Tape stains on concrete floors
Updated: Mar 28
Whatever you do, before you tape down your cables with gaffer tape, make sure you confirm with the venue's coordinator first that you can use tape on their beautiful concrete floors. Why? There is a risk that the tape will either damage the floor or leave a really bad nasty residue that will be hard to remove. We use this whenever we can't use gaffer tape.
Gaffer tape uses a type of resin glue. Depending on how long you leave the tape on (3-4 hours on average), sometimes the glue bonds to the sealer so that when you remove the tape, even doing it very cautiously, it might take the top layer of the sealer with it. This can leave an ugly tape stain that will be impossible to remove. This is often caused by the plasticizers in the glue migrate into the surface of the concrete or coating.
Make sure that your contract has a clause that indemnifies you from any liability. We currently have this language in our agreement and the client initials it as their acceptance to the terms. I'm not a lawyer but this was reviewed by one so check your local laws and see if something like this applies. It works for us. The flip side is if you throw this language around loosely, then you risk the venue getting pissed at you and barring you from doing any work on site. So tread carefully. We've also had some corporate clients who completely ignore our terms and conditions and we have to abide with theirs. In those instances, we still confirm with the venue what is and isn't possible.
JR's recent experience from the photo below turned out to be simply tape residue that the venue maintenance staff was able to remove. Crisis averted. But the next one might not be so lucky so this post is simply food for thought.
If you are looking for an alternative to gaffer tape, I suggest using a cord floor cover such as this heavy duty version. Happy boothing everyone!