How Long Do Banners Last?

“How long do banners last?” is an important question to ask when you’re considering them as an investment for your business. You want to know that the money you spend on your marketing is going to have long-lasting value.

Truth is, the answer isn’t as simple as an expiration date. There are a lot of factors that play into how long your banner lasts and whether it’s a good investment.

Below, we’ll go over what affects a banner’s lifespan and what you can do to make your banner last longer.

How Long Do Vinyl Banners Last?

A banner may be a temporary tool in your marketing kit, or it may be something you use long term. Either way, it’s important to know how long a banner is expected to last so you can plan ahead.

The average vinyl banner lasts anywhere from 2-12 years. A wide range, yes, but it’s difficult to narrow down how many years a banner will last due to the various factors.

How Long Do Vinyl Banners Last?

Factors that Affect How Long Your Banner Lasts

While there are dozens of influences that act against the life of your banner, only a few of them are controllable. Knowing these beforehand will help you create, install, or hang, and maintain a banner for a full, well-lived life.

Let’s explore the most important factors.

Vinyl Banner Materials

The material your banner is made of is a significant contributor to how long it lasts. Vinyl, also known as PVC, is one of the most popular materials for banners. However, there are different types of PVC, as well as several other types of materials altogether. Each banner material has its own designated use and life expectancy.

  • Calendered PVC — Typically lasts 3-6 years depending on the other factors listed in this article. Calendered PVC is the most common PVC banner material used by businesses that don’t expect to use their banner very frequently.
  • Metalized Polyester and Fluorescent — Lasts about 2 years. These banners are meant more like a short term decoration and aren’t expected to function longer than the initial 2 years after manufacture.
  • Cast PVC — A higher quality material that can last anywhere from 5-12 years. This is one of the longest lasting materials for vinyl banners. However, if metallic qualities can shorten its lifespan.

When ordering a PVC banner, consider the number of UV inhibitors that may be in the vinyl. A higher count will allow the banner to last longer and handle sunlight exposure better than unprotected materials.

When designing your banner and deciding on which vinyl banner material to use, it’s also important to consider where and how you intend to use it. Using the wrong banner material could result in a banner that looks worn and damaged far too early.

Banner Size and Weight

This might come as a surprise, but the size and weight of your banner affect how long it will last.

Typically, lightweight material works better for indoor placements or in areas that aren’t affected as much by the weather. Whereas heavier materials (the bigger, the heavier), can stand up stronger against wind and rain.

But beware, if a flag is too heavy, or becomes heavy from rain, it may place excessive strain on the stitching, especially around the grommets.

Size also matters when it comes to banners. Something to consider is that the larger your banner is, the more likely it is to catch the wind. Wind can damage a banner beyond repair. So, depending on the size of your banner, you might want to consider adding wind pockets.

Wind pockets are semi-circular cuts on the banner that allows wind to flow through. They’ll prevent the wind from picking up your banner, so you can keep it strapped to a fence, building, or between poles longer.

Banner Placement

Wind and rain can also cause deterioration if exposure is prolonged or regularly occurring.

However, the sun is particularly detrimental to banners. With prolonged exposure, the sun can cause deterioration and discoloration. If you’re going to have the banner outside for a long period of time, make sure to place it in an area that doesn’t consistently receive sun.

Pollution is also a major consideration, as it wears out the smooth surface of the banner and coats it in grime.

To help with some of these outdoor elements, manufacturers can add a clear laminate to vinyl banners to protect it from scratches, soot, and chemicals, and may even add a layer of UV protection.

Printing and Ink Application

Originally, vinyl letters were individually cut and transferred onto a PVC or plastic banner, but this method is incredibly labor intensive.

One reason banner companies still sometimes use this method is because it greatly extends the life of your banner. Unlike ink, vinyl letters don’t wear out quickly.

However, using this method greatly limits your design, color, and customization options.

Today, wide format printers are the trend. With this technique, you’ll see better color matching and pictures of a higher quality.

What matters most is the ink that you use. A higher quality ink will extend your sign’s life. In most cases, the right ink, such as fade resistant eco-solvent or UV curable inks, can grant your banner sign a life as long as vinyl plot cut lettering would.

Tips for a Long-lasting Banner

To make your banner last longer, follow these tips:

  • Do not hang a wet banner. Lay it out to completely dry before storing or rehanging.
  • Do not roll up a wet banner.
  • Clean your banner regularly withgentle soap and water.
  • Trim off any frays. You may need to re-hem as needed.
  • Keep your banner in a place that isn’t in the constant sun, pollution, or an area that gets too much wind.
  • Keep hanging surface and poles clear of grime, dust, rust, or any other corrosion.

Get Custom Banners that Last

If you want a banner that lasts, choose the right banner material, ink, and application, then take care of your investment with regular cleaning and proper placement.

Get your own custom vinyl banner at Best of Signs.

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