Cloth stucco tapes and polyethylene (PE) stucco tapes are both useful for stucco application, but each has advantages and disadvantages resulting from the differences in construction.
Cloth stucco tapes are more prominently found because they typically hold up better and longer than PE tapes. The main difference in the construction of the two tapes is the cloth carrier that the cloth tape possesses. This cloth carrier adds an extra layer of protection for added strength and durability. When a contractor needs to leave a tape on a window or door for an extended amount of time – 14 days or more – they need a tape that will be able to withstand sunlight exposure and changing temperatures from morning to night. Cloth stucco tapes have the ability to handle temperature changes without compromising strength or hold. However, with the advantages of cloth stucco tape comes a higher price tag.
PE stucco tapes are less common, but are prominent in southern climates, such as Texas and Florida, whereas cloth stucco tapes dominate in California and other areas near the West coast. The main advantage of PE stucco masking tape is that it is less expensive than the alternative and is still able to get the job done. The main downfall, however, is that polyethylene will contract in the heat of the sun and expand as it cools during the night, causing it to lose the integrity of its physical form and sometimes resulting in adhesive residue or tape failure in the form of the tape coming off of the surface to which it is applied.
When choosing between a cloth and a PE stucco tape, it is important to consider the specifics of the job, including how long the tape will need to stay up before removal and what kinds of environmental conditions will be present that could impact the tape’s performance. For quick jobs, a PE tape might be a good option, but if the tape needs to be up for a longer amount of time, it may be worth it to spend a little more and use a cloth stucco tape.
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