The Term "Duct Tape" Is A Misnomer

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

The term duct tape is a misnomer.

But how can that be?  Duct tape has been around forever!

I have a wonderful book in my library called, Did Monkeys Invent the Monkey Wrench?

It is a fun history book of tools and hardware information.  In my version, copyright 1999, on page 171, there is a brief history of duct tape.

It was invented by Johnson & Johnson in 1930 (... Remember Band Aids?  That's J&J too ...)  as a white, cloth tape for use in hospitals.  It was called Drybak.

During World War II it took on its modern gray color, and more waterproof shiny side.  They began using it to seal metal ammo boxes against water intrusion, and even used it to plug the bullet holes that happened in the ducks (amphibious personnel carriers) used to storm the beaches at Normandy on D Day.  The tape took on the name "Duck Tape."

Sometime in the 60s, when air conditioning got so popular, contractors began using it to seal AC duct work, and the name morphed into the more ubiquitous "Duct Tape."

So that term is certainly a misnomer!

But now, as we know, duct tape is used to "repair" everything from TVs, to electric connections, to, well, back yard fences!  As a home inspector I see it everywhere!  Of course, over time "duct tape" begins to fall apart and the stick'em comes loose, and it is no longer a good seal for duct work.

Much better for sealing the gaps in duct work, and more permanent, would be the aluminum tape such as I used to seal the duct work in my house.  It lasts and lasts and lasts.  That repair was 19 years ago.

And now it can be purchased in a variety of colors.  Since it can be used for everything, why not color coordinate?  That comes in very handy for auto repair!

My recommendation:  for short term repairs duct tape can be a miracle.  But don't count on it forever!  Overall it is a fabulous product and its "uses" are endless!  And obviously it's good, too, for mending fences between neighbors.  And taping ducks ... when they quack up.

 

 

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Rainmaker
545,968
Peter Mohylsky, SoWal Is HOME.
Gulf Place @ 30A - Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Let me help you find your path to the beach.

I have used it for lots of stuff, I like that silver stuff too.

Jan 27, 2017 02:11 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,827,538
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

So have I, Peter!  And the new colors are out there!

Jan 27, 2017 03:08 AM #2
Ambassador
1,613,368
Harry F. D'Elia
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

I firmly believe that duct tape is man's best friend over a dog when it comes to the home.

Jan 27, 2017 03:32 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,827,538
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Well, Harry, the tape plays dead pretty well, sits when asked, and doesn't poop or vomit in the house.

Jan 27, 2017 04:38 AM #4
Rainmaker
3,751,996
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Jay Markanich ,

The latest craze is to use duct tape for a bikini! Ouch!! Think of removing those strips!!

Jan 27, 2017 04:51 AM #5
Rainmaker
720,615
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Jay Markanich 

Duct tape is a good thing to have around. Never knew J&J was the one to introduce it. I just saw a commercial for a product called FiberFix. Ever hear of that?

Jan 27, 2017 05:00 AM #6
Rainmaker
3,133,284
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Jay. Have a roll of both, just in case! Enjoy your day!

Jan 27, 2017 05:30 AM #7
Rainmaker
3,487,782
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Jay. Aluminum tape sounds great. Thank you for the reference.

Jan 27, 2017 05:57 AM #8
Ambassador
2,545,953
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I have to scratch my head to think of what may have been the inspiration for this post.  This always a good place to learn

Jan 27, 2017 06:09 AM #9
Rainer
293,656
Stephen Weakley
Nationwide Mortgage Services - Rockville, MD

OK, you got me again.  I was walking around my unfinished basement last night with my aluminum tape checking for leaks in the duct work.  As if the honey-do list my wife gives me isn't long enough.

Jan 27, 2017 01:35 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,827,538
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Dorie - my son once made a wallet out of duct tape.  It lasted for years!

Doug - I have a couple of rolls in my house!  And I will look up the FiberFix product!

As do I, Wayne.  We are probably not a small club.

Sheila - it is truly a good product and works as advertised.  That fix I did was really 19 years ago.

Gee, Ed.  Promised yesterday, delivered today!  Actually it was already on my mind because of the question I got from Ginny.

 

Jan 27, 2017 01:57 PM #11
Ambassador
1,597,028
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Jay you may be right but I will believe the legend versus the fact sometimes.

Jan 27, 2017 03:32 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,827,538
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

The legend that "duct tape" works on everything and anything, Joe?

Jan 27, 2017 04:43 PM #13
Rainmaker
3,162,566
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

This post brings tears....my Dad LOVED it....and while an engeneer who did invent a lot of equipment...he was never far from a roll of this magic stuff !

Jan 28, 2017 03:50 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,827,538
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I agree, S&D, magical stuff, but not always the best for long-term sorts of things.

That fence repair, though, is truly magic.

Jan 28, 2017 04:16 AM #15
Rainmaker
559,050
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Good one! It truly is a universal tool. So now you gotta write one on bailing wire!

Jan 28, 2017 08:03 AM #16
Rainmaker
1,827,538
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I'll look it up, Fred.  Or maybe talk to the bail bondsman who lives in my neighborhood!  I'll see if he has any, um, bail - ing wire...  badda boom!

You should see his car, it's a colorful, rolling ad!

Jan 28, 2017 08:44 AM #17
Rainmaker
1,388,293
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I missed this the first time around, but saw you mentioned it in a different post this morning. I had no idea that both duck and duct tape are historically correct names for the tape. It's definitely used everywhere for all sorts of repairs, but it's good to know it really should just be used temporarily.

May 12, 2017 03:38 AM #18
Rainmaker
1,827,538
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Once, temporarily, I used it to repair a cracked fence so the dog wouldn't get out, Kat!  It worked!

May 12, 2017 04:04 AM #19
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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