April '23

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M A P R I L 2 0 2 3 • G R A P H I C S P R O 5 9 The installation surface needs to be clean and dry and free of loose debris, and the weather needs to be the right condi- tions — it shouldn't be too hot or windy or have rained the day before, which can cause materials to be damp, Pate says. at's because exterior wraps aren't like those done on a vehicle or interior wall with a smooth surface, Pate says. Exterior wraps are often on rough and textured surfaces, so the material needs to be thin and able to bond to that surface and the adhesive needs to be aggressive enough to conform to its topography, he says. The right materials and tools Before doing the install, installers need to check with the manufacturer and dis- tributor to make sure they're purchasing the right type of vinyl film for the surface type. ey also need to have special rollers instead of the squeegees used for smooth surfaces. e rollers, which need to be heat-resistant, are used to apply the film to the surface, causing it to form to it with each roll across. Alternatively, squeegees are hard and flat and glide over the top of the surface without going into bumps, grooves, and indentations. "You can't just use a squeegee, you have to use heat," Pate says. "What heat does is soften the film. If you don't add heat, the material stays stiff and doesn't conform to those areas." "You obviously have to choose the right materials—materials made for those surfaces — and the right lamination, then prep the surface," says Justin Pate, CEO of The Wrap Institute. "If you have the right set up, it's straightforward. You can make a mistake quickly if you don't plan it correctly." (Images courtesy Justin Pate, The Wrap Institute)

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