Sign Face turns black
We see this all the time. It is normally on the south or east facing signs and it takes 3-4 years. The vinyl turns black or fades to white. Digital prints with no laminate turn to fade to white, laminated digital printed last a lot longer, but tend to turn black. It has to do with UV inhibitors, UV protection. Exactly what turns black? Some say it is the adhesive others say it is the pigments in the ink that turns black.
Along with the color change come shrinkage. There are 2 types of vinyl, Calendared and Cast. Calendared is rolled out between two tight rollers and shrinks back into its smaller size over time – it shrinks. Cast is a surrey and backs into a sheet (or roll), while dimensionally more stable, both have a live. That life really depends on the sun and the temperature cycles. Inside, out of the sun – vinyl lasts for years, In direct sun all day for years, 3-4 years.
While nothing lasts forever, different material choices can help. There are “guarantees” at a couple of different levels, normally a 2–3-year level and a 5–7-year level. The longer guarantee is all about the quality of the vinyl. Also, up to this point we are talking about digital prints (solvent and Latex ink), there is also a different type of vinyl – “cut vinyl”, it has color all the way through and is not printable. It comes in translucent and “opaque. Light goes through the translucent, but not the opaque.
Here we have a service issue – the prints turned black, we took the faces down and used cut vinyl. It is black but cut in the desired shape. It is good for about 6-7 years or more. The next level up is more expensive – We could have painted it. Paint is nearly always more durable than any vinyl. Have a sign where you need a longer life? We can help 760-730-5118