When deciding on the ideal sign mounting method, it is important to consider several factors, including the sign's material, its size, location, and the environmental conditions it will be exposed to. There are several common methods available, such as flush mounting, post mounting, wall mounting, hanging mounting, and flag mounting. Carefully evaluate the design of the sign, as well as its weight and dimensions, and the structural stability of the surface where it will be mounted. Considering all these aspects, you can make an educated choice regarding the best mounting method.
Understanding Different Types of Fasteners and Anchors
Wedge Expansion Anchors for the Sign Industry
One popular option for concrete fasteners for the sign industry is the wedge expansion anchor. Designed for use in solid concrete, wedge expansion anchors offer excellent holding values. They come in various diameters and lengths, allowing you to choose the right size for your application. It's important to note that wedge anchors should never be used in brick or block.
The installation process for wedge anchors is relatively simple and involves the following steps:
- Drill a hole in the base material using a carbide bit and a hammer drill. The hole should be at least 1/2" deeper than the embedment of the wedge anchor.
- Clean out the hole using compressed air or a wire brush to remove any debris.
- Place the nut on the end of the anchor to protect the threads during installation.
- Hammer the anchor through the hole in the sign and into the base material until a portion of the threads is below the surface of the sign.
- Tighten the nut 3 or 4 revolutions to set the wedge anchor.
Sleeve Anchors for the Sign Industry
Sleeve anchors offer versatility and can be used in concrete, brick, and block. They come in different diameters and lengths, with options for zinc-plated and stainless steel finishes. It's important to consider the head style and choose the appropriate length based on your requirements.
The installation process for sleeve anchors is as follows:
- Drill a hole in the base material that is at least 1/2" deeper than the sleeve anchor's embedment. Remember that the anchor size is equal to the hole size.
- Clean out the hole to remove any debris.
- Hammer the sleeve anchor through the sign's hole and into the base material until the washer is snug with the sign.
- Finger-tighten the nut and use a wrench to turn the nut several times until it is tight. Avoid over-tightening to prevent the anchor from spinning in the hole.
Ultracon – Concrete Screws
Ultracon concrete screws are another versatile option for fastening signs to concrete, brick, or block. They are available in different diameters and lengths, with variations in material and head style. Ultreacon concretye screws require a minimum embedment in the base material and can be easily installed using a drill or wrench.
The installation process for Ultracon includes the following steps:
- Use the appropriate diameter carbide drill bit to drill a hole in the base material that is at least 1/2" deeper than the screw's embedment.
- Clean out the hole using compressed air or a wire brush.
- Drive the screw through the sign's hole using a drill or wrench until it is snug. Avoid over-tightening to prevent thread damage.
- Ensure that the speed of the drill is appropriate to prevent stripping of the threads or over-torque.
Other Types of Anchors for the Sign Industry
Depending on the base material and specific requirements of the installation, other anchor types may be suitable. These include drop-in anchors, lead lag shields, epoxy, all-thread rod, nylon hammer-in anchors, toggle bolts, lag bolts/screws, and adhesive anchors. Each anchor type has its unique installation process and load capacity.
Factors to Consider When Selecting an Anchor for the Sign Industry
The type of base material plays a significant role in determining the appropriate anchor for the sign industry. Consider the following base materials and their specific considerations:
Concrete: The most common base material, concrete requires careful consideration of the anchor spacing and proximity to unsupported edges.
Brick or Block: Anchors can be placed in mortar joints or the brick/block itself, with considerations for mortar quality and whether the anchor is in a hollow or solid section.
Steel: The type of anchor depends on the specific application and the materials being joined together.
Wood: Different corrosion-resistant anchors should be used for pressure-treated wood, with variations depending on the level of wood preservative.
The weight of the sign is an essential factor to consider when selecting an anchor for the sign industry. Larger diameter anchors and deeper embedment depths generally result in higher holding values. Ensure that the selected anchor can adequately support the weight of the sign and any external factors that may apply.
Hole Diameter in the Sign
The diameter of the hole in the sign should match the chosen anchor. Concrete anchors typically require a slightly larger hole in the sign than the anchor's designated diameter to ensure proper fit and stability.
The environment in which the sign will be placed is crucial for selecting the right anchor. Different materials, such as stainless steel or hot-dipped galvanized anchors, are suitable for moist or wet environments. Consider the specific environmental conditions to ensure the longevity and durability of the anchor.
Installation Procedures for Optimal Results
Proper installation is key to the success of your sign installation project. Follow these guidelines for optimal results:
- Ensure the use of appropriate OSHA safety equipment, including protective eyewear, and implement silica-dust containment measures when necessary.
- Use the correct drill bit type for the base material. Concrete, masonry, and wood drill bits are not interchangeable.
- Carbide-tipped bits are recommended for drilling anchor holes in concrete, as they create rough walls that prevent anchor slippage.
- When drilling into wood, always drive a pilot hole first to avoid splitting or weakening the material.
- Avoid installing mechanical anchors in holes drilled with diamond-tipped core bits, as the smooth walls may cause anchors to slip.
- Adhesive anchors should be tested before installation to ensure proper adhesion.
- Drill to the proper depth based on the manufacturer's specifications for the anchor style.
- Thoroughly clean drilled holes of debris and dust before anchor installation.
- Follow manufacturer's recommendations for cleaning and dust removal, considering compliance with OSHA Silica Dust Containment regulations.
Factors Affecting Anchor Performance
Corrosion and Service Environment
Corrosion can significantly impact anchor performance and the overall integrity of the installation. It's essential to understand the potential for chemical or electrochemical corrosion based on the anchor's material and the installation environment. Take measures to prevent corrosion, such as using compatible metals or coatings, and selecting corrosion-resistant anchors for corrosive environments.
Load Capacity and Type
Consider the type of load and its level when selecting an anchor for the sign industry. Different anchors are designed to withstand static, dynamic, or shock loads. Ensure that the chosen anchor can hold the applied load and consider factors such as heat treating and strain hardening for increased strength.
Code Compliance and Approvals
Adhering to building codes and obtaining necessary approvals is crucial for any construction project, including sign installation. Familiarize yourself with relevant codes, regulations, and industry standards to ensure compliance. Consult product data sheets and project specifications to verify that you meet guidelines and requirements.