Repair or Replace?

At some point, no matter how well designed your signage may be, you will be faced with a choice; Should you repair or replace your signs? It could be due to a combination of issues that on their own are quite minor. Or it could be down to a very big problem that has you wondering what to do. Do you persevere and have your sign repaired? Or should you simply replace it with a new one?

In our view this is a decision that should never be made quickly. There are a number of factors that will influence your decision. And not all of them will be within your signage either.

Common Faulty Signage Issues

If you feel you are at a crossroads with your signage, here is a short listing of what will usually determine your decision to replace or update.

Lost Integrity. While very few signs are constructed to be as robust as HMS Belfast, they really shouldn’t be twist freely while in place either. However, this may well be not an issue with the actual sign itself.

If a sign is visibly flexing, this could be due to the sign itself has been incorrectly mounted. In that case, having the sign refixed should solve the problem. But it is strongly advised the fascia or surrounding area where the sign is fixed should be inspected too. If the fascia has degraded and no longer provides the support your sign needs, then you will need to replace or reinforce it.

Torn or faded signs. It’s inevitable that sometimes a sign will prematurely wear out or the colours used begin to fade. This can be due to extreme weather or UV exposure. It could also be the specified material or printing inks used are simply not robust enough to cope. You should also bear in mind the position of the sign may be a factor here. Direct sunlight on materials not specified to cope will inevitably have an impact on the sign.

Poor illumination. The intense bright lighting within your sign can fade over time. This is particularly true when using fluorescent tubes. And tubes do not fade at a uniform rate either. So your sign can appear to be unevenly lit.

Unreliability. A sign that never seems to be working properly impacts your brand. That can be most evident at night, when sections of lighting fails. If your signs consist of individual words, that can become a real issue. And if it results in your brand name spelling another word entirely, it becomes plain embarrassing.

Reliability also applies to other features of your sign. Peeling vinyls and frames that become detached are good examples. It means your sign needs too many maintenance visits to keep them in good order. Making them less cost effective.

Poor Quality. Signs can be viewed as a commodity and bought purely on price. Problem is, a cheap sign will have cut corners somewhere. It might be the materials used are not to specified standards. Or the design does not take into account your store’s immediate environment.  

Substandard Installation. Nothing ruins a sign faster than being installed incorrectly. A sign that is not secured properly will fall down. If it is not sealed to stop water ingress, and has properly designed drainage, it will become dangerous. And if it does not have carefully fitted flashing, it will cause the sub-fascia behind to become rotten.


Making A Decision

Deciding whether to repair or replace in the situations above can depend on several factors. But it also pays to take a deeper look into the issue. Before replacing a vinyl, ask why has it peeled or faded? It could be simply due to age. But it could be due to it being poor quality. And specifying a higher grade vinyl or ink may resolve the problem longer term.

On the other hand, the issue may be due to something much more serious. A vinyl may have become wrinkled and twisted over a period of time. But the actual problem is the frame. It may be far too lightweight and is buckling. Or it may be installed badly and is now stressed.

And finally, repairs or retrofitting may not be an option. It may be due to the sign being simply too old to accept alternative frontage or internal equipment.

How Long Should A Sign Last?

As a very general rule, signs are assumed to have a working life of around 10 years. This is not a guarantee however. A sign may be installed in an environment that extends its life. It can also be in such harsh conditions that it cannot be expected to last that long. But, if you know the age of your sign and understand the actual problem, those are the two determining factors that will help you decided whether to repair or replace your sign.

Being able to come to such a decision can take detailed knowledge and expertise of your sign and the construction of your store. That’s why we recommend you seek professional advice before you make a decision to repair or replace. If your signage has developed a problem and you are unsure what to do, contact us to discuss your options.

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