Placement of wires and electrical components.
It’s a reality: power supplies malfunction and require maintenance from time to time. But if you are strategic about placement of electrical components in a monument sign, you can reduce the difficulty of making necessary repairs to them. Electrical components should be placed in the lowest part of the sign, ensuring that technicians handling repairs have the easiest possible access. If the electrical components are placed in a less accessible place, it can increase the repair time -- and consequently the repair cost -- to get your sign back in peak shape.
Try to design in a way to keep ladders and bucket trucks at home!
LED Bulbs (yes!) vs. Fluorescent (no!)
A simple way to reduce sign maintenance is to install LED bulbs. LED bulbs can burn without needing a replacement for up to 10 years, which is about 10 times longer than fluorescent bulbs.
Replacing dead fluorescents can require multiple technicians, special equipment and the replacement of the accompanying ballasts, and quick math will tell you that saving dozens of visits over a decade means major savings in time and resources. In addition, LED bulbs are less likely than fluorescent bulbs to be damaged due to severe weather.
Strong, lasting paints and colors
A rugged paint helps a sign withstand the elements and endure without the need for replacement because of fading. Automotive-grade polyurethane paints tend to be the ones best equipped to handle the demands of the job and stand up to ultraviolet rays. In addition, we like to use a smooth, textured finish that resists grunge and grit that can infect paint and lead to a diminished appearance.
Even with strong, durable paints built to stand the test of time, certain colors tend to be more vulnerable to fading, particularly with sustained exposure to the sun. Brighter colors, such as a candy apple red, are especially susceptible to sunlight and should be avoided if possible. More muted options will last longer.
Strong, lasting materials
The guts of any sign, monument or pylon, are typically concrete footers framed by structural steel – both materials that can stand the test of time. The signs are cladded with aluminum due to its durability (it doesn’t rust, unlike other metals). Aluminum is flexible and can be designed into various shapes – rounded, boxed, or twisted – and designers can also add various textures to it.
A skilled sign designer can also make aluminum, high density urethane, or foam look like masonry and other more expensive materials, like glass. If you choose to use stone or brick, you will quickly drive up the cost of your project not only in material cost, but in ongoing maintenance to keep those materials looking good.
Landscaping maintenance (and avoiding weed-whackers)
Signs should be built and located with an understanding of the landscaping upkeep that will occur around them. Trees or bushes that are placed near a sign, for instance, will have to be trimmed routinely to keep from blocking the view of passers-by of the sign.
It also is a good idea to avoid having grass too close to the sign because it will need to be kept particularly short, requiring more mowing time and edging. If the sign is located in an area that needs landscaping, it helps to build up the bottom two inches of the sign so that a weed whacker used for trimming around the sign will hit a concrete footer rather than causing damage and wear to the masonry or paint of the sign.
You didn’t put up your sign so you could tend to it all the time. The good news is that your sign doesn’t have to be something you sink a bunch of resources into. Devising a plan and design that takes maintenance into consideration will help keep your pylon or monument sign looking clean, vibrant and welcoming to customers – without costing you a lot of effort.
Whether you’ve got an existing sign or are looking to replace it, give the team at Ad Vice a call to discuss how you can ensure efficiency in your investment.
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About the author:
David Goodwin is the president of Ad Vice Studios, a Richmond, Va.-based marketing services and sign design company. David has built his career and his business collaborating with property managers, developers and architects to transform commercial properties into attractive destinations with unique brands and customer experiences.
Ad Vice Studios
David Goodwin is the president of Ad Vice Studios, a Richmond, Va-based marketing services company. David has built his career and his business collaborating with property managers, developers and architects to transform commercial properties into attractive destinations with unique brands and customer experiences.