If you plan on purchasing a banner, here is some important information that you need to know!
Most people that have never installed a banner might not know that there is a right way and a wrong way to install a banner.
Before you get started. Think back to elementary school where you learned this catchy little rhyme in American History! It went something like this: “Colombus Sailed the Ocean Blue in 1942” or was that 1492? Well, it has been a long time since that time, but the point is, Banners are just like the sails on that Santa Maria! Just like the wind can carry famous world explorers to new continents, that same wind can rip your newly purchased banner to shreds in an instant if you do not install it properly.
Just because the banner might be sewn and grommeted, does not mean that the four corner grommets will withstand the enormous force that a good wind exerts on your banner. There are methods to install vinyl banners that will help its life span.
Shoestring Method: Most of us are familiar with how shoelaces work.
This method is for installing a banner that hangs freely between posts. With this method you will string a strong plastic coated steel cable through the grommets on the top of your banner and tie it to each pole, similar to the old fashioned clothesline.
Repeat this for the bottom grommets of cables as tight as possible, we recommend the use of a turnbuckle and wire rope grip setup, these can be obtained at most local hardware stores. This will keep your banner taut and it will not slide from left to right on your cables. Make sure the top and bottom cables are spaced just a bit further apart then the height of your banner to aide in the tautness of your sign.the banner with a separate cable. These cables must be very tight like a guitar string. In order to get these steel
Finally, you will want to install four “Wire Rope Grips” approximately 3 inches away from the top and bottom corners of your banner, then use a plastic zip tie to anchor the banner to your cables. On a final note: while we do not add wind slits in your banners, it is highly recommended that you add wind slits for this type of application.
Okay, we realize that sounds like a bit of a hassle. Most of you will probably not install your banner using wire rope or aircraft cable, right? So is there another method that will work like this? Not really, especially on large banners, we highly recommend the above method. However there can be an affordable alternative for smaller banners methods using a sturdy Type III Seven Strand Paracord 550 or heavier with can be purchased at most local sporting goods stores. While this is not the ideal method of installation this is far better than expecting the four corner grommets to hold your banner.
Wall Method: This can be the easiest method of hanging a banner!
If you plan on on hanging your banner flat on the wall of a building, it is important to use every grommet! Typically it is best to use a drywall wood screw and a flat washer that is larger in diameter than the grommet, but has a hole that is smaller than the head of your screw. Then thread the screw into the washer and through each grommet and into the building, keeping the banner taut. That is it, your done!
Note: if your wall is brick or stucco, you will need to predrill holes at the appropriate spacing of your banner and use a masonry anchor available at most hardware stores. If your wall is sheet metal, you should use sheet metal screws with a rubber washer. When you remove your banner, make sure that you fill the hole with silicone and put the screw back in with the rubber washer intact!
Ok, what if you don’t want to screw into the building? Oh, we hoped you would not ask that!
This would have been like Captain Colombus of the Santa Maria asking Captain Picard to outfit his ship with Warp Drive! Well, this creates an engineering equation that would be challenging even for the geekiest of installers and it really depends upon the exact building conditions. We recommend that you contact a licensed general contractor in your area to get professional advice on your exact situation.
What about Wind Slits? Remember the sail analogy with the Santa Maria above?
Wind slits can help to reduce the force of the wind that pushes on your banner up to 15%.
We recommend that you add one wind slit for every 8 square feet of banner, that means that a 4ft x 8ft banner would have 4 wind slits that are evenly spaced but far enough from each other and the edges of the banner so as not to weaken your sign. Do not place a wind slit closer than 12 to 16 inches from each other or the edge of your banner.
How to create Wind Slits in your new vinyl banner:
The best method of adding wind slits to your banner is to go to your kitchen cupboard and find a cereal bowl or cup “saucer”, then reach in your pocket and grab a Dime. Yes, we said that!
You will use these to make a pattern for your wind slits.
Prior to hanging your banner, place the bowl on your banner so that the large rim of your bowl is down and strategically in place (as described above) on your new vinyl banner that is face up, flat on your floor. You will use a pencil to trace the edge of the bowl to make a “Smile” on your banner. This smile will be like the letter O cut in half, then grab your dime and use it to draw a full circle at the top of each corner of the mouth of your smiley. Isn’t this fun? Finish drawing the rest of your wind slits.
Next, on a safe surface to cut upon (you can put a cutting board on the floor under the wind slit you plan on trimming), take a utility knife and trace your half circle to cut a wind slit smiley into your banner, then carefully cut the little circle at the top corners of each smiley that you used the dime to trace.
This is an Old Sign Makers secret to making excellent wind slits in banners. Most sign shops today don’t know this trick so, Shhh…. Don’t tell anyone!
Repeat the process of all your wind slits to the rest of your vinyl banner and your done!
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