Signs and graphics have come a long way from stone etchings and paint, although many traditional venues still use painted signage to great effect, vinyl and modern printing techniques have now become the norm.
Going Old School Keep water pressure below 1200 psi
With this in mind, the lifespan of an average sign is much longer than it was previously, but they still need a good once over from time to time, to maintain their appearance. With paint and wood signs, the best thing to do is hire a professional sign writer with the correct equipment to come and retouch the design by applying a fresh coat.
External fascias, awnings and large signs get the dirtiest over time as they are exposed to the elements. The solution to giving them a facelift is simple, but as all of these can be made from different materials, it is advisable to check with your supplier before beginning the clean!
Acrylic signs like a good wipe down with a soft clean cloth and clean lukewarm water, but make sure not to use anything too abrasive which will just ingrain the dirt into the scratches you make. If there is some really stubborn dirt, a mild soap or detergent can be mixed with the water and leaving that section to soak will ensure that less rubbing is needed to remove it.
Remember, never wipe an acrylic logo sign with a dry cloth, as this can grind the dirt into the acrylic causing scratches.
Vehicle graphics are the most susceptible to damage, which can easily be avoided by regularly hand washing them (don’t pressure wash graphics, as this may damage the vinyl or cause peeling).
There are two factors that can warrant a more regular clean of the vehicle, including:
1. High elevations – At higher altitudes, UV damage to vehicle graphics is increased because the air is thinner, thus providing less UV filtering.
2. Urban pollution – Air pollution in urban or industrial areas will reduce the durability of your vehicle graphics as the horizontal areas of the wrap will trap the chemical particulates in the atmosphere underneath it, thus reducing the longevity of the graphics.
The best way to clean a wrap is by using water, a mild detergent (free from strong solvents or alcohol), soft cloth/sponge and good old fashioned elbow grease. Waxing the wrap can also help preserve its vibrancy, but ensure you avoid wax that contains petroleum distillate, which can permanently damage your graphics! Also avoid unnecessary scrubbing and once rinsed allow the water to dry natural or dab dry with a soft non-abrasive towel.
If you have a lot of cars to wash and really must use a pressure washer, you should follow these rules:
Keep water temperature below 80 degrees Celsius
Keep the nozzle more than 12 inches away from the edges of the wrap
Keep the nozzle perpendicular to the graphic
Use a nozzle with a 40-degree wide angle spray pattern
Please note: You should always consult the provider of your signage, prior to conducting cleaning work, to ensure the correct solutions are utilised.
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