How to Properly Maintain Your Vinyl Signs

We’ve all been there: you put on a brand new shirt or jacket, only to drop salad dressing down the front of it during your first bite of dinner. Wear and tear happens, no matter what kind of product you use — but knowing how to care for things makes all the difference. 

Have you ever considered that your signs need some occasional upkeep as well? Although you might think of signs as a “buy it, install it, and forget about it” kind of thing, you can preserve your sign’s quality and lengthen its life by maintaining it properly. 

Now and then, we get asked how to best take care of vinyl signs. Our answer? It depends! 

Vinyl is a versatile material in this industry, which means that vinyl signs come in a wide variety of options, and care instructions vary for each one. For example, a movable vinyl banner should be maintained differently than a piece of sheet vinyl applied to metal! But no matter which type of vinyl you’ve chosen for your signage, we can help you take care of it for the long haul.

Temporary and Transportable Banners

Preserving the life of your vinyl banner is simple: transport it safely and clean it gently. If you’re taking your sign down and installing it again for events or presentations, roll it instead of folding it when not in use. A tube can help you transport it safely as well! To clean vinyl banners, use gentle soap and water. Harsh cleaning solvents can eat away at the vinyl and potentially remove any printed images.

Exterior and Permanently Installed Signs

Whether you have cut vinyl on an aluminum sign or a post and panel installed with vinyl graphics, here’s the number one mistake we see: waiting too long to clean your vinyl sign! Months and years of dirt, dust, and debris can leave your sign unsalvageable. Instead, clean your exterior signage regularly. You can also use a pressure washer to spruce up permanent exterior vinyl signs, but only on the lowest setting! 

How to Extend the Life of Any Vinyl Sign

Unfortunately, there’s no one answer to the question, “How long should my sign last?” However, choosing quality materials, selecting a good location, and caring for your sign properly can all extend its life. 

If you’re in the market for a new, permanently installed vinyl sign, we’d be happy to walk you through your material selection. Two-dimensional vinyl signs are typically made from vinyl with an adhesive backing, and contour cut to your specifications. 

We work with two types of vinyl in our shop: cast and calendered. Calendered vinyl begins as a solid, and it’s rolled out by machine until it is a few mils thick. Cast vinyl begins as a liquid, and it’s poured out into a mold until it reaches the desired thickness. Cast vinyl, also known as high-performance vinyl, is more expensive, but it provides a longer lifespan in most settings. 

You’ll also need to consider whether you want to print a logo or text on your vinyl sign. Printing allows you to incorporate many colors and more complex designs. However, solid vinyl lasts much longer than printed ink on a vinyl background, especially when exposed to the elements outdoors. If printing is the best solution for you, we use UV-stable inks for our signs. They can last up to three years unlaminated and up to twice that long with quality lamination.

Get a Vinyl Sign that Lasts

No matter what your signage needs may be, Optima Signs & Graphics can help you create the perfect solution. In addition to vinyl banners and signs, we offer dimensional letters and logos, graphics for walls, windows, floors, and even decals and labels! We also love creating custom projects for our customers. 

We’ve worked on signs of all shapes and sizes – here are a few of our favorites from last year – and we’d love to partner with you in 2024. Give us a call, stop by our Marietta, Georgia storefront, or start your project online today. 

Contact us for an estimate on your project.

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