Banners are a great way to display your message and promote your business, yet the forces of mother nature often make maintaining vinyl banners a challenge. Since banners act like wind sails, gusty days can eventually wear on the material, compromise the installation and degrade the visibility of your message.
Many of our customers request to have wind vents cut into the banners to help reduce wind damage. But are “wind vents” the right way to solve this problem? After 30 years of printing banners for the Charlottesville and Central Virginia area, we have learned there are better ways to preserve the life of your banner.
We do not recommend wind vents on your outdoor banner. Slicing several holes in a banner detracts from the appearance, and often makes your message difficult to read. The amount of wind stress relieved by wind slits is very small, less than 10% – not worth the trade-off.
Three tips to handle banner wind damage:
- Make a sturdy banner
Choose a heavyweight material such as 16 oz. vinyl. Consider adding a stitched hem for any banner which is subjected to a wind load. Add enough metal grommets to secure it properly.
- Choose professional installation
Experienced installers are able to avoid common pitfalls that cause outdoor banners to fail.
- Use mesh banner fabric
Mesh vinyl banner fabric generally lacks strength without proper reinforcement around the perimenter, so choose this option with caution. On large banners we typically recommend a nylon webbing.
Government regulations may require wind vents in banners at some localities. This may be the case if banners are over 15 square feet. The slits look like 6- to 8-inch diameter half-circles, cut in a ‘smiley’ orientation with rip-stop holes punched on each end of the slit.
“If you have a banner tied in such a way that it will remain relatively flat in the wind, then it seems that the benefits of putting in vents are minimal unless you make your banner into Swiss cheese.” – Wind Tunnel Study
Preserving the life of your banner is important. We are happy to provide you with additional tips and advice on producing the best quality banner and installing it in a way that keeps your message looking great through the windiest days.