January 7, 2022

The Ultimate Guide to Commercial Building Signage for Facility Managers

With extremely rare exceptions, every commercial property should have some type of signage. Commercial building signage helps ensure that people can find your building easily. It also helps with your advertising, as passersby will see the sign regularly.  As a facility manager, you should consider including the sign in your overall plans for the property. Specifically, you must plan for installation, maintenance, potential repairs, retrofitting, or replacement. The following guide will help with all of this. 

The Benefits of a Commercial Building Signage Installation Plan

Most of the benefits of a commercial building signage installation plan come from the fact that you will have a professional installation done.

Benefits of Commercial Signage

We already mentioned that having commercial building signage will help the facility you manage with advertising and recognition. The following are some of the benefits of installing signs: 

  • Makes the building easy to find
  • Attracts passersby who will see the sign and brand name
  • Brings in more potential clients
  • Boosts brand recognition 
  • Illustrates cost-effective marketing 
  • Showcases customizable designs 
  • Streamline maintenance 

You Know What to Expect – In Terms of Budget, Timeline, and More

One of the most important benefits of having a plan for your commercial sign installation is that you will know what to expect. This is important because of the multiple responsibilities that the average facility manager has. With so many things to coordinate, planning ahead is helpful.  Being able to plan ahead ensures that you have the budget for the sign installation when the time comes to pay the signage company. It can also help you meet any other requirements for installation, such as keeping the area clear to avoid injury.  The plan should also give you an expected timeline. This is useful if you have a temporary solution in place so you will know when to remove it.  Planning also gives your installation team the chance to survey the site. This is important, as it gives them a chance to catch any potential issues and resolve them before the day of the installation. 

Professionals Have the Right Equipment

One of the many benefits of including professionals in your sign installation plan is that they have the necessary equipment to complete it easily. Your property likely doesn’t have the right type of equipment to reach the height necessary to hang the sign or to support its weight.  Remember that if you fail to use the right equipment, you can make mistakes and damage the sign. Even if the sign isn’t damaged, attempting a second installation will cost time and money. 

Professionals Have the Right Fasteners and Install the Sign Efficiently 

It is also worth mentioning that professionals will know how to install the sign efficiently. They will not cut corners but will install it in a way that is just as durable as the sign. This also extends to using the correct hardware or fasteners. You can’t expect to know what type of fastener or attachment method is necessary for the sign, but professionals do. This will guarantee that the heavy sign stays in place once it’s installed.  Professionals Will Ensure the Quality and Appropriateness of the Sign Working with professionals will also help you to have a high-quality sign that can withstand the weather conditions in your area. They will know what additional weather protections or other features are necessary for your location, helping your sign last. 

Professionals Will Install It So It Looks Good

Even the best sign can give a bad impression of your property if installed poorly or in poor condition. Professionals will ensure the sign looks good once installed, so this isn’t a concern. This includes placing it at the ideal height, spacing or positioning it (and its various components), and hiding an electrical cord. 

Professionals Know the Bylaws and Can Plan for Them

Another advantage of hiring professionals and planning with them is their knowledge of local bylaws. Some municipalities may restrict your sign in some way, whether in terms of size, position, or something else.  Planning your installation gives you time to confirm that you meet these local bylaws.

How a Facility Management Company Can Help With A Signage Rollout

A facility management company, such as Branded Group, can be incredibly helpful with the planning and organizational aspects of a signage rollout.  They will help find a signage company to create and install the sign, including vetting various companies. They will check if there is enough room in the budget for the sign and determine where on the property or building the sign should go.  They will also coordinate everything with the signage company, from the design to the installation.  In the future, the facility manager will maintain the sign and arrange repairs or replacements when necessary. 

The Importance of Maintaining Commercial Signage

There are a few major benefits of maintaining your sign. 

It Lasts Longer

Naturally, a well-maintained sign lasts longer. This saves you time and money, as you will not have to repair or replace it as much. 

It Makes a Good Impression

One of the primary functions of commercial building signage is marketing. The sign must be in good shape to make a good impression. A sign that is consistently dirty or has missing lights will make a poor impression on potential customers. After all, if you can’t be bothered to keep the sign in good shape, what does that say about your products or services? This, in turn, reflects on your skills as a facility manager.  Maintaining your sign gives a professional impression, communicates your brand, and attracts new business. 

It’s Easier to Read

Well-maintained signs are also much easier to read. This lets you maximize your sign’s ability to market your products or services. 

It’s a Matter of Safety

You also have to remember that commercial signage is large, heavy, and high up. That means that if it were to fall, it could pose a very serious safety risk. There are also electricity-related risks in the case of signs with electrical components.  By maintaining the sign, you reduce the chance that something will go wrong, leading to the sign damaging the property or injuring someone. 

You Can Spot Problems During Regular Maintenance

It is also worth noting that following a regular maintenance plan for your commercial building signage makes you much more likely to spot potential issues. These can range from mild issues like a crack or rust to major problems such as structural issues that pose a safety risk.  It is much easier to complete simple repairs to your sign than it is to make major ones, but the latter will be required if you don’t address the smaller problems right away. It’s also important from a liability perspective, as you don’t want injuries or damage to occur due to an issue you could have spotted during regular maintenance. 

