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Choosing and Maintaining Self-Storage Signage

Hide-Away Storage, Ft. Myers, Fla. Weber Signage Feature.JPG
Signage is vital at any self-storage property, not only for marketing but for delivering important tenant information. Read how it can impact your business, how to choose it, and how to maintain it for long life and positive curb appeal.

There are many things that can attract renters to your self-storage facility. Location, pricing and customer experience are just a few. But how about signage? Some would argue that without it, prospects may not even know you exist!

Proper signage is vital at any storage site, and it’s an investment, just like any other building installation. Read how it can impact your business, how to choose it, and how to maintain it for long life and positive curb appeal.

The Importance of Signage

With surrounding businesses competing for your customers’ attention, exterior signage is one way for your storage facility to stand out. High-visibility signs like lit channel letters, freestanding monument signs and even digital displays are huge opportunities to promote your brand and share your current promotions. It also leaves customers with an impression of your business (good if the signage is bright and clean, bad if it isn’t). There’s no doubt signage bolsters your marketing power and bottom line by helping to bring in new customers. Plus, it can be cost-effective, as it promotes your brand 24/7/365!

When thinking about signage, it's easy to just get caught up in the exterior storefront and focus on the aesthetic aspects. But branding aside, consider how signage improves your customer experience. Directional, parking-lot and interior signage helps tenants use your services and facility efficiently. Providing clear instructions on how to buy and use your offerings makes for happier renters.

Signage also makes your job easier. How many times a day do customers ask, “Do you have X?” or “Where do I go for Y?” Common questions can easily be answered through signage, allowing your staff to spend less time answering queries and more time selling.

All in all, signage is a cost-effective component to your marketing and service strategy. Even though the initial investment may seem high, it can positively impact your business for many years to come.

SecureHold Storage Auburn IN Sign.jpg

Secure Hold Storage, Auburn, Ind.

Choosing Signage

First impressions are everything when it comes to engaging customers. Evaluating your signage, from size to placement to materials, is critical to generate the highest return on investment. It’s important to choose exterior and interior signage that best fits your operation. Here are some considerations:

Visibility. Even with the best sign, if no one can see it, there’s no point. Your signs might be obscured by large trees or neighboring buildings. Even poor color choices can lead to less visibility, so consider positioning. Will your target audience be a part of passing traffic? Viewing from parked vehicles? Walking on the sidewalk? Always put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Figure out exactly where people are going to look. Consider their vantage point and potential obstructions.

Product quality. It’s easy to be lured by the lowest price for signage, but before finalizing your choice, have the tough conversation with vendors about what you’re getting for your money. Evaluate everything, from materials to warranties to any additional costs. These need to be considered when choosing a signage partner.

Installation. A crooked or sagging installation will undermine even the most beautiful sign. Faulty electrical (which could lead to fires), unstable mounting (which could cause a sign to fall) or poor sealing can become a significant concern. To avoid long-term damage to your sign, vet your installers diligently. Also, review the warranty policy. Good vendors always validate their quality of work through parts and labor warranties.

Finally, if your city doesn’t already require it for permitting, consider engineering for any freestanding or large signs so you have peace of mind that the proper structural steps were taken during the install. It may cost more, but in the long term, you’ll be thankful.

South Glens Falls Self Storage NY Sign.jpg

South Glen Falls Self Storage, South Glen Falls, N.Y.

Maintaining Signage

Just like cars, homes and appliances, signs need to be properly maintained. Routine cleaning can help with longevity and appearance. To effectively remove dirt and grime, it’s often as simple as using water and a soft cloth. Other times, elbow grease isn’t enough. You might need a power-washer. Be careful, though—too much pressure could damage the sign. Make sure the per-square-inch pressure is low and the nozzle is at least a foot away at all times.

Examine the sign foundation for standing water and dirt build-up. Either could cause structural damage, which will only hurt your wallet. Keep an on eye out for early stages of rust, cracking or peeling. When these small issues arise, you can avoid bigger problems by handling them quickly. If you’re ever unsure about whether you have an issue with your sign, reach out to your provider to discuss your concerns.

When it comes to the day-old question of when to repair vs. replace a sign, consider the following:

  • Does the existing signage reflect poorly on your facility?
  • Can it be repaired with a simple cleaning?
  • Is there poor visibility because of irreparable issues?
  • Will you spend more money and time to fix the sign than to install a new one?

If you answer “yes” to one or more of these questions, it probably makes sense to consider facelift. The impact signage can make on your storage facility—for better or worse—is nothing to take lightly.

Steve Weber is the national sales representative for Blink Signs, a full-service, national company based in Cleveland that provides turnkey sign services, from permitting to manufacturing to installation. Founded in 2007, the company offers a variety of signs including digital, embedded LEDs, exterior and interior, prints and graphics, wayfinding, and custom. For more information, call 216.815.0330; e-mail [email protected]; visit

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