Large letters, using only adhesive to adhere to building face.

Lauren-R

Stuff and Stuff
Client is requesting large dimensional letters, each one is around 46"x46". To be mounted to building front, WITHOUT using studs or hardware of any sort. They claim the landlord wont allow them to drill into the face of the building. This seems almost impossible to do. Considering formed plastic lettering from Gemini, with pad mounts, but I think those would fail over time anyway.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions as to different materials to consider or methods to mount lettering that size to a building face without hardware and only using adhesives (maybe a plexus or similar adhesive).

The building face isn't smooth or metal, more of a stucco I think.
 

White Haus

Newbie
I mean if you coated each letter with PL/construction adhesive they would probably stick, but the aftermath would be much worse than any other mechanical fasteners.

I agree on the NO part....
 

Texas_Signmaker

Very Active Signmaker
I mean if you coated each letter with PL/construction adhesive they would probably stick, but the aftermath would be much worse than any other mechanical fasteners.

I agree on the NO part....

I've tried that stuff and it doesn't hold up after a few years. I did large letters on a giant I beam and couldn't drill... I checked them after a few years and they were loose. I went back and did Lexel and seem to hold up better.
 

Moze

Precision Sign Services
No. That's your answer.

My suggestion would be to tell them that either you stud-mount them or you'll give them the letters and they can attempt to magically attach the 9 square foot pieces of plastic to the side of their building and assume the risk of killing or maiming someone.

So stupid (them, not you).
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
See what codes and the engineering department has to say when you apply for a magical permit ?? Don't forget to get a flying carpet to get ya up there to instal them.
 

Moze

Precision Sign Services
I mean if you coated each letter with PL/construction adhesive they would probably stick, but the aftermath would be much worse than any other mechanical fasteners.

I agree on the NO part....

If you're installing small acrylic signs/letters with tape AND with PL or silicone or virtually any other adhesive, it would probably be fine.

If it's something with any kind of weight to it, the first step is to use enough tape that it should technically hold the sign indefinitely by itself. The next step is to use Lexel (Lowes) or Dap Ultra Clear (Home Depot). I believe these two are basically the same product as they are the only adhesive in a caulk tube that will adhere to plastics. They smell identical. They do take a while to cure, but they actually etch/weld into the acrylic and there's no way the signs/letters will come down unless it's by someone that's purposely taking them down....and that's usually with considerable effort.
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
So, tell me moze........ with that kinda strength, doesn't it seem as if it might be a bad idea, considering the owner doesn't want any damage done to his building ?? This idea sounds worse, i the long run. You'll need hand grenades to get 4' letters off that wall, which brings to mind another question ?? What kinda wall again, are we adhering these 4' letters to ?? Stucco ?? You're gonna pull the wall down removing that stuff.
 

Moze

Precision Sign Services
Did you read both of my posts, gino? I advised against installing them.

My advice regarding Lexel was in response to White Haus.....that's why he's quoted above my response.
 

Billct2

Active Member
The only way I know is to hang them on a cradle fastened to the parapet or roof. Very expensive.
The few holes made by studs can easily be touched up when the letters are removed
I'd pass
 

John_Smith

Enjoying retirement in Central Florida
Lauren - some photos of the building, how high off the ground, what part of the world are you in, etc.
how many letters ??
it may not be relevant, but, years ago I had a very similar project. AND - it was on a round surface and the customer did not want "flat" letters on a "round" building and no holes drilled. Being the ingenuitive and imaginative person that I am, I made a profile of the building, made a curved form (caul), rough, oversized cut the letters out of 1/4" HDU, glued two pieces of the HDU together wrapped to the caul, then the next day cut the letters out with a Roto-Zip and processed them accordingly. rented a scaffold, glued the letters flat to the stucco building with 100% GE silicone and called it a day.
15 years later, the company left. the building owner said they had to chisel the silicone off after destroying the letters and the whole face of the building had to be "re floated" with a new stucco finish.
this example may serve as inspiration to someone else some day.
there may be a way - you just need to work with what you've got. (or can get).
 

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Gino

Premium Subscriber
Looks real nice, but 15 years ago, the codes might've been a little different. So, when things might work, the codes people need absolutes. Also, you have no safety gear on, which is a total no-no.

However, you did prove my point of using so much schmutz, you did more damage to the building/wall surface, than had you used studs. And your letters are about 1/2 the size the OP is suggesting.
 

John_Smith

Enjoying retirement in Central Florida
I was referring to the "process" - not the size of the letters.
explore the options with the customer - see what they can "live with" that the O/P can provide and still make a profit.
if the building is flat, even 1/8" thick lexan or plexi weighs much less than 3-D letters and can be flush mounted with an appropriate adhesive.
some jobs just aren't worth the hassle - you just need to know when to say "Sorry, no, I can not help you within these parameters".

Codes Gino ?? that was in South Georgia - I was barely required to have a driver's license. much less safety gear.
and yes, of course, in today's world, everyone should use all the appropriate safety gear for all off-the-ground projects.
 

Texas_Signmaker

Very Active Signmaker
What kind of safety gear do you need for a scaffold that small anyway? We are building a house and with the amount of beer bottles on the ground I'm not sure they are worried about harnesses on the scaffold.
 

Notarealsignguy

Very Big Member
Lexel is not silicone but people here seem to refer to it like it is and consider actual silicone to be an equal adhesive. It isn't. It may stick for a while but silicone is not meant for this and can generally be peeled off without that much effort. The benefit of silicone as a sealant is that it can withstand standing water, like in a bathroom. There are engineered specs on adhesives and plenty of good choices out there that are substrate dependent.
 

PatWhatley

New Member
Whatever. Pad mouunts wiyh VHB tape ( not some generic knock off) will hold them just fine and the longer they are up the better they stick. i told a client yesterday that I recommended stud mounting for redundancy....he insisted on VHB
 

visual800

New Member
IF you want the job 2 studs per letter would suffice with silicone on other pads. Studs offer security. Guy doesnt want surface to be drilled thru so I would walk away from this job.
 

Lauren-R

Stuff and Stuff
Thanks everyone for their suggestions and advice! I live in California, don't have an on staff engineer to confirm these things with (changing that in a few months hopefully), and the wall is a super textured stucco. Not going to move forward with this client based on the above principal that removal will destroy the wall more than doing a simple stud mounting. They refuse to go to landlord to confirm the requirements and aren't open to suggestions I have. best to walk away and not spend more time/effort thinking about this, other jobs will fill my cup.
 
Client is requesting large dimensional letters, each one is around 46"x46". To be mounted to building front, WITHOUT using studs or hardware of any sort. They claim the landlord wont allow them to drill into the face of the building. This seems almost impossible to do. Considering formed plastic lettering from Gemini, with pad mounts, but I think those would fail over time anyway.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions as to different materials to consider or methods to mount lettering that size to a building face without hardware and only using adhesives (maybe a plexus or similar adhesive).

The building face isn't smooth or metal, more of a stucco I think.
how high up on the building? 46"x46" has some heft to it.
 
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