We know what you’re thinking: “The person writing this article could be anywhere, they might not even be in Colorado. They probably think that Colorado is constantly having blizzards. People who don’t live along the Front Range are always thinking that Colorado is always under a foot of snow, even in the middle of summer. We really don’t have blizzards that often on the Front Range!”
But we’re writing this on March 13, 2019, and are staring outside at the bomb cyclone that’s creating problems all over northern Colorado. All area schools have the day off (including CSU) and most businesses have told their employees to work from home if they can. It’s pretty low-key here at Actions Signs as well, because we’re certainly not putting up any of our outdoor lighted signs today.
But what about the business signs we’ve put up in the past? Any sign can hold up during a day in which the temperatures never get above 70 degrees (well, one made of ice cream might not make it), but signs around here have to hold up to so much more. On a day like today — we repeat, bomb cyclone! — what are our lighted business signs having to contend with?
When we talk about wind in most of our blogs, we often mention the incredibly strong Chinook winds that rattle homes and business during spring nights. But today we’re not talking about those warm-weather winds…we’re talking about the winds that are blowing the snow sideways outside our window!
A quick look at our smartphones shows that the winds are currently coming from the north-northwest at 36 miles an hour. (The windchill makes it feel like 12-degrees, by the way.) Of course, lighted signs need to be able to hold up to those constant winds but also the wind gusts. These bomb cyclones can actually bring winds as high as 75-miles an hour, and that means any lighted business sign needs to be able to withstand at least that much force.
When you’re looking for a sign-making company, it’s important that you don’t choose a company that makes signs for fair-weather times. It’s during times like these bomb cyclones, ones that might be the “storm of the decade,” that choosing a high-quality outdoor business sign really shows its importance.
Rapidly Dropping Temperatures
Okay, so we’re writing this article on March 13, and the temperature is 29-degrees. Do you know what it was yesterday? It got up to 61 in Fort Collins. (We’re missing yesterday, by the way.)
Like we said up above, you can’t just rely on signs that hold up on nice days. The rapid temperatures put a lot of stress on every part of a sign — metal, plastic, wiring, and fasteners. Of course, knowing Colorado, it’s going to be above freezing in just a few days, and then it might drop again. The temperature will keep bouncing above and below freezing, wreaking havoc with lesser signs…yet another reason to put up the best lighted business sign possible.
And speaking of temperature changes…
When we woke up this morning, rain was falling and the temperature was well above freezing. The business signs along the front range had to put up with that. Then the slush started to fall, and they had to put up with that. Of course, snow was next, and it’s going to be coming down for quite a while.
But the rain that fell, and the snow that melted before the temp dropped below freezing, had to go somewhere. Any water that stayed on the signs will end up freezing into ice tonight, which means that business signs have to be able to withstand the stress as that water freezes and expands. Of course, it’s just as important for the signs to be built so that they don’t trap water in the first place. And when we say “trap water,” we’re talking about in every part of the sign because it has to deal with…
You can’t just protect the top of the sign. Yes, rain usually falls straight down or at a slight angle, but winds can whip that water — no matter what forms it’s taking at the time — up into the sign and cause problems if it’s not properly sealed. Most us notice this most often when snow settles into traffic lights and blocks the green, yellow, and red lenses, but the same thing is happening to lighted business signs along the Front Range.
Of course, any snow that’s blowing into signs adds to the problem of weight, and that’s why you have to worry about…
The Weight Of Snow
We all know that there are many different kinds of snow. Some is so light that you can brush it off your driveway with a pushbroom, while other snow is so heavy that you can only clear a thin path off your sidewalk before you back starts complaining. In today’s bomb cyclone (we never get tired of typing that), it started off as incredibly heavy slush before it turned into fairly heavy snowflakes.
A sign has to be properly attached to a building in order to hold up to the weight of all that slush and snow, which means hiring a company to construct and mount your business sign so that it stays up for years and doesn’t give way under the weight.
We talk about UV radiation quite a bit, mostly because Colorado’s high altitude means more UV radiation from the sun hitting both people and goods alike.
On cloudy days, the clouds are mostly blocking the light rays; that’s why it’s cooler when the sun goes behind a cloud. But the clouds are only reducing the amount of UV radiation by about 20-percent, meaning that there’s still quite a bit of those cancer-causing and molecule-destroying waves of radiation getting through. And when there’s snow on the ground, it’s bouncing back up and hitting parts of the sign that it usually doesn’t. Basically, a sign should be well constructed so that it holds up to the constant bomb(cyclone)ardment from the sun, even if every day isn’t a scorcher.
We’ve Got the Quality You’re Looking For
Businesses along the Front Range come to Action Signs because we can give them the outdoor business signs that hold up to our particular environment. No matter whether you’re facing a literal blizzard or are enjoying a lovely spring day in Colorado, you shouldn’t have to worry about the condition of your lighted business sign. Give us a call today and we’ll get you exactly what you’re looking for, and make it look good at the same time.