Myths About Flex Tape You Can Stop Believing

Flex Tape can do many things. Flex Tape even has commercials talking about everything it can stick together. And while it's true some things can be fixed with Flex Tape... don't believe everything.

Flex Tape gained popularity when it claimed the tape could keep a boat from sinking. In the TV ads, a boat cut in half was sealed together with Flex Tape and set out to sea. The boat in the commercial was completely dry. But this is one tape application you probably shouldn't try. Inside Edition reported that while a Flex-taped boat did float for a while, and kept the water out, it eventually took on water. Mythbusters also tried out this experiment with regular duct tape, as seen on Discovery. First, the Mythbusters found that duct tape can seal leaks when applied dry, in other words, not in water. And while they were able to build a boat entirely out of duct tape and tree branches, they did note that they built the vessel on dry land using a large amount of tape.

You'd think you could use it on a duct, right?

Despite its name, common duct tape shouldn't be used on ducts. States like California even prohibit the use of duct tape in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) work. According to Mr. Handyman, regular duct tape is not UL certified and will not hold its stickiness for long. When sealing HVAC, you should use special tape that has a foil backing that withstands temperature changes. Or better yet, don't use tape at all, but mastic, a gooey adhesive applied with a putty knife. Although the Flex Tape website lists HVAC systems a common surfaces where its products are used on, Flex Tape also makes tape specific for use on duct work, separate from its regular Flex Tape.

Another duct tape-related myth is that it can remove warts. This is called Duct Tape Occlusion Therapy, where the tape is applied on the wart to remove it. However, a 2007 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found there was "no statistically significant difference between duct tape and moleskin for the treatment of warts in an adult population." Despite their similarities, it wouldn't work for Flex Tape either.

As a more powerful form of duct tape, Flex Tape can fix a lot of things, but only temporarily. Yes, it's strong, but when it comes to fixing a boat with tape, you'll likely find yourself in a "sticky situation."