Most of us dread the arrival of winter. However, that bad weather you hate can cause a lot of harm to your business signs. The harsh cold, winds, snow, freezing rain, and sleet not only put signage at risk for fading or cracking but can also cause mechanical damage.
It’s not just winter weather that can cause damage. Changes in temperature, humidity, and even fog can ruin your sign’s look and cause structural damage throughout the year. Here we look at the different types of signage and how to protect them over winter.
Banners are a popular sign choice thanks to their versatility and price. However, when the harshest winter weather strikes, the lightweight material and larger surface area can face challenges, especially when up against strong winter winds. Some winter signage tips for banners include:
- Banners are more stable when installed against a solid surface to reduce being blown by the wind.
- When against a flat surface, keep it taut using grommets to get it nice and tight to keep the wind out from under it.
- If you must hang the sign over a street or across an entry, etc., always use the heaviest material for your banner, and secure it with steel cables to keep it securely tied down.
- Bungee cords work better than rope; instead of snapping under force, bungees allow the sign to move and stretch with the wind.
- If using a sign with grommets, make sure you interweave the cord or rope to secure it several times through each grommet.
- If you’re expecting high winds, check the lines, and see if you can tighten them to reduce movement and the risk of tears.
Digital signs have become more popular as technology has become more affordable. They are highly visible while also providing an easy way to change messages to suit your needs. While they are still one of the most expensive signs available, their versatility makes it worth the investment.
When it comes to harsh weather, digital signs can be affected by moisture caused by rain, snow, and even fog. Any force applied to the sign can permanently damage them, so windy days can be dangerous. Severe temperature fluctuations can interfere with the electric components as well. Some winter signage tips for your digital signs include:
- Before even investing in a digital sign, ensure your sign company uses weather-appropriate hardware.
- Speak to your sign company to determine if they can install the sign with a weather-resistant enclosure for protection in the winter.
- Look for issues with your sign, such as broken seals, spaces formed between parts, or any cracks that might allow moisture to seep in and damage the mechanics.
- Arrange for regular maintenance and never delay repair calls should you notice anything wrong with the sign’s structure or function.
- Speak to your sign company about winter maintenance calls so they can provide heating and winter maintenance solutions and ensure it is securely mounted to avoid breakage and wind damage.
- Consider insulating your sign with foam to retain the heat.
Metal Panel Signs
Metal panel signs are excellent choices for many applications, from advertising to giving directions. Although these signs are more expensive, it’s because they are more durable. However, they can still be damaged by harsh winter weather. Some winter signage tips for metal panel signs are:
- Choose aluminum or stainless steel as they are rust-resistant, so they will hold up better when exposed to rain, sleet, snow, icy build-up, and fog.
- Higher-quality designs using iron or bronze must be coated with a waterproof sealant if you want to prevent corrosion.
- Make sure your signs are welded together tightly so high winds can’t pull them apart.
- Larger signs with seams should be treated with a waterproof sealant to avoid rusting.
- For larger signs, ask your sign company if it is possible to use a single metal panel as they are structurally sound and better at resisting rust.
Although synthetic materials are more popular for modern signs, wood signs add a sense of history that might be better suited to some businesses. Wood is quite durable; however, it’s not as durable as acrylic, vinyl, or even metal. As a result, you should use these winter signage tips to protect them:
- Seal the sign using a laminate or water repellent each fall and spring.
- Use plastic or metal trim on the sign edges to protect the wood from water, leading to warping, swelling, and rot.
- A weekly inspection will ensure you catch signs of water damage early.
- If you find rot, mould, or mildew on your sign, it must be removed immediately.
The Best Winter Signage Tip: Prevention
Generally, your best way to avoid damage to your signage is to always go for the highest quality sign you can afford. Consider the materials, and make sure you choose one that’s ideal for your typical weather conditions.
The better the quality, the longer it will last. Keep in mind that although you pay more upfront, you are making a wiser investment. With the right sign and proper maintenance, your sign can last a lifetime. Your sign should be:
1. Designed for outdoors
The materials and structure of your sign should be made for outdoor use. That includes the materials and the finishes, the materials used to install the sign, and the steps taken to protect the mechanics.
2. Invest in replacements
Old signs not only represent your business poorly, but they also become dangerous. When your sign is looking shabby and worn, you should have a sign company come by to assess it.
They can tell you if they can save it with protective measures and repairs or if it’s time for a replacement. The last thing you want is someone being injured because your sign falls or blows away!
Even the highest quality sign is open to damage when not installed correctly. Ensure you hire a sign company who can also install your sign.
To learn more about how to protect your outdoor signage from harsh winter weather, call New Style Signs at 905-363-0101 or contact us here.