There’s a diverse range of floor tapes available in the market today. While the vast number of choices means that there is a tape for every task, it also means that users are stuck with the burden of having to make an informed decision on what to use in their facilities.
In a previous article, we discussed the different colours and designs of floor tape and how each one is commonly used as well as tips on picking colours for your facility. While that will help narrow down what kind of tape you should use, we’d like to discuss another element which should influence your selection of tape: the materials floor tapes can be made of.
It is of utmost importance that you choose the right tape for the appropriate surface and lighting. This ensures that the tape will last longer and be visible under all conditions. After all, no one wants to replace tape frequently or have the tape be useful only at certain times of the day.
An important element to consider is the surface you will be applying your tape to. There are specific kinds of tape for concrete, wood, and more. Take into consideration whether the floor you will be applying the tape to is constantly dry or gets wet every so often since this can affect the lifespan (and replacement schedule) of the tape.
In addition, marking tapes will also have different surfaces. Some have anti-slip properties (a must when the floor constantly gets wet or slippery) while others remain glossy and vibrant even when stepped on multiple times.
The lighting in the area is also a major consideration in picking tape. Low-light conditions such as during dusk or even complete darkness is obviously a problem with ordinary tapes. If it is impossible (or too expensive) to fix the lighting conditions to accommodate the use of tape, then perhaps reflective or luminescent tape is for you.
Reflective tape, as the name suggests is made from materials that reflects light. This means that these kinds of tape still need light to work, but less than what the average tape would need. This allows marking tape to be easily spotted using flashlights or even headlamps. Choose this tape when you are assured that there will always be a light source nearby.
Luminescent tape on the other hand works by absorbing photons and releasing it later. This means that the tape needs to “charge” for some time before it gives off light on its own. The advantage of these kinds of tape is that they are visible even when there is no light in the area.
Use this kind of tape when you can ensure that it will be getting some exposure to light at certain times of the day to allow it to gather photons for release later.
Maintaining tape is easy. More often than not, all it needs is a quick wash and wipe with water (commercial cleaners may have some chemicals that could destroy the tape) and you’re done. However, there are certain warning signs that indicate when you need to replace the tape, so make sure to give your tape a thorough inspection when doing your cleaning.
If your tape has any of these problems, then consider replacing the section of tape or even the entire area (to keep it uniform):
- Fraying on the sides
- Rips or gouges
- Less reflectivity (for reflective tapes) or lower light production (luminescent tape)
All of these issues can severely hamper the efficiency of the tape or, as in the case of fraying, be the cause of the accident itself.
Tape, Maintain, Sustain
Like all safety items, proper use and care goes a long way in prolonging the efficiency and life of these items. So go ahead and integrate the use of floor tape in your safety program, it can only make your facility safer. However, be aware that it’s not a magic solution that allows you to just place the item and forget about it.
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