Air bubbles under vinyl

Do you believe small air bubbles under vinyl dissipate over time?

  • yes

    Votes: 150 67.0%
  • no

    Votes: 47 21.0%
  • I'm not sure

    Votes: 27 12.1%

  • Total voters
    224

Ian Stewart-Koster

Active Member
if the customer sees them, you tell them "yes, I'm told they do", but it depends on what time frame, & how big. Wish it was quicker, if it in fact happens!
 

theroq

Member
bUBBLES

I ALWAYS TRY TO TAKE MOST OF THE BUBBLES OUT, BUT OVER TIME THEY WILL DISAPPEAR..... AND I ALWAYS TELL MY CUSTOMERS THAT THE SUN MAKES THEM DISAPPEAR QUICKER.:U Rock:
 

nodrenim

Member
I have been told that they do dissappear, with sunlight and time. Actually, I think that a lot depends on just how sincere you are and how gullable your customer is.
 
The air has to go somewhere

It is our experience that as long as we put very small pin-pricks in the area around the bubbles, they will disappear due to natural outgassing. When asked, reps from 3M and Avery agreed, but wouldn't confirm nor deny this on camera.
Tom
 
I had an experience with bubbles when I first started ... It was a large panel - 2 layers of vinyl, on both sides on a cube truck ... When I was done applying, the whole graphic had bubbles everywhere! I tried to fix what I could, but could only spend so much time on it. Told customer I'd be back to fix if he wanted ... 2 months later, went back to do more of his trucks (windows thankfully) and there wasn't a single bubble left in either panel! I was impressed, finally saw it work after telling I don't know how many customers that this is what is supposed to happen ... :thumb:

Dave
 
Bubbles disappear fast in the Texas summer.

The earlier advice to pinprick the holes and let the sun take care of shrining the vinyl wiill help. Fluid filled (ie water) bubbles seem to disappear faster. My theory is that the water will migrate through the vinyl and suck the vinyl back down. This I have seen many times on reworks and add-ons to previous jobs.

In my experience two months is about the amount of time most jobs take to eliminate small bubbles. Large ones may or may not shrink down.
 

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
Hate to burst your bubble :Big Laugh but they really do go away all by themselves. This happens for two reasons:

1. The vinyl is porous enough to allow a slow escape of air. When the air expands during the heat of the day, force is exerted allowing some air to pass through. When it shrinks back at night, there is less air and more of the adhesive makes contact and bonds. Eventually there is nothing left.

2. The adhesive is also porous ... somewhat like a thick spider web, which allows the air to spread out.

I did a rush window job at night once and ended up with bubbles the size of half dollars. Promised the customer a replacement. A week later I stopped by to see what would be needed and discovered that all the bubbles were gone.
 

Greg

Member
I have to say I got some of that Roland/Avery/Whoever "EZ Apply" and that stuff is awesome! I've done printed 24" x 18" signs on coroplast (my own personal nightmare) with it and the application has been bubble free when I got done with it. I little massaging with a fingertip has eliminated any stragglers. Sure it costs a little more but I've not tossed a single sign in the trash using it.
 

signguy95

Active Member
In the past 11 years I have seen lettering jobs come and go...Eighteen wheelers relettered as far as the eye can see and I can definitely tell you that air bubbles will be there forever...if...there is not a release hole or the bubble is really tiny(1/32" or smaller). So there it is...I have seen trucks we lettered six years ago come back after they changed companys...and while I removed the old letters we always laugh about the bubble(s) that we couldn't get out...we always say it's our trademark! :Big Laugh
 

gcljlamb

Member
Technically speaking...

Does anyone have any tech info on the effects of temperature, humidity, general climate, time of the year, on vinyl? Whether it be calendared or cast and how they're impacted by these elements? Just reading what's been written here, I'm wondering if it has anything to do with geography and the air in our areas.
I'm in the midwest (Kansas) and have found that any bubbles I have must be deflated. Here they don't go away. :thankyou:

I appreciate it,

George
 

Imakesigns

Member
I have had some jobs where the bubbles come out, and some where they didn't. My experience isn't long enough to say what the influencing factors are, but I know the sun really helps.
 
I've done some jobs and got some bubbles, I remember my first job looked like a damn chicken pock case. As time went buy, I have learned ways to minimize the bubbles and when you do get those pesky ones poke a hole in them and let the sun try and work them out, If its so bad the customer notices tell him if they don't come out in a month or so come back and you will redo that piece of work. I've seen both happen some go away with time and some are stuck there for life.
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
Hey gcljlamb, if you’re using the wet method, maybe you have hard water. If you’re not and putting it down dry, maybe there’s something wrong with the air in your town. I would advise getting some air samples and dropping them into an airtight plastic bag [or a vacuum] and sending them to a nearby army base and have them test it for illegal aliens. That’s what is probably getting behind your vinyl.

However, if they go away at night, then I think they’re local illegal aliens and not from outer space, but from below the border. You see, these little devils get behind the vinyl when you’re not looking and disguise themselves as sign shop vinyl adhesive with an out gassing rate of 436, 900 dytrons a second. At that rate they can flee as fast as a few hundred in a single night. This is a technical term that we’ve adopted in the sign industry as ‘BUBBLES’ You don’t want them. No way, No how !!


:Oops: Uh-oh, is this gonna turn political now ??
 
Fred Weiss said:
Hate to burst your bubble :Big Laugh but they really do go away all by themselves. This happens for two reasons:

1. The vinyl is porous enough to allow a slow escape of air. When the air expands during the heat of the day, force is exerted allowing some air to pass through. When it shrinks back at night, there is less air and more of the adhesive makes contact and bonds. Eventually there is nothing left.

2. The adhesive is also porous ... somewhat like a thick spider web, which allows the air to spread out.

I did a rush window job at night once and ended up with bubbles the size of half dollars. Promised the customer a replacement. A week later I stopped by to see what would be needed and discovered that all the bubbles were gone.

It is the same premise as air in a balloon. The molecules of air are smaller than the molecules of the vinyl thus in time the bubbles will disappear. I have been installing vinyl since 1976 and have always said that if the bubbles aren't gone in 3 weeks I will repair or replace anything that I need to. To date I still haven't done either.
 

Techman

Major Contributor
and I can definitely tell you that air bubbles will be there forever.

I agrees. I've personally redone work installed by our local lowball pickle skinner. The bubbles do not always go away. Not sure what the dif is but it seems calandered vinyl has a bigger problem with them staying.. Or maybe it was cast. I really didn't pay attention to which but it did seem that onewas worse than the other....

Yes many will go away but there is always a few blisters left that seem to defy this unwritten rule..
 

gcljlamb

Member
Gino,

You know, you may be on to something. I mean, after all, I do a lot of my work in the capital city of Kansas, Topeka. And Topeka bears a particulary peculiar series of zip codes. They all....start....with.........*gasp*.....666!!!!!
 
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