Road signs serve an important purpose by directing drivers and pedestrians, and keeping our roadways organized and efficient; therefore, road signs must be visible, readable, and secure at all times.
Over time, road signs fade and must be replaced; however, road signs and their effectiveness are also impacted frequently by vandalism, car crashes, and natural causes. Oftentimes, road signs can be repaired quickly. But there does come a time when every road sign must be replaced.
Have you looked at your road signs lately? If any of your road signs are in one of the following situations, it might be time to consider a sign replacement.
1. If a Sign has Been Vandalized with Paint or Bullet Holes
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, examples of sign vandalism include: sign stealing, over painting and bullet holes. Many times, signs with paint damage, scrapes, or bullet holes are still legible during the daytime; however, at night vandalism can prevent a sign from being visible to drivers by blocking a sign’s reflective sheeting from a car’s headlights.
When it comes to vandalism and sign replacement, each situation should be addressed individually. For example, a sign with bullet holes must be replaced as soon as possible. But when a sign is spray painted, sometimes the paint can be cleaned off. If paint can be removed from a sign without damaging the sign face or reflective sheeting, then the sign is good as new.
2. If a Sign has Been Hit by a Vehicle or is Crooked or Knocked Down
Road signs are frequently bent or knocked down by vehicles or severe weather. Bent signs can oftentimes still be read during the daytime, but, similar to vandalized signs, a bent sign’s reflective sheeting cannot properly deliver light back to approaching vehicles. Minor bends can usually be repaired easily, but a sign must be legible and its reflective sheeting must be in tact for the sign to remain in working order.
3. If a Sign has Fulfilled its Useful Life
Eventually a sign’s color will fade, its reflective sheeting will not be as effective as it should be, and the sign will have lived out the life it was meant to live. When this is the case, the only option you have is to replace the road sign.
4. When the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices Enforces New Regulations
Every sign on public roadways throughout America must abide by the rules set by the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. By January 2015, every regulatory, warning and ground-mounted road sign had to be replaced with signs that follow current road sign requirements. By January 2018, the replacement requirement extends to street name signs and overhead guide signs.
5. If a Sign is Damaged by Weather or Other Natural Causes
Signs can be affected by natural causes too. For example, if a road sign faces south and is continuously in direct sunlight, it will fade quicker than signs that are not.
How to Make Your Road Sign’s Life as Long as Possible
Sign replacement is not always necessary when a sign vandalized, hit or bent. Before replacing a sign, make sure that it is your only option because repairing the sign is not possible. Also keep in mind that there are a number of preventative measures you can take to prolong the life of your road signs. For example, sometimes your sign is just dirty! A good cleaning might remove any excess grime, dirt and dust—leaving the sign spotless.
Additionally, there are a number of anti-theft precautions you can take to prevent your road signs from being stolen. To prevent a sign from being stolen, you will need to make it difficult to do so. You can do this by enacting laws to penalize vandals or by using specific fasteners to attach signs to support posts making it difficult to remove the sign without proper tools.
Find All of Your Sign Replacements at Dornbos Sign & Safety, Inc.
If it is time for you to replace any number of your road signs, take a look at Dornbos Sign & Safety, Inc.’s wide selection of road signs and equipment today. You can view our inventory by visiting our website. If you have questions and would like to speak with a member of our team, give us a call at 800-922-0029 or fill out our online contact form.