The most common duct tape uses if you search online, appear to be crafts from duct tape flowers to a duct tape wallet. When you research the history of duct tape, you realize there are many practical uses for duct tape (read Duct Tape, Duct Tape Magic & Myths).
Before there was a product called duct tape, they used long strips of plain cotton duck cloth to make shoes stronger and wrap steel cables to protect them from corrosion. So it's no surprise that there are many duct tape uses for homeowners handling home repairs themselves, or at least until they can schedule a home professional.
Best Uses of Duct Tape
Duct tape isn't cheap so you need to understand how it's made and what are the best ways to use duct tape around the house. In most houses you'll probably find with other home repair tools and materials. So here are the materials making up duct tape.
- Duct tape is a cloth tape made from cotton. The weave allows the tape to be torn in both, and higher thread counts provide more strength.
- The cotton fabric is coated with a polyethylene resin on one side. Polyethylene is a plastic that protects the fabric from moisture and abrasion. It also makes the tape flexible so it can stick to a variety of surfaces, so there are many more duct tape uses.
- The other side of the fabic is coated with a very sticky, rubber-based adhesive. The adhesive is also applied in a much thicker coating than what's done for masking tape and cellophane tape. Both of these properties make long-term applications one of the most important duct tape uses.
For more details on how duct tape is manufactured, visit How Products are Made.
Duct Tape Uses When Doing Home Repairs
Duct tape was first sold in hardware stores after World War II. One of the first duct tape uses was in construction to wrap air ducts, and so the name “duct tape” began to be used in the 1950s. While duct tape is no longer used for sealing ductwork (does not have UL certification), here are just a few ideas of most common duct tape uses at home.
- Fastener instead of screws or nails.
- Covers where you need to keep water out.
- Repair cracks like a leak in a vacuum hose, trash can or a photo frame where the stand in the back has pulled away.
- Make temporary repairs to a broken/missing roof shingle, a broken window or viny siding that's cracked or punctured (we got one or two calls each year at my handyman business, from baseballs hitting a house).
- Hang Christmas lights to save time and money, because it's much easier to remove the tape.
3M Utility Duct Tape in Silver, 1.88 in x 50 yd 5.8 mils (Pack of 1)Popular Mechanics When Duct Tape Just Isn't Enough Repair GuideFluorescent Colored Duct Tape, Assorted Colors, 1.89-inch x 10 Yd (6 Pack)