Wall Graphics Checklist for Perfect Installs Every Time

Oct 09,2019

Wall Graphics Checklist for Perfect Installs Every Time

Whether you’ve just received your completed custom wall graphics from our team in Littleton, CO, or you’re just starting to consider the possibility, today’s post is for you. Read on for a simple checklist to help you perfect your present or future wall graphic installation.

Wall Surface Texture

First, you must identify what kind of wall texture you’re working with, as this will affect the adhesion, appearance, and lifespan of your wall graphic.

Generally speaking, there are four broad categories of wall textures:

  • Smooth, which has little or no surface variation. This makes for the most straightforward installation since the adhesion can make contact with the entire surface. Some concrete, painted wallboard, stucco, or tile qualifies.
  • Unsmooth, which means the surface has high spots and low spots. This can range from just a little texture (e.g., fine sandpaper) to heavy texture (like brick).
  • Medium unsmooth has a relatively equal distribution of moderately high and low spots.
  • Heavy unsmooth has irregular and severe high/low spots.

Too much surface texture isn’t a good thing. It allows adhesive contact only with the “high points,” which leaves air pockets and at the “low points” and dramatically reduces overall adhesion. For most custom wall graphics, any more than 1⁄8 inch variations in high and low spots of substrate texture (or grout lines) will cause some lifting.

Follow Smart Painted Wall Protocol

Don’t assume that painted walls are always suitable for installation just because they have smooth textures.

Any finishes that have silicone, graffiti-resistance, or texturizing additives will interfere with your wall graphic’s adhesion.

Furthermore, you should inspect the painted wall for any signs of a weak paint-to-substrate bond, which is more common than you think in commercial and residential buildings. Visible signs include peeling, lifting or bubbling of paint. Less obvious signs include multiple coats of paint on the substrate, as the bonds between paint layers may weaken over time. In some cases, the weight of the film on that wall may contribute to the separation of paint layers, which causes the paint and film to fall off the wall over time.

Consider The Temperature And Climate

Even indoor wall graphics can be exposed to excessive heat, sunlight, cold, or moisture, depending on whether they’re placed near windows.

Avoid installing your wall graphics on substrates that reach temperatures higher than 115°F, as they will start to lift.

In some cases, you may want to avoid mounting your graphic on a wall that’s bathed in sunlight. Over time, this exposure to UV rays may cause the surface of your graphic to fade.

If you’re working with a textured wall that has indoor and outdoor facing sides but no effective moisture barrier, like a masonry wall, your graphic will likely be exposed to moisture vapor transmission. This occurs most often when the indoor wall has a room temperature environment, which is warmer and moister than the outdoor wall. When a film is applied to the outdoor wall, moisture can be trapped under the surface during thawing/freezing cycles, which can result in film lifting or spalling.

Free Wall Graphics Quotes In Littleton, CO

For more help with your wall graphics installation, or to speak with directly with our Littleton design team, visit our website or call 303-537-5659.

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