Winter can be a curse and a blessing. For some, it marks the single busiest season of the year. For others, a slow time, and a chance to catch up on things around the office.
But for all of us, it also means going up against the full might of our Canadian climate: plowing snow, icing walkways, and battening down the hatches at your commercial property.
That includes preparing your outdoor electric signage for everything nature can throw at it.
So, how do you go about servicing your electric sign before winter truly descends on us? Here’s what you need to know about winterizing your outdoor sign to minimize damage and save money.
5 Steps to Winterize an Electric Sign
These basic steps will help you protect your property from winter hazards, including:
- Extreme cold
- Snow, hail and ice
- High winds
- Poor visibility
- Power surges
1. Have Your Outdoor Signage Cleaned Before Winter
Your sign will already be harder to spot in the reduced light of winter, so excess dirt won’t be doing it any favours! Cleaning will also help you get more bang from your lighting buck by boosting its light output.
Follow the steps outlined in your sign’s maintenance manual to clean off any dirt, grime, insects, cobwebs or other contaminants. Don’t assume that any old cleaner will do ‒ the material could react badly and suffer damage from certain cleaning chemicals. When in doubt, you can always call a signage professional.
It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it, and it’s much easier done in the fall than in winter!
2. Replace Burned Out Bulbs
Swap out your dim or flickering bulbs before the temperature falls! As winter gets closer and the days get longer, you’ll need your electric sign to shine as bright as can be.
Mounting a ladder to replace burnt-out lamps requires a great deal of care and caution at any time of year. Doing it in the winter, when surfaces are slippery and the cold nips your fingers, only adds to the risk of injuries and broken bulbs.
3. Repaint, Reseal and Refresh
Notice a few spots where the paint has chipped or the colour has faded? The nasty weather only accelerate this kind of deterioration, adding to the expense of touching up your sign next spring.
Now’s the best time to deal with any chips, cracks or faded areas and apply a new coat of weatherproof seal to protect your signage from snow and ice.
By the way...have you noticed condensation building up inside your electric sign? Has it taken on water during the last few rainfalls? Then it’s definitely time to look at having the sign resealed, too.
Once winter comes, any moisture inside the sign will freeze, expand and unfreeze as the temperature swings.
4. Protect Your Electric Sign from Power Surges
Between fallen branches, heavy wind and road accidents, the odds of power lines arcing this winter is high. This increases the risk of a nearby power surge, which can take out your sign’s electrical components in an instant.
Make sure your signage is properly grounded and equipped with surge protection.
5. Inspect the Structure from Top to Bottom
If recent history has taught us anything, it’s to never underestimate winter’s wrath.
We’ve been through a series of particularly nasty storms the past few winters in Ontario that have ripped trees from their roots and snapped huge branches like twigs. You don’t want your sign getting caught in that kind of weather if it’s in poor condition to begin with. Remember: you could be in a lot of hot water if your sign breaks loose in heavy winds and damages someone’s property.
Before the ground is covered with snow, have your signage inspected from top to bottom by a sign service professional. This will include checking for broken or loose fittings, replacing rusty chains and wires, and ensuring the sign is fully secured to its structure.
Have Your Sign Serviced This Fall
Your outdoor signs are a major business investment. Not only does it project your image out into the world, but it carries a hefty price, too! Having your sign serviced today can save you a lot of work next spring.
Sign LITE has a modern fleet of vehicles and qualified technicians standing by to service your on-site signage. Call us or contact us online to book your fall service appointment today.!