The importance of good sign maintenance.

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Sign maintenance is too important to overlook – here’s why

When many businesspeople think of company signage, what comes to mind are the fun days of drawing up designs, creating brand identities and seeing the finished product once it’s been installed. As signage experts, we know that installation is just the first step towards a comprehensive signage solution for your business and brand. It may not be at the front of your mind, given all of the other pressures of running a business, but throughout every day of its service life, your signage remains the first thing that customers encounter when they interact with your business.

We’ve all seen those premises where a letter or two has fallen away from a sign, ruining our impressions of the business at first sight. Furthermore, maintenance, in the UK at least, is not even an option, but a legal requirement. It’s critical, therefore, to keep your signs properly maintained in order to protect your brand and ensure that your carefully designed signs retain the ‘wow’ factor that they had on day one. In this article we’ll help guide you through the process, looking at what sign maintenance entails and why it is so important.

What can go wrong with a sign?

Surprisingly, perhaps, for a stationary object, there are many issues with signage that maintenance can prevent from occurring.

Keep it clean

Vinyl signs are not meant to last indefinitely, and after several years will begin to peel or possibly fade, depending on the quality of the product. This cannot be stopped entirely, but a dedicated maintenance program, including deep cleaning at regular intervals, will extend the life of your sign. Signage is an investment which can deliver a superb return on investment, but only if it is properly cared for. Regular maintenance enables the sign to deliver maximum potential to your business.

Keep it operational

Depending on the type of signage in question, failed illumination is also a frequent maintenance issue. The most common signage illumination solutions employ either box signs with vinyl stretched over the front, lit by tube lighting inside the box, or use external illumination directed at the sign. Not only do you risk losing custom due to not being visible, but those customers who do notice your sign may be put off by the bad impression given by weak or broken illumination.

A sadly common sight on the high street is differently coloured tube lighting inside the same sign, or some tubing not working, making even the highest level of design appear shoddy. Regardless as to the type of illumination used, it is of vital importance to ensure that your signs are appropriately lit and visible to potential customers, and a decent maintenance program should include this.

Keep it fresh

Depending again on the type of signage employed, the option may exist to use regular maintenance check-ups as a chance to keep your signage up-to-date. Vinyl is particularly flexible for this purpose. Signage is often forgotten when changes are made to your business’ working hours, website or phone number. There are few things more frustrating than spending money on an excellent, eye-catching design only to end up frustrating your potential clients when they can’t get through to you. Take your maintenance routine as a chance to keep your signs fresh and accurate.

Keep it safe

Another issue lies in the sign posts and hardware that may be holding the sign in place. Not only do peeling posts or rusted hardware give a very negative impression – ‘if they treat their own business like this, how will they treat me?’ – They also pose a safety risk. If the structural integrity of the sign or any supporting structures fails, there is an obvious risk of injury, with liability landing at the feet of the business owner.

For this reason, regular inspection and maintenance of signage isn’t optional in the UK, but is a legal obligation according to the Town and Country Planning Act, the Health and Safety at Work Act and numerous building codes and regulations. This maintenance should include examination of the sign and any supporting structures and assessment of any damage, followed by a plan of remedial action to rectify the problems.

Signage maintenance: preventive or reactive?

The benefits and necessity of regular signage maintenance are clear. The question now moves on to the kind of maintenance required. Reactive maintenance simply involves contacting your signage maintenance contractors when a problem occurs, and arranging repairs. Preventive maintenance, by contrast, involves scheduled and thorough inspections to uncover defects before they present risks both to safety and the continued promotion of your brand.

By acting before problems occur, your maintenance team can make sure that they don’t occur, saving you money in the long run. This also ensures that you will never suffer from signage downtime, potentially costing you customers and further lost income if and when any problems did occur. Many signage installation professionals, including ourselves, offer planned preventive maintenance programs to keep your signage giving the same great impression that it gave the day after installation.

According to the law, regular sign inspection, maintenance and repair is the ultimate responsibility of the owner of the sign, not the installer. We, however, value our customers and understand the importance of their investments. When we install a sign, we see it as just the first step in a long relationship. We have years of expertise in the area of sign maintenance and can help to make the process as smooth and beneficial as possible for you.

If you have any queries or questions, don’t delay – contact us today to see how we can help you.

by norman