Are we done with the rain yet? We in the northeast received bucket loads of rain during the months of June and into July. Every day. Sometimes all day.
And in just a few short months, all of the rain will turn to snow and ice. We know this subject isn’t top of mind, but here are a few tips on sign construction and maintenance that will keep your sign looking new despite inclement weather.
1. Do nothing at all. Signs that you purchased for permanent exterior use (with the exception of stone monuments, which are indeed permanent outdoor signs and will outlive us all) are made to be durable. They are made to be impermeable to rain and stormy weather. At least in theory. But they benefit from routine maintenance just like anything that lives outdoors for long periods of time.
2. Use only the best quality paint. If you’re designing a sign right now, please use exterior grade latex, oil-based, or polyurethane paints for your sign panel and solid color stains for your posts. Exterior grade paints are developed by chemists whose job is to think about weather conditions, the effects of UV-radiation and other parameters. Don’t let your sign company use low quality, or interior, paint on your exterior sign. And don’t you use it either. Applying a metal or plastic trim around the edge of plywood signs prevents water from seeping into the wood.
3. Clean your electrical signs. And by clean, we mean open them up and see what’s inside. Insects, dirt and leaves can clog the holes that allow water to drain from the sign, and you want to keep those holes open. Standing water and debris can short out your sign.
4. Construct a roof over your sign. Purchase tall enough posts so that a roof can be constructed over the sign panel. It keeps water from dripping on the panel, and snow from collecting there. A roof on a sign does the same thing as a roof on your house. It’s a bit more money up front, but worth the investment.
5. Check the drainage around the bottom of your posts. Water should shed away from the posts. Puddles and standing water will lead to premature failure. It’s easy to add a trench to direct the water away from your sign. Landscaping can help keep the ground dry as well.
6. An extra thought—when you see the paint fading, or mold appearing on your signs, take care of the situation right away. Unless your sign is made from wood, it won’t rot per se, but mold (we’ve even seen mushrooms growing on signs!) doesn’t do your sign any favors. Plus, it looks really bad.
It’s your image, your brand, your business face to the world—help your sign look good.