damage to the decal from rain, ice and UV rays.
- Take temperature into account: When you place graphics on sidewalks and driveways that are made of cement or asphalt, the temperature should be at the top of your mind. These surfaces are made with temperature-fluctuating relief channels in them to make sure that surfaces don’t shift or crack due to temperature change. During the installation process, you want to make sure you aren’t sealing off these channels, as doing so could cause the surface to crack, reducing how safe it is to walk on.
Indoor Safety Tips
To make sure your indoor floor decals are installed properly, you’ll need to take the time to clean and dry the installation area before you begin the process. If you wax or vacuum the surface area to clean it, you’ll also want to wait 24 to 48 hours before applying any decals to the surface. Failing to clean the area before installation can damage the floor graphics or cause them to be applied unevenly, leading to safety concerns in the future.
Typically, the best surfaces to apply indoor floor decals to are vinyl, tile, wood and indoor concrete. As a general rule, the installation process will be more successful if the surfaces are smooth.
- Avoid placing floor graphics near entryways: When graphics are placed right beside doors, it’s more likely that they’ll get wet. A decal that’s consistently wet may become damaged over time. It also causes floor graphics to become slippery, which could pose a danger to those walking through the entryways.
- Watch out for edges and grout lines: If you’re placing your graphics on vinyl or tile, you’ll need the decals to be no less than half an inch away from grout lines or tile edges. Placing decals too close to edges can cause air bubbles to form, which then causes the vinyl to peel. This is unattractive and can also create a tripping hazard.
- Don’t install on floor end joints: When you install on a wood laminate, you need to avoid installing on floor end joints. Even the most shallow floor end joints can cause floor decals to pucker, which can make the surface bumpy and easier to trip on.
- Apply with a squeegee: When you use a squeegee during the application process, you’ll prevent any air pockets from forming, thus avoiding peeling and the safety concerns that come with it. The squeegee places smooth, even pressure on the decals to stop air pockets from forming.
- Employ laminates: Like outdoor decals, you’ll want to apply laminates and matte masks to protect your graphics for a long time, Even though indoor decals won’t be exposed to negative effects of weather, they’ll still be walked on and have to hold up against liquids. Laminates will help indoor floor decals avoid becoming slippery and resist any damage to them for a long time.
When you clean your floor graphics, ensure that you’re using floor graphic cleaning supplies that are appropriate for vinyl, and that will not corrode the laminates. Additionally, the cleaning supplies should not make the surface slick after you’ve finished wiping the decal down. After you’re done getting any dirt or other outside materials off of the floor graphics, you’ll need to wipe off any of the leftover cleaning solutions so that no one slips on them.
Choose SpeedPro for Safe Floor Graphics
Safety starts with using high-quality materials. SpeedPro knows what materials will best accomplish a company’s goals while still making the floor safe. You can trust that we’ll produce anything from directional floor decals to floor advertising decals with safety and style in mind. Whether you need outdoor or indoor floor decals, our nationwide network of studios has the ability to handle any of your needs.
Find your local SpeedPro studio to speak with one of our representatives and get a free quote for any of our services.