How Long Do Outdoor Business Signs Last?

How Long Do Outdoor Business Signs Last?

Outdoor business signs can be made from a range of materials, all of which offer various lifespans. Weather, too, affects an outdoor sign’s durability over time. The combination of the signage materials and the harshness of outdoor environmental conditions help to determine a sign’s potential longevity.

How does weather affect an outdoor sign’s lifespan?

Snow on the Ground

Local weather patterns have a damaging effect on the lifespans of exterior signs. Naturally, outdoor signs are constantly exposed to changes in temperature as well as to the various levels of precipitation, whether it is rain, sleet, snow, or hail.

In Chicagoland, for instance, the weather patterns change dramatically from season to season. The area’s 3.2 months of winter produce high temperatures that reach 43 degrees Fahrenheit. January’s coldest days can drop the temperature to a subfreezing 22 degrees Fahrenheit.

Summer in the Chicago area is just the opposite. The 3.6 months of the warm season produce average daily highs of 73 degrees Fahrenheit. In the high heat of July, the temperature soars to 83degrees Fahrenheit. Spring and autumn months are milder in comparison to summer and winter.

Changing weather conditions can adversely affect an outdoor business sign. Frost, wind, and snow can cause increasing damage over the years. Fog, for instance, will cause moisture buildup in the sign. Ice and frost likewise produce moisture but can also scratch the surface of the outdoor sign.

Chicagoland winters are known to drop below freezing. Extreme drops in temperature are hazardous. Plastic signs, especially, can crack if the materials cool rapidly. Snowfall adds weight to the signs. Melting snow introduces moisture, leaving the sign damp.

Precipitation is abundant in the Midwest, and rainfall can cause damage to exterior signage. As with snow and ice, rain leads to moisture falling between the panels of the sign. Unprotected metal signs can rust. Rain leads to the risk of destroying the quality of the image on the sign.

Outdoor signs that are constantly exposed to severe shifts in weather are at risk for increased damage over time, which can reduce its functional lifespan. Fortunately, an exterior business sign can be protected, and serve its purpose for many years to come.

How long do outdoor business signs last on average?

Wood and plastic signs haves shorter lifespans than metal materials, like aluminum. A marine grade plywood sign, for instance, will perform for five to 10 years, depending on the type of paint applied. The location of the installation has a direct impact on a sign’s lifespan, as well.

1. Wood Signs

Sandblasted Wood Sign

Wood signs that are properly and routinely maintained can serve their purpose for up to a decade. However, in adverse weather conditions, outdoor wooden signs are known to degrade quickly. Roof runoff and sprinklers also decrease the lifespan of an exterior wood sign.

Extend the lifespan of wooden signs by sealing the wood with laminate. Or, apply more than one coat of water repellant. After heavy rain or snowfall, inspect the sign for mildew and mold growth. Clean the sign immediately if either appear.

2. Banners

Digitally printed banners are known to endure for two to three years. Wind, however, strains the banners, potentially ripping them apart. Unsecured banners can fly away. Vinyl banners perform for three or more years while surviving harsh wind and rain.  

Protect banners from wind exposure by installing them against a solid surface. Bungee cords are recommended for tying banners since they offer elasticity and stretch during high winds. Tighten the lines regularly to produce higher tensions, which reduce the chances of ripping.

3. Plastic Signs

Outdoor painted PVC (plastic)signs perform for five to seven years on average. The frequency and quality of maintenance, the sign’s thickness and installation method affect its lifespan. The application of UV coatings can help to extend the lifespan of plastic business signs.

4. Metal Signs

SBI Mokena State Bank Sign

Aluminum business signs are popular, since the materials do not rust. Plus, aluminum is lightweight and can be uniquely shaped to suit any design. A business owner can successfully use an outdoor aluminum sign for seven to 10 years before it starts to degrade.

As mentioned, aluminum and stainless-steel signs are waterproof, which makes them ideal choices for areas with high snowfall and rain. If iron and bronze are components, coat the sign with a waterproof sealant to prevent corrosion. Use single metal panels whenever possible.

All outdoor business signs have an expected lifespan. Choose the best materials to withstand the harsh environmental conditions. Maintain the sign regularly to prolong its longevity. Mount the outdoor sign securely, since the weight of snow, ice, and frost can loosen or break parts.

Utilize features in the environment to help protect the outdoor business sign. Trees, walls, roofs, and surrounding buildings can serve as a cover for the exterior sign and help to shield it. When installing exterior signs in less exposed areas, make sure the sign is still visible.

Work with a Professional Sign Company

Replace the exterior sign before it becomes worn and shabby in appearance. A high-quality sign has the best chance of enduring over the years. Replacing a sign infrequently is directly correlated with choosing a good sign company, like Divine Signs and Graphics, to design, produce, and install it.

Divine Signs and Graphics offers a wide range of high-quality exterior sign services. Our premium products include ground signs, custom metal signs, plaza signs, sandblasted signs, illuminated channel letters and lightboxes, wall signs, parking lot signs, and entrance signs, to name a few.

The design specialists from Divine Signs and Graphics will work with your company to produce a sign with tailored features, such as your business’ fonts, colors, and logo. Our comprehensive services include reliable installation. Your new outdoor sign will have a clean and professional appearance.

As a part of our services, our sign experts will recommend materials that are manufactured to withstand local weather hazards. When your Schaumburg, Illinois, business needs a new outdoor sign that will last, consult our sign company for friendly and efficient service at (847) 534-9220.

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May 28, 2021

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