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  • Writer's pictureGregg Hollenberg

Things to Consider about a Sign Warranty

Your purchase of custom business sign is a large investment in your brand and business. It’s important to maintain your signage and to ensure it performs and looks great for years and years.

When you are evaluating Houston sign companies and their signage proposal, the type of warranty provided and how long it lasts should be key considerations before you purchase your sign.

The Sign Type Determines the Warranty Importance

There are many different sign types for many different purposes (see XXX for more details about sign types). Commercial signs include exterior signs, interior signs, illuminated signs, building signs, LED signs, neon signs, channel letters, monument signs and pylon signs just to name a few.

· LED Signs (also called Electronic Message Centers) and Digital Displays are highly sophisticated software and hardware technology that allow changeable messaging. These highly effective marketing tools leverage way to leverage your advertising mix. However, like all technology, the risk of failure and outages are real. Common outages in include LED panels and pixels and power supplies. There are many different brands, each with its own quality and cost which may impact the number of outages you experience and how long your sign will last. LED Signs should last 5-10 years. In order to ensure your sign lasts, make sure you purchase a sign with a parts and labor warranty of at least 5 years. Without it, one outage can not only cost you business, but also money for an expensive service call.

· Illuminated Exterior Signs incorporate LED lighting technology within the sign structure to provide brand visibility at night. Typical sign types with this lighting are channel letters, sign cabinets, monument signs and pylon signs. While most LED lighting is built to last up to 10 years, outages can occur, especially with power supplies. In addition to the warranty from your sign company, many LED lighting manufactures will warranty their products. As your local Houston sign company if their products also have a manufacturers warranty. Depending on the value of the sign, a long term (5-year) parts and labor warranty may be important.

· Pylon Signs are almost always internally illuminated. However, the fact that these signs are 15-50 feet high means that special equipment will be needed to make any repairs. This translates to

an expensive service call if your sign is not under warranty. Make sure your pylon sign purchase has at least a 5-year parts and labor warranty.

· Neon Signs create a unique bright retro look. While neon is no longer used for internal illumination, neon is still a very popular option. Because of the type of materials and electrical connections used for neon signs, outages are not uncommon. Therefore, make sure have a long-term sign warranty.

· Interior and Non-illuminated Signs are less likely to have service calls. However, ensuring your Houston sign company uses quality materials will ensure these signs look great well past their installation date. Focus on quality vinyl that won’t fade in the sun. Proper thickness for aluminum and acrylic materials will ensure no cracking or warping inside or out. A sign company that backs up its interior and non-illuminated sign with a strong warranty shows their confidence in their materials and workmanship.

The Warranty Parameters Can Differ

A warranty for a custom commercial sign incorporates a few elements and can differ from sign company to sign company. Some Houston sign companies offer a warranty that cover parts only, some include labor as well. This warranty can last from 1 year to 7 years and beyond. Some companies just offer a manufacturer’s warranty, while others include a warranty that is also backed by their own company.

· Manufacturer Warranty – as this implies, the warranty is provided by the supplier of the parts or components. While this may provide protection in the case of an outage. Some sign companies will require you to file a claim with the manufacturer rather than the sign company. This type of sign warranty is sometimes provided for electronic message centers, digital signs and LED lighting components.

· Sign Company Warranty – this type of warranty is backed by the sign company itself. While there may be an underlying manufacturer warranty, it is the sign company who will ultimately fulfil any rework or repair issues.

· Parts Warranty - this type warranty includes parts will offer repair or replacement of such things as electronic message center components, LEDs and power supplies and other lighting components. In addition, this will cover vinyl from peeling and paint from fading. It will also address any mechanical or attachment issues with the signage. However, be careful, if labor is not covered as well, the cost of repair or replacement can still be significant.

· Labor Warranty – a labor warranty covers the cost of the labor time and equipment to actually do the repair. Sometimes the replacement parts are inexpensive and/or the fix is simple. As such the labor warranty may be more valuable than the parts warranty, especially for high rise channel letters, pylon signs and other signs that may require specialty equipment to fix.

No matter what type of sign you are purchasing or which Houston sign company you choose, understanding their warranty offering is extremely important to maintaining your signage investment. Inquire about not only their standard warranty, but any enhanced warranty they may offer.

Contact Sign Advisors to help guide you through the details of the sign design and procurement process.

About Sign Advisors

Sign Advisors helps sign buyers manage their signage projects and get the best deals from local sign companies. There are no fees and there is no obligation to use any of the sign companies recommended. Sign Advisors is also an authorized Daktronics dealer for all of your LED sign needs.


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