dark red restaurant weatherproof sign "dumpling" attached to building with a thunderstorm in the background

Weatherproof Signage and Proper Installation

Read time: 6 minutes  |  Author: Luke Malone  |  Posted: August 15th, 2022

Best Use for Weatherproof Signage

Determining which weatherproof signage is best to use for your next advertising campaign or sales event can be difficult to decide. You must ask yourself, is this sign only needed for a week or two? Or will this sign need to be displayed for weeks, months, or even up to a year?

Not only will a timeframe dictate the answer, but other factors such can as well. From geographical location, brand aesthetic, and even the direction the sign could be facing can determine the lifespan.

In this article, I will go over your options when it comes to weatherproofing your signage. Recommend products that could work best for your situation. And explain why proper installation and communication with print professionals are so important.

If you’re needing to speak with a print professional today, feel free to call us at 602-393-3131 or toll-free at 1-877-409-8889. Our team is more than happy to help in any way possible.

You can also visit our Contact Page for more information.

Permanent Weatherproof Outdoor Signage

Are you needing to place signage onto buildings? Maybe use them as directional signage or are they required to be a permanent fixture for display? Some of these materials would be great options for you.

Aluminum

Aluminum signage is a great material that is sturdy and rust-proof. This metal is ideal for print applications that can outlast the harshest elements for a good amount of time.

You’ll see aluminum signage being used for storefront signs and directional signs. Also used as parking lot signage and real estate signs. Aluminum can really be used for most anything requiring that strong, solid application.

printed aluminum sign for parking lot of gooder goods bunny spot
printed acm dibond sign for outdoor use audubon arizona informational display
ACM/Dibond

ACM (aluminum composite material) or sometimes referred to as Dibond is another material with similar quality to an aluminum sign. A slightly more cost-effective price point than aluminum, ACM is created by taking two thin pieces of aluminum sheet that are bonded on either side of a polyethylene core.

This makes it ideal to use in a commercial print setting due to its capabilities of being easily cut to shape and lightweight. You’ll find ACM being used to a similar effect as aluminum products.

Acrylic

Acrylic signage can be a versatile material for more aesthetic environments. Having options from clear or solid-colored acrylics that both can be printed on, allows for a variety of choices for your signage.

Acrylic can also be cut to shape or used as dimensional letters, giving that extra bit of versatility. You’ll find acrylic being used in monument signage, directional, and used as a more aesthetically pleasing option to the eye.

printed acrylic dimensional sign saying fresh for chompies bagels
printed mdo signs installed to wall using standoffs for leslies pool supplies
Wood/MDO

Wooden signage or sometimes referred to as MDO (medium density overlay – plywood) can be a great option for outdoor permanent use, so long as the wood is treated for it.

This option gives you sturdiness and weight that can be useful in windy locations or areas with harsher elements such as storms or heavy rain. You’ll find wooden signage being used quite often in commercial real estate, pairing them with wooden posts for display.

latex roll-2-roll printing sign using uv cured ink

How UV Inks and the Curing Process Helps

Not only does harsh weather like rain, snow, and heavy winds cause issues for signage, but so can the Sun. When printing signage with UV-cured ink, it will help the artwork or design withstand the Sun’s relentless beatdown on the colors of your design.

Doing this will allow your signage to last much longer in the elements and reduce color fading time. Learn more about UV Ink Curing by reading our other article.

Recyclable Materials That are Also Weatherproof

If a recyclable material is needed for your project, then bubble board will be your best solution. A white polypropylene co-extruded board is made up of three layers; a centrally thermoformed core and two flat compacted external matte skins.

They are a lower-cost alternative to more common foamex or rigid PVC products. Since it is recyclable means that there is less waste produced, thus reducing your company’s carbon footprint in the long run.

close up showing the edge and surface of bubble board printing material
printed vinyl banner hung outside on a cement building event for microchip

Reusable Products That Withstand the Elements

Other options that are more commonly seen and are reusable are:

Vinyl offers waterproofing and UV cured inks to protect them from the sun. Feather flags and a-frame signs are perfect options for retail storefronts or school advertising.

Coroplast signage is most commonly seen in yard signs or political signage. They can be displayed by using h-stakes or other metal rods to stand the signs up in yards or street corners.

silhouette of man hanging signage at event using ropes and wire

The Need for Proper Installation and Printing

When it comes to long-lasting outdoor signage, sometimes the final step of installing the product is most important. You can print on the best materials, with the best inks, and utilize the best finishing processes, but if your installation isn’t done correctly, then it’s all for naught.

That is why when it comes to your outdoor print signage be sure to connect with someone you can trust. Preferably a printer who has experience in producing and installing such products.

They need to understand the specific requirements needed for each type of outdoor signage. In certain situations, you may need permitting to be done as well, to legally hang or install signage. So just be sure you do your research and communicate clearly with your printer or install team.

Here is another article you may find interesting: Benefits of Laminated Printing

If you still have questions or would like more information about digital printing, sign installation, or any other managed print services, please contact us.

Call our team of print professionals toll-free at 1-877-409-8889 or email PRI Graphics & Signs.

About the Author

Luke Malone headshot

Luke Malone – Director, Marketing & Brand Management

Luke Malone is a marketing and design expert who is passionate about new emerging trends in digital media and business strategy. A member of AMA with a PCM® in marketing management, he continues to strengthen his knowledge and skill sets in the marketing ecosystem. Prior to joining PRI, he pursued a career in filmmaking and carries on the passion for brand development.