As a new business owner, installing signs in your parking lot to mark handicap spaces and other areas is important. It is equally important that you opt for breakaway u-channel posts or something similar for those signs. Breakaway sign supports are designed to fracture when struck by a vehicle, reducing the risk of injury to the driver. If you've never installed these types of sign posts before, there are a few things that you should be attentive to. Here are some of the most commonly overlooked features that contribute to u-channel sign post stability.
When you don't install the post deep enough into the ground, you will eventually be faced with signs that lean or topple over. The ground shifts and changes as a result of cold weather, frost and other environmental factors, and those changes can lead to instability in the sign when it isn't properly installed.
To avoid this type of risk, you need to ensure that the post is driven into the ground at least several inches below the frost line in your area. The frost line is the point in the ground that marks how deep frost forms. It's different everywhere depending on the climate, so you'll want to check the frost line maps in your area to see where it is.
Sign Post Weight
Some business owners opt for lightweight signposts in an effort to save money on the initial installation. While lightweight posts may seemingly get the job done, they will also be more vulnerable to bending and other damage because the steel isn't as strong. The weight of the post is actually the weight of the metal. So, a one-foot section of post that's rated at two pounds would use almost twice the amount of steel as a one pound post. Opt for stability and durability over the cost savings and choose the heavier post.
When you install signs on the signposts, you need to be sure that the sign is attached in the right place. If you install your u-channel posts so that the rounded part of the post is facing the parking lot and supporting the sign, that limits the space where the sign can be attached. This increases the chances of wind pressure building up behind the sign, rocking it and shifting the post. Instead, install your posts so that the top of the "U" is facing the parking lot. That way, you can secure the post to the sign on both sides of the "U" shape, keeping it more secure.
Installing breakaway posts is important to protecting drivers who frequent your lot, but proper installation is essential. If you're going to be installing the signs yourself, these three tips will help you get the job done right so you're not left with uneven, leaning or toppling signs later.