When to Replace Damaged, Old, or Weathered Oil and Gas Signs
We get a little nerdy when it comes to making sure that we’ve done all we can to prolong the life of the oil and gas signs we make. We’ve tested them under some of the harshest conditions we can recreate to ensure we are using the best materials, but it’s pretty much impossible to make a sign that lasts forever.
It can be tough trying to figure out when you need to replace oil and gas signs to ensure that they are still up to code, so we’re here to take some of the guesswork out of it for you.
Essential Signage Information
First, there are four pieces of information that must always be present and clearly visible on all regulated oil and gas signs
- Company Name/Logo
- Legal Subdivision (LSD) (lease signs)
- Product Name (pipeline signs) and/or Product Indicator (lease signs)
- Emergency Phone Number
If for any reason any of this information isn’t clearly visible on a sign, it’s time to add a new decal or replace the sign completely.
Physical Damage on Signs
Signs are built to withstand a lot, but there are some types of common damage that immediately require you to replace the sign.
If you’ve ever driven through a provincial recreation area in Western Canada you’ve likely seen signs with bullet holes that have been used for target practice. Sometimes those signs are oil and gas signs that have to be immediately replaced.
One surprisingly common way that signs are damaged, or sometimes completely removed, is by farming equipment and vehicles. Given that a lot of these signs are located on or near farmland in the prairies, farmers are often maneuvering around them. Inevitably this means that sometimes the signs get taken out or damaged.
Weather Damaged Signs
Photodegradation is the process by which the sun’s UV radiation causes the chemical bonds in inks and dyes to break down, which causes colours to fade. We’ve put a lot of research and work into prolonging the life of our digitally printed signs to 5 years+, allowing us to comfortably position ourselves as industry leaders by offering warranties on our products.
The industry standard is from 3-5 years, but in the end, the sun always wins.
Anyone who’s ever had their weighted patio umbrella blow away is all too aware of how powerful a gust of wind can be. Now imagine the stress put on sign posts and hardware holding large signs in the middle of a field with wind gusts over 100 km/h. It’s not uncommon for the wind to shear signs straight off of their posts in particularly windy areas.
It is also important to make sure that the material used for signs is right for placement of the sign. For example, Aluminum Composite Panel (ACP) signs, which are often cheaper than all-metal signs, are best when the sign is smaller or it is placed on something solid like a wall. If you place a large ACP sign on a post in a field it can easily bend or break under pressure from the wind.
Blowing Dust or Sand
As if wind wasn’t bad enough, when it blows over dry ground it often picks up dust and sand that have an abrasive effect on signs. We recommend using a thicker laminate such as our Lexan Laminate to extend the life of signs in this type of environment.
Weathering and other damage are not the only reasons to update oil and gas signs. It is important that all information on a sign is up to date and accurate. If a well changes from sweet to sour gas, signs need to be updated accordingly.
Our Weather Testing Machine Puts Oilfield Signs to the Test
Here's an example of how our weather testing machine works. Below we compare an IDENT sign to a typical competitor. Basically, 498 hours in our weather testing machine is equal to 6 months - 1 year of outdoor exposure. You can see that our signs are designed and tested to last in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan weather. We can customize to the particular region and we do to assure our clients are covered across Western Canada.