How SHOULD signs be cleaned?

How SHOULD signs be cleaned, aka How do we clean our signs?

Lets start off by stating that it is always best to get in a professional SIGN company to clean your signs. This does not include simply dusting a sign which the business cleaner can – and should – do.

When referring to CLEANING of signs we are referring to when the sign needs to be (a) physically handled and / or (b) will have chemicals touching the sign and / or (c) may require the sign to be opened and / or moved.

While it may seem expensive to get a sign company that does sign cleaning in to clean your signs, the cost is generally far lower than replacing ANY ELEMENT of the sign. For example, if the sign cleaner touches and cracks a sign, or puts too much pressure on a pin and breaks the pin off the sign, or the sign cleaner uses the incorrect chemicals which can either drastically reduce the life of the sign or break it. It is quite something to see an Acrylic sign shatter, but not something that you want to happen because you have used the wrong chemical or chemicals.

If you are going to try clean your own signs it is generally best to stick to water and a dish washing detergent, using a SOFT, NON-ABRASIVE cloth. Handle the sign lightly and remember to remove ALL residue of the chemicals when finished cleaning otherwise the sign WILL streak and look tatty.

For more information on or assistance with cleaning your signs contact Arnold of SignForce now on +27 (0) 11 440 7525 or email us at arnold@signforce.co.za

How to clean a sign

How to clean a sign

Good.Signs are an investment,  so as with most investments,  a good, working sign should be maintained and cleaned on a regular basis.Maintenance includes cleaning and maintenance of moving or working components and parts of your sign,  which will be covered in a separate blog article.

Cleaning your sign is important because, when done correctly,  the clean sign will enhance the image of your business while lengthening the life of your sign.The cleaning materials to be used,  as well as the techniques used to clean your sign will depend on: A. The type – substrate – of the sign, B. Access to the sign, and C. The material used for the face of the sign.

A. Type of sign

While Chromadek – a powder coated metal – can be cleaned with harsh chemicals like mentholated spirits or paint thinners, even Chromadek should not be cleaned using acetone, although it is generally safest to clean most signs using mild detergent, with a rule of thumb being if you wouldn’t use the detergent to wash your hands,  avoid using it on the sign.

Perspex and other plastic signs can generally be cleaned using harsh chemicals, however,  one should be wary when using harsh petroleum based chemicals to clean plastic based signs because if the sign was heat treated or heat polished,  there is the high possibility that the plastic or perspex could fracture or shatter.

Being made from plastic based products, flexface signs and banners should not be cleaned using any harsh chemicals,  but should rather be cleaned using a general degreaser,  with most dish washing liquids doing a great job.

B. Access to the sign – or more accurately lack of access  – may make it impractical for the sign to be cleaned often,  if at all.   Shop front signs can generally be accessed using an eight foot (two meter) ladder,  so while access isn’t ‘easy’, it is simple enough,  and possible to access the sign with a ladder, so cleaning of your store front sign should be included in your general cleaning routine.

External signs,  such as many found on the outside ot shopping centres,  are sometimes  placed too high to be worked on without specialist knowledge and equipment,  so it is advisable to assess the cost of maintenance against the replacement cost of the sign as well as the loss of brand image if the sign looks very bad.

C. The material used for the face of the sign is the final,  and possibly most important determinant of how the sign should be cleaned, as while harsh chemicals can generally be used quite safely on cast or solid colour vinyl, when used on digital prints, (and more and more signs are being decorated with digital prints), harsh chemicals will more often than not remove the image that the cleaning is intending to preserve.

As with most signs it is generally better erring on the side of caution and using water and soft detergents when cleaning printed signs.

If you are looking for signs and a professional signage company or simply want advice on sign maintenance or general advice on signs please contact either arnold@signforce.co.za or david@signforce.co.za and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.