Signs Don’t Like Cold Weather, Either!


When it comes to your outdoor business signage, whether they’re lighted signs on the exterior of a building or a sign that’s posted in the ground, making sure they hold up to the New Mexico weather is a big deal. Here at RAM Studio Signs, we know that the Farmington weather can swing to extremes with days reaching scorching temps as well as nights that hit freezing. As temperatures plunge this time of year, we all turn up our heaters and dig out our mittens trying to make sure that we’re comfortable. But, signs don’t like cold weather either. There are however a few things you can do to help them through the season. 

Keep An Eye On It

Chances are you probably don’t spend much time next to your business signs. Especially if they’re hung well out of reach on your storefront.  But if you’re up there for some reason, perhaps hanging holiday lights — inspect your signage for are any obvious issues. Missing screws or gaps in the sign can let in unwanted moisture.  Make sure you get someone to make the repairs as soon as the damage is spotted. If you have a sign that’s in the ground, or mounted lower, inspecting it is much easier. Make sure that none of the hardware is loose which can allow water inside. If you see any gaps, get it taken care of right away.

Lights Out

Winter brings us shorter days and longer nights. That equals lights and signs that are lit for longer hours. Make sure you take steps to keep your lot and signage lit through the winter. 

A bird on a sign can be super cute in the spring, but nests can keep water pooled in places it was never meant to be. If the pooled water freezes it could cause cracking or separation. Clean out nests before winter comes. If there are gaps or holes in your signage, water, dirt, and insects can get inside and reak havoc on electrical systems. The best way to make sure that your lighted outdoor sign isn’t going to have problems is to get it inspected by a professional every so often. 

We’ve all seen signs where only some of the letters burned out. As funny as the results of this can be, (we’ll let you Google “funny burnt out signs” on your own.) if only part of your sign is lit it can send a negative message about your business. Don’t present your business to the public in a poor light (pun intended!) Also remember, customers won’t think much about a fully lit parking lot, but if there are multiple outages you’re leaving dark pockets for lurkers to hide. To ensure the safety of your customers as well as your business reputation, make sure that 100% of your signs and lot lights are burning brightly. 

Neon Lights

Neon signs can be affected by cold, but it’s not necessarily the neon’s fault. These glowing signs get their spectrum of colors from the combination of lavender-blue argon, red-orange neon, and white mercury vapor. These elements are then pumped in different ratios into colored or clear glass tubes. Neon gas is weather hardy, but argon gas can be sensitive to cold weather. Argon’s atoms tend to get sluggish when temperatures dip bellow  45˚F. Sluggish argon leads to dim or pinkish lights. Most neon signs will dim if it gets cold enough, but white neon is especially vulnerable. When ALL the tubes in your sign are dim or pink they’ll likely go back to normal as the temperature warms. But cold weather can push a single tube that is near failure right over the edge. If only one or two tubes are dim, or if the weather warms but the brightness doesn’t return, then you should call for a repair.  You could have a leak, or the gas inside may need to be re-pumped.

Missing Marquee Letters

When the snow starts blowing, the same wind can blow changeable copy letters away too… and make new words. Just like with burnt-out signs, one or two missing letters from your marquee message can cause some tragic new phrases. Again, we’ll let you Google that on your own time. We all know that no one wants to get out there with a box of letters and a 12’ suction cup pole in January. But you do want to make sure that the message you intended to share is the message being received each day. Or you could skip those frigid trips altogether and invest in an electronic message center. While there are far better reasons to invest in an EMC, it’s worth noting.

Vinyl and Paint

During the winter months, if you need to have a sign pole or cabinet repainted, or outdoor vinyl replaced, you can begin the planning stages. But it’s best to arrange the project start date for warmer months. Vinyl and paint shouldn’t be applied if the air or surface temperature is below 45˚F, they won’t adhere properly. Starting your project mid-winter could result in bubbling and peeling.  

With these Cold Weather Signage Considerations in mind, take a quick moment to survey your lighting and signage situation. If you’re having problems with your signs, there’s a good chance that our sign experts at RAM Studio Signs can help. And, if your old signage could use an upgrade, we’ll design and install some of the best signs your business can find in the Farmington New Mexico area. Your sign is an important part of your company’s advertising, and you want it to look as good as possible. Contact us today!

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