What Can Winter Weather Do to Adhesive Labels?

Your products need labels that stay on and stay clear no matter what. Have you thought about what happens to labels in winter weather? Sure, they ship in a semi-trailer. But your products (or the labels) might endure frigid temperatures for several hours. What about large products, such as gas cylinders, that might also be exposed to the elements through shipping, handling, or outdoor storage? 

Today’s blog from Label Solutions talks about how winter weather affects adhesive labels.

Related Post: How Humidity and Moisture Affect Adhesive Labels

Problems Caused by Cold

Winter means cold temperatures. Frigid temps mean ordinary labels may not work properly. Have you ever tried to apply thermal labels in a cold environment? That’s doomed to fail. The adhesive labels don’t stick properly. The ink will likely smear. You’ll have to re-apply labels all over again, causing delays, increased labor costs, and more label printing.


Humidity is lower in the winter. So labels lose moisture, and liners start to shrink or curl. The backing might have problems because the substrate is made of a slightly different material than the actual adhesive labels. You’ll need to make the humidity as close to room temperature conditions as possible before applying adhesive labels to your products if you don’t require special conditions for the items.

Temperatures During Storage

One unique problem you might not think about is where and how the products and/or adhesive labels are stored. Sudden temperature shifts aren’t kind to product labels. 

Review the following examples of temperature issues for labels during storage.

You store your products in frozen temperatures to maintain efficacy and preserve your valuable items. However, the labels have been stored at room temperature for a few days. The sudden change in temperature might not work well.

The opposite is also true. Your products are at room temperature, but the labels just came off of a logistics truck or were stored near a shipping dock where temperatures stayed cold. 

Adhesives become firm and brittle when they’re in unreliable temperatures. Quick shifts from cold to warm or warm to cold may cause difficulties during the application process. Firm and brittle labels lower the tack quality.

How to Solve Problems of Winter Weather Adhesive Label Applications

Test the application process first. We cannot stress this enough. 90% of problems with label applications come from insufficient QA and testing before running the entire product line through your label applicator. 

Choose the right adhesive labels for the right products. Your chosen label printer should know what kinds of adhesives, label material, and ink work well with the temperature, substrate, and humidity levels your products will endure over time.

Mitigate sudden temperature changes, if necessary. Sometimes your products must be kept cold or warm for a reason. But the labels are stored at room temperature. This is where the right label material is essential when you have no choice but to apply labels with starkly different temperatures. Otherwise, keep your products and the labels at the same temperature and humidity for a few days for best results. 

Related Post: Products That Use Waterproof Labels

Adhesive Labels by Label Solutions

Do you need quality adhesive labels for your products? Contact Label Solutions online or call toll-free 1-800-299-9200 to partner with us for your next production run.