How to Weather Protect Outdoor Signs

Outdoor signs are subject to all sorts of extremities: heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, sun and sometimes even target practice! While all of these elements can damage signs, there are measures you can take to protect your outdoor communications pieces.

First, consider the climate in your area. An aluminum stand-alone sign may hold up better than a fabric or canvas sign in the rainy Northwest, while a wooden sign may fade quickly in the bright sun of the Southwest.

Second, choose a sign material that is meant to be used outdoors. If you decide an outdoor banner is the right communications solution for you, be sure to select a product specifically designed for outdoor use. Indoor and outdoor banners are made of different materials. A banner designed for indoor use will deteriorate quickly when exposed to the elements. Aluminum is an excellent material choice for any outdoor sign—it is lightweight, yet sturdy, and does not rust easily. Acrylic is not recommended for long-term outdoor use in unprotected areas. It is best to avoid using PVC as a sign material in areas with high humidity.

Finally, think about the placement of signage. Of course the sign should be highly visible, but placing it in an area that receives less direct sunlight will help prevent fading. Also avoid placing the sign directly under dripping liquids. A leaky gutter or tree that drips sap will rapidly damage signage. Consider taking a sign down during the winter months if it is seasonal. For example, taking an aluminum “Pool Rules” sign indoors when the pool is closed can extend the life of the sign.

Follow these guidelines when considering your choices for outdoor signage and make the most of your investment in visual communications

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