Applying Vinyl Decals in Cold Weather

Cold weather has a negative effect on vinyl decals if you’re trying to apply them. However, applying a vinyl decal in conditions that are too hot isn’t ideal either. 

Vinyl Decals are commonly used for outdoor signage. You may want to use custom window vinyl decals on a window or car if you’re using them for advertising. If you’re applying vinyl decals in cold weather, you’ll need to know the best way of doing this.

In this article, we provide you with tips on how to best apply vinyl decals in cold weather. We also discuss cover happens to vinyl when it’s cold, as well as why hot conditions aren’t good either.

What This Article Covers:

What Happens to Vinyl Decals when You Apply in Cold Weather?

can you put window decals on in the cold

Winter is a difficult time if you’re trying to apply vinyl graphics for outdoor advertising or car wrapping. 

Vinyl is sensitive to temperature as this type of material expands and contracts according to the temperature of whatever it’s applied to. It’s also heavily affected by the temperature and weather around it. This is why it may be difficult to use vinyl in the winter. 

Some problems that the cold weather can cause are as follows:

The adhesive on the vinyl will be less effective. This makes it difficult for it to stick to surfaces as efficiently as it should. 

Why is my vinyl decal not sticking? You need to know how to properly stick a vinyl decal. It also helps to know what can vinyl decals stick to so you don’t try on something that’s never going to work. 

can you put window decals on in the cold weather

You can also follow our instructions on what to do if wall decals won’t stick.

Vinyl becomes soft and non-pliable in the cold. This makes it near impossible to wrap a car outdoors in the winter.

If you know how to put a vinyl decal on a curved surface, it makes the process easier. You need a higher temperature to stretch vinyl around curved surfaces. If the weather is cold, they may not properly stretch. They may also possibly tear. 

What’s more, the vinyl could adhere to the surface incorrectly in the cold. This can cause potential separation, which can lead to tears, rips, and pieces falling off.

If there’s condensation during the installation, this may interfere with proper application. If the vinyl decal is left to freeze, thaw, and freeze again, then the expansion and contraction of the vinyl can lead to separation.

The adhesive vinyl will lose elasticity and become stiff. This makes it difficult to work with and apply evenly. This usually leads to creases and pieces not matching up correctly.

How to Apply Vinyl Decals in Cold Weather

can you put window decal on in the cold

If possible, it’s best to take the object that you’re applying vinyl to and bring it indoors.

Alternatively, you can try and install it in the middle of the day. This is when the daily temperature is at its peak and relatively stable, so there shouldn’t be any drastic change.

Make sure that the surface and air around the vinyl meet your vinyl decal vinyl requirements before you apply the vinyl.

If the weather is cold, the glue film will be too hard and too thick. This means that the decals won’t stick properly. 

When you apply your vinyl decal in cold weather, start by heating the vinyl using heat guns or torches. Heat the air around the application surface with air heaters. 

The vinyl should still adhere and work effectively if the temperature is around 10° Celsius. However, the temperature should not be colder than this. 

If you want to apply your vinyl on a cold day, we suggest applying a sticker later in the afternoon as early morning hours are usually much colder. If you’re wrapping a car, it’s best to work in a garage rather than outside in the colder weather.

applying vinyl decal in cold weather

How Warm Does It Have to Be to Install Vinyl Decals?

If the temperate is too warm, this can also lead to negative effects. The adhesive vinyl becomes soft and too stretchy. Therefore, we don’t recommend applying vinyl decals in hot conditions either. 

The correct temperature to avoid failure depends on each vinyl as they’re all different. The general rule is to install vinyl at about 45°F (7° C). The best is to consult the manufacturing data to make sure you’re in the optimal temperature range.

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