Graphic Installations: Site Conditions & Regulations

Exterior Graphic Installation

In our previous post we looked at site measurements and surface preparation for graphic installations. In this post we’ll go a little further, discussing some factors pertaining to outdoor installations in particular, that may be less in your control but you need to be aware of.

Regulations

Before you start any window graphic project, it’s important to understand any local rules and regulations to which you must adhere.

If your graphics can be viewed from the street, they are likely subject to certain size and placement regulations. These regulations vary by city and municipality, so be sure to research the rules and processes for acquiring sign permits that may affect you.

For more complex installations, there are times when you may need an engineer to oversee and verify any plans you have. They may need to look at things from multiple angles, ensuring everything abides by city regulations and equipment protocols (like weight restrictions).

Certain facilities and premises (such as malls) may also have specific site hours in place for when installation is permitted. Usually this is outside store hours, so mall security or staff may need to be present to grant access to the premises.

Being aware of these aspects and planning ahead before your installation project gets underway will help you avoid any interruptions or incremental costs to completing your project.

Site Preparation

As with surface preparation, job sites themselves should be prepared ahead of time.

This means that there should be no physical obstacles to the installation. Be sure there aren’t any vehicles, furniture, signage, or other objects cluttering or obstructing your efforts.

In some cases, specialized equipment may be needed to complete an installation. Graphics at high building elevations may need to be installed using an oversized ladder, platform or lift.

If a lift is used, a designated area on site where it can be properly received will be required. And if it needs to remain on site for multiple days, there also needs to be a dedicated space where it can be safely stored and out of the way.

Temporary Hardware / Frames

In some cases, an installation may be required in or on a temporary frame or fixture. In these instances, extra care should be taken to inspect the fixture prior to installation.

Outdoor construction hoarding projects are a good example. Graphic panels (often made of aluminum composite material) are typically affixed to an existing plywood frame to create the display.

In some, the frame structure has been built without detailed specifications, which can cause issues when installing the final product. For instance, when panels are installed on a crooked frame, they may end up bowing.

For this reason, it’s recommended that an inspection be done prior to graphic installation to ensure the best possible outcome.

Weather

Certain exterior installations can be weather dependent. This is especially true for window graphics, where temperature and rainfall can adversely affect the result.

Often, it’s possible to install when there’s precipitation, but be sure the surface is protected by some sort of overhang that keeps the rain from coming in contact with the window.

If the temperature is too hot or cold, installation may also be adversely affected. Installing in sub-optimal conditions may cause the graphics to prematurely peel off the glass surface, so be sure to check with a professional to ensure conditions are acceptable for the project to be active.

You may have to wait for better weather or, if you have window graphics, you may want to consider exploring the option of interior installation (the glass may still be too cold in some months even for interior installation if the area isn’t climate controlled, however).

If you have any questions about installations or other large format print materials, reach out to your PrismTech Account Manager or contact us for more information.

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