The environment plays a large part in the impact that a sign will have. The longevity of a sign is affected by many factors. These include:
- The amount of exposure to the sun
- The range of temperatures where the sign will be located
- The surface colour of the sign, red fades the most.
- The environment where the sign will be installed, an exposed location will reduce the life of your sign, or an area with high levels of traffic will be affected by pollutants.
- The chemical composition of the films
- The thickness of the ink coating
- The amount of UV radiation that the sign will have, i.e. a shaded location will prolong the life of your sign.
Although each of these factors influence how long your sign will last and so the effectiveness of the message, there is little doubt that the most significant factor in sign longevity is UV radiation. A protective overlay film (POF) can be over-laminated on to any aluminium or rigid plastic sign to give a greater degree of protection to the sign face. It allows:
- Easier removal of Graffiti
- Resistance to scuffs
- UV protection – anti fade
- Easier to clean
- Prolongs life of sign
All signage material manufacturers use a worldwide standard rating system to determine the life of material based on application being 90 degrees vertical and facing north. However, one of the most important pieces of advice in positioning your sign is to get it absolutely right. If mount your sign with a slight tilt i.e tilting the sign backwards by as little as 5 degrees and you will reduce the life of the sign by approximately 50 percent.
Whilst UV light is the most important, other environmental factors that affect the life of the sign, which could damage your signs, are dirt, salt, acid rain, general pollution and more. All of these factors can reduce the life span of your signage, and need to be taken in to consideration. Our Safety Signs – How to clean your safety signs guide offer advice on general maintenance and up keep of your signs. The type of fixing you choose can also effect the life of your sign, our article on Tips for the Care and Installation of Vitreous Enamel Signs highlights the need for correct fixing methods Vitreous enamel signs. Other guides regarding the installation of general signage are as follows:
- Choose the right material for your sign, based on the conditions that it will be placed in. Our Sales Team would be happy to advise you on the best sign materials for your needs.
- Make sure that your sign substrate or vinyl is free of any contaminants by washing with a mild detergent first and when dried wiping with a solvent saturated cloth.
- Position your sign to reduce the affect that the environment will have on it.