Top 5 Ways to Make Your Signs Last Longer

By August 14, 2019LED Signs, Maintenance

How to make your signs or LED signs last longer? Whether you have a church sign, school sign, business sign, or municipal sign, it can be hard to know when the time has come to replace it, or whether it simply needs some TLC. Many people view signs as oversized lawn ornaments, thus they don’t pay attention to them until it is often too late. Your sign is an important marketing tool that often acts as the first impression you make on the community. The following insights can help you add years to your sign and make the most out of your investment while avoiding some common mistakes.

#1: Keep the outside clean! It might seem like a no brainer, but many organizations forget about the fact that their sign is outdoors 24 hours a day 7 days a week, exposed to the elements constantly. This means, just like your car, your sign is constantly being exposed to dirt, dust, pollen, and chemicals that can degrade the sign little by little. 

Pro Tip: Spray off the sign with a hose (freshwater only) if possible at least once every 3 months. If you live in a coastal area, or in arid environments, you may want to do this once a month. Do not use chemicals to clean your sign.

#2: Check on the inside. Signs make great homes for dust, cobwebs, and debris to hang out. Open up your sign and vacuum it out with a handheld vacuum at least once every 6 months to keep illumination showing through clearly and protect against damage to electrical components. Be sure to cut the power to your sign prior to performing this maintenance. Ask your Sign Specialist to provide guidance as needed. 

Pro Tip: A dry soft brush can also come in very handy for removing debris etc in tough spots. Be sure not to use cloth, paper towels, etc., as these can lodge particles in electrical connections without you knowing it causing failures and/or short circuits. Do not use any liquids to clean inside your sign. 

#3: Keep it on. It might seem counterintuitive, but “resting” a sign by turning it off entirely does little to nothing to make your sign last longer. In fact, stresses from power-up, and power-down cycles can often actually cause more wear and tear than would otherwise be the case. 

Pro Tip: If your electrical service is inconsistent, or if brownouts and/or blackouts will occur from time to time, it may be a good idea to ask your electrician to provide an electrical conditioner to be sure consistently clean electricity is being provided to your sign.

#4: Hands off. Signs are damaged every day by well-meaning individuals looking to “polish” their sign. The materials used for modern electronic signage, are durable, but they are not made to withstand abrasion or friction of any kind. If your sign is dusty or dirty, a simple spray off with clean freshwater is all it will need. If you think the sign needs a heavier cleaning and you aren’t sure how to do it safely, consult with your Sign Specialist as the best heavy cleaning method to perform will depend on the materials used for your specific sign.

Pro Tip: Power washers can come in handy, but the widest possible setting (lowest pressure setting) should be used. Paint, vinyl, acrylics, and polycarbonate materials can all be damaged by high-velocity power washing. 

#5: Keep it rust-free. Steel poles and/or tubing are commonly used for structural elements of signage for the material’s durability and strength. Even though most steel poles are treated, painted, or powder coated to avoid rust, it will still occur. Aluminum structures are used from time to time as well, but even aluminum can degrade causing the sign’s support structure to be compromised. During periodic cleanings remove any dirt or debris that has built up at the base of the sign and be sure no water is able to “pool” near the structure. 

Pro Tip: In regions where rain and/or snow is prevalent it is often a good practice to add a thin layer of cement around the base of each pole to avoid pooling around where the foundation meets the pole at ground level.

How to Make Your LED Sign Last Longer Recap

  1. Keep the outside clean
  2. Check on the inside regularly
  3. Keep it on
  4. Keep your hands-off
  5. Prevent it from rusting

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Author Guthman Signs

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