Even if most exterior signs are made with durable, weather resistant materials, winter brings on a lot of threats to your signage. Cold weather is harsh, add to that the freeze-thaw cycles and ice buildup, and your outdoor signs can really take a beating over the course of a winter season.
Signs in open areas can get constantly battered by the wind and weather. This will wear them out quickly. If you can install your exterior sign under an awning or other cover, it will last longer. Consider covering or moving signs in the open during winter months or severe weather conditions.
It’s not just the location of a sign that protects it, but the quality of the installation as well. Make sure heavy-duty, high-quality hardware is used, and any pole or other mounting is sturdy. Check the integrity of the mount, making sure the anchors and fasteners aren’t rusty, cracked or loose. A sign installation in Maine should consider the winter weather – no tight spaces where ice and snow can build up, using the right hardware, and choosing a location that offers some protection if possible.
A sign’s hardware can be one of the weakest areas. Ice, snow and freeze-thaw cycles can warp or crack hardware and/or the surface it’s installed on. Winter winds create constant pressure on sign mounting hardware, and even the toughest materials will wear over time.
If the hardware fails and your sign falls, that can cause serious damage to the sign. It also presents a serious liability hazard.
Use heavy-duty mounting hardware to secure exterior signs, especially if it is in an area prone to high winds. Check all the mounting hardware for signs of loose fasteners or worn parts. Now is the time to tighten and replace worn hardware.
Water damages just about all materials eventually. When water and snow sits on sign parts, it will erode more quickly. The added weight of snow and water also put unnecessary weight on a sign. Clean water and snow away from signs and their parts so they can dry out well between bad weather.
If you have freestanding signs, bring them inside during the winter or at least during storms. Protecting them when you can will prevent damage, and extend the lifespan.
Regular cleaning and maintenance can extend the life of your outdoor signage and protect them from weather-related damage. Remove dirt, debris, and stains from the surface of your business signs regularly, and inspect them for any damage or wear. Catching any issues before they become a major problem typically saves time and money in the end.
When you are having an exterior sign made, consider the location and conditions the sign will need to withstand. Be sure to discuss this with your sign maker so the right, durable materials can be used.
Exterior signs aren’t really something to install and forget about. All signs, even weather-resistant ones, their hardware and mounting, should be checked regularly. Consider hiring a professional for a thorough inspection and cleaning every few years. They have the right tools and equipment to remove the sign, replace any necessary parts, give it a good cleaning, and reinstall it safely.