You Don’t Have to Do It Yourself

The good news is that you don’t have to take care of the sign maintenance yourself or even assign someone on your team to do so. The company that installed it likely offers maintenance services.  Most will offer maintenance plans with regularly scheduled inspections or one-time inspections. Opting for a plan makes more sense, as it lets you budget more appropriately. It will also mean that the company prioritizes your signs over those of customers without a plan. Of course, a plan also helps prevent you from accidentally skipping sign maintenance. 

A Simple Commercial Signage Maintenance Plan

As mentioned, you don’t have to worry about the commercial signage maintenance yourself, as the same company that makes and installs the sign can likely handle it for you. 

Create a Plan With the Professionals

You should take full advantage of the expertise of the signage company to create your maintenance plan. Their experience means they know what maintenance tasks are necessary and how frequently they are required.  This will depend on your type of sign and the weather in your area. 

Maintenance Tasks to Include

Regardless of the sign or weather, the following maintenance tasks should be included in your plan: 

  • Washing the sign regularly, especially after major storms 
  • Checking for and repairing weather damage (including hail, snow, rain, wind, and heat)
  • Inspecting the base, sign face, frame, letters, and other components 
  • Inspecting for corrosion, damage, rust, cracks, or frayed electrical wires 
  • Making necessary repairs 
  • Checking for birds’ nests 
  • Pruning back overgrown greenery that blocks the sign 
  • Replacing components if necessary 
  • Confirming that the sign is still structurally sound and safe 
  • Evaluating if the sign needs to be replaced entirely 
  • Evaluating if it needs to be retrofitted or refaced 

If you decide to have someone on your team handle the regular sign washing, always turn off the electricity to the sign first. You will want to use a nozzle sprayer and stand a foot or more away from the sign, as this lets you avoid causing damage to it. You can use a soft sponge, a lint-free cotton cloth, and mild liquid detergent to clean the parts of the sign that you can reach. After cleaning the sign, remember to rinse it thoroughly and wipe it dry.  It is worth noting that it will be much easier to have a maintenance team member handle washing the sign if it is closer to the ground. Companies with taller or higher signs are more likely to outsource this task.  Even if you handle the regular sign cleaning in-house, have experts inspect it occasionally and give it a more thorough cleaning. This will help with longevity. 

When and How to Replace Commercial Outdoor Signage

As mentioned, you always want your commercial outdoor signage in good shape. That ensures the business makes a strong impression and prevents safety issues or expensive repairs. At some point, however, you may need to replace the sign.  The question will typically become whether it makes sense to repair or replace your sign. Sometimes, retrofitting it will also be an option, but we’ll discuss that in more detail in a moment.  Generally, repairing your sign will be less expensive, give you temporary flexibility, and reduce the disruption to your building. However, you should strongly consider replacing the sign in the following situations. 

Replace If the Sign Is Unsightly

One of the biggest indicators that it is time to replace the sign completely is if it has more than a handful of cosmetic issues. One or two cracks or scratches are probably fine. If there are dozens across the sign, you should just replace it. It is not reasonable to expect to fix all of those minor issues, and while you wait to fix the problem, the sign is making a poor impression on passersby.  Generally speaking, if your sign is between seven to ten years old, you likely need to start thinking about replacing it. The sign lifespan is even shorter for some materials. 

Replace It If the Branding Has Changed

Another good reason to completely replace the sign is if you changed your branding. Sometimes, you may be able to modify the old sign to fit your new branding, but this is not always possible. Even when it is possible, it may not look best.  The same may be true if you change your products and services. If you manage a building that offers more services than it used to, you may need new signage that indicates those new offerings, so passersby know what they can expect from the business. 

Replace If You Need Something Different

Changes to your branding aren’t the only reason your sign requirements may change. Maybe you realize it is hard to see, so you want a larger sign instead. Or maybe you plan to add another one or remodel the property’s exterior and need a smaller sign. Or maybe you want a fresh sign to match the new building exterior. 

When You Can Probably Just Repair

There are also some situations when repairing the sign may be a better choice. These include: 

  • It will look good after a thorough cleaning
  • You need to replace the electric bulbs or make electric repairs
  • You can repaint the sign 

Your signage company can help you decide whether or not you need to replace the sign. 

How to Replace Commercial Signage

The best way to replace commercial signage is to treat it just like you would when getting a new sign. Use your current design as a starting point, and consider whether your needs have changed. Should the new sign be identical, or do you need a new design? Then, work with a signage company to determine the ideal materials, have them create it, and install the sign. They should remove your old sign for you as well. 

Retrofitting Vs. Replacing Building Signage

As mentioned, sometimes you may notice that retrofitting is a better option than replacing your building sign.  Retrofitting refers to replacing the current lighting system on your sign with a newer, more efficient one. In most cases, retrofitting means swapping out the existing lights for LEDs. LEDs are more energy-efficient, last longer, and are brighter.  Consider retrofitting your commercial signage for LEDs if the sign can accommodate it and you want to lower your energy bills. LEDs also cost less to maintain.  Just remember that not all signs can be retrofitted for LEDs. Your signage experts will let you know if it is an option. 

Branded Group is Here to Help You Find the Best Commercial Building Signage

Ensuring your commercial signage makes a strong first impression is paramount for attracting customers and bolstering sales. If you are a facility manager, your job is to oversee regular signage upkeep and to prolong signage lifespan. Enlisting professionals like Branded Group streamlines the process to make your commercial building signage maintenance easy. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how Branded Group’s facility management services can support your property’s signage needs.

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