Outdoor Signs: Protection Against Severe Winter Weather
Winter weather can cause damage to any outdoor sign and indirect harm to your business. Here are some tips to protect your outdoor signs.
Winter weather can cause damage to any outdoor sign and indirect harm to your business. With cold, winds, snow, sleet, and freezing rain, your signs are subject to cracking, fading, and even structural and mechanical damage. What do you do about it to protect your signs against severe winter weather and any other damage related to the weather, like humidity, temperature fluctuations, and even fog? Here are some tips to protect your outdoor signs against the hazards of winter.
Best Materials for Outdoor Signs
Protecting outdoor signs is important and using the right materials can make a big difference in protecting them during the winter months or any other situation with bad weather. The materials need to be both tough and durable enough to withstand just about any weather situation.
Using vinyl, mesh, coroplast, and other materials are common in their usage for outdoor signs and offer some of the best protection possible for signs. All of these materials have different benefits to protect against winter weather.
Vinyl – The good thing about vinyl is that it’s pretty much waterproof. Your sign will remain in place no matter the amount of water pouring over it. It’s resistant to both hot and cold conditions, so it will hold up against winter weather. It’s also protected from the sun and the ink used on vinyl signs is solvent-based and is durable for many years.
Adhesive Vinyl – is what they use in decals that give signs an appealing look. It’s made from polymers that contribute to creating a pressure-sensitive adhesive. Adhesive vinyl is great for outdoor signs. It’s water-resistant, durable and its structure is such that it holds up in extreme temperatures. You will protect any text or graphics from weather-related wear.
Mesh – As mesh is designed for the outdoors, it’s a good material to use if you want to protect your sign against severe winter weather. Mesh is often used for signs in different outdoor venues such as parks and exterior spaces and even window displays. The material is made from a penetrated film base, which gives it a partially see-through appearance, and if the weather conditions are windy, mesh signage is a good choice as the wind won’t hinder the ability to see it or read it.
You can enhance mesh’s durability by treating it for any possible water damage. Use laminates and other finishes to bring an excellent level of protection. You won’t find this kind of protection with other materials.
Coroplast – is a grooved (corrugated) plastic. It’s made durable for outdoor use and contains a liner that is folded and placed between two layers that are flat. It resists rain and the cold and basically sustains itself against any kind of weather. The material also resists breaking apart because of age or use and when you include additives in the material, it becomes resistant to the ultraviolet rays of the sun and is flame retardant. Overall, any additives improve the material’s durability.
Aluminum and Stainless Steel – are both resistant to rust and hold up better than most anything else in snow, sleet, rain, ice, and fog.
Iron and Bronze – are structurally strong and will prevent weather-related incidents, but a waterproof sealant is necessary to stop corrosion.
Metal Panel Signs – These signs may be more costly but they are less likely to incur winter weather damage, though you want to take precautions to ensure that damages don’t occur.
Materials/Structures for the Outdoors
If you plan on installing an outdoor sign (with winter protection in mind), you want the materials and structure of the sign to be made specifically for outdoor use.
With an older sign, you know what extreme weather changes can do to it. If the sign shows fading, wear, and shabbiness, a sign company should assess it and look for repairs or replacements. With protective measures in place, the dangers of a faulty sign falling or being blown away are a lot less.
You also need to think about proper installation of a sign. If they did the installation incorrectly, the sign can easily be damaged by severe winter weather and will deteriorate faster.
General Outdoor Sign Protection Tips
- Before you invest in any sign, make sure you use hardware that is appropriate for and corresponds to cold weather conditions.
- Make sure your sign is mounted well to avoid damaging winter weather and strong winds.
- Use foam insulation to retain heat with your sign
- Work with a sign company that does maintenance and repairs during the winter months.
- Consult with a sign company concerning any winter maintenance calls and solutions to winter-related problems.
- Always check signs for problems with cracks, broken seals, spaces between parts, and damage from moisture seepage.
- Use waterproof sealant on larger signs to limit rusting. Consult with a sign company about using a metal panel as they are sound and resist rust.
- For wood signs, though durable, you’ll still need laminate or waterproofing sealant to protect them during the fall and spring.
- Put either plastic or metal trim on the edges of the sign. This will protect it from wood rot, warping, and swelling
- Inspect the sign on a weekly basis to assure that there is no water or other damage.
Look for Quality
If you want the best protection for your sign, particularly from severe winter weather, look for a quality sign, one that you can afford. Consider the different materials available and select one that works well with what’s typical for your winter weather.
Any higher-quality sign is going to last. Though you may pay more initially, you are making a wise investment. When you choose the right sign and maintain it regularly, it can last through any winter storm.