Signs are important tools in urban and suburban locations. Commercial and/or directional signs are made of many different materials and are created to withstand the harsh weather elements of every season. When a sign becomes damaged, it is often desirable and economical to repair it and not replace it and thus retain its traditional look and familiarity. Here are some ways that you can repair different types of signs to give them new life:
- Metal Signs - Flat metal signs that are in need of repair can be welded and repainted. Three-dimensional metal signs can be repaired in much the same way, however, it is often necessary to fill the space behind a three-dimensional sign in order to give it some structure and strength. A polyester resin putty such as Bondo can be used for this purpose, as it is extremely strong, fast curing, does not shrink, and can last for many years.
- Neon Signs - Always unplug a neon sign before working on it. Broken or damaged neon tubing can be replaced with new neon tubing much the same as you would replace any light bulb. Small sections of damaged neon tubes can also be replaced but this may require rewiring and electrical work. Neon signs typically run at voltages ranging between 3,000 and 15,000 volts. It is best to let a certified electrician handle any and all repairs on neon signs other than just replacing a non-working neon tube.
- Wood Signs - Signs made of wood are simple to repair and refurbish because wood is readily available and can be easily carved, stained, or painted. Surface damage can be removed and sanded, and patched with a sturdy wood filler and then finished to match the undamaged parts of the sign. Holes and missing portions of a damaged wood sign may need to be reconstructed with replacement pieces of wood, and shaped or carved to match the existing design.
- Fiberglass Signs - Fiberglass is often the material of choice for creating durable signs as it is a high-strength material that can withstand much use and abuse. It is also a material that can be formed into complex shapes and large sizes. Damaged fiberglass signs can be repaired with fiberglass resin repair kits that contain a length of fiberglass cloth, two-part polyester fiberglass resin, a mixing container, and application tools. Fiberglass resin is waterproof, does not decay or rust, and can also be used on metal, wood, and rigid plastic surfaces.
- Combination Signs - When necessary, a damaged sign can be repaired and attached to a new substrate to give it strength and extend its life. Combination signs can be made of different materials and internally or externally lit as needed. Combining materials is many times the only way to repair an older sign and retain its look and history.
When a well-known sign becomes damaged, it is often desirable to repair it rather than replace it. Repairs can be minor or substantial and extend the life of the sign for many years. If you do not wish to repair the sign yourself, look for a local craftsman who specializes in the material of the sign and can help you repair it and make sure that it is securely hung and visible to all who pass by. For more information, contact companies like Apogee Signs.