When building outdoor bulletin boards for your school, church, community, or homeowners association, these ten simple features will make your message center more useful, project a professional image, and most importantly, provide easy maintenance. and durable.
Larry Kontny, secretary treasurer of the Magnolia Terrace Homeowners Association in Mont Verde, Florida, made the mistake of buying shoddy bulletin boards last year.
“The back of the first bulletin board we bought rotted,” Kontny said, “and water got in, and of course the water and moisture ruined all the letters.”
Water and humidity are a major concern for people who live in this 130-lot community about 20 miles west of Orlando.
“Anyone who has lived in Florida knows about severe thunderstorms during the rainy season. This new one I just installed is much better built and the frame is much stronger than the old one we bought.”
1.Use an anodized aluminum frame that has a moisture barrier backing and silicone sealant.
“The first board we bought had a particle board backing that soaked up water like a colander,” Kotney said. “The letter board warped and became spongy.”
2. Shatter-resistant door windows prevent injury and liability. Vandalism or stones kicked up by a passing truck can cause a cheap window to break.
Do not use glass, safety glass or acrylic for the door window. Use a brand of polycarbonate such as Lexan or Makrolon SL.
3. Make sure your door windows and posting surface have a UV inhibitor that reduces the destructive effects of the sun’s rays. Some auto parts stores sell a clear UV glass tint film that can be applied to the window.
“The sun’s rays made the closed cabinet hot like an oven. The board facing the south exposure faded within months and some of the lettering melted and became brittle,” Kotney said. “We’re going to have to replace that one too.”
4. Louvered vent covers should be installed on the sides of the cabinet to dissipate any buildup of ambient heat or moisture. Vent caps should be protected to prevent insects such as spiders or wasps from entering the bulletin board cabinet and nesting.
A vent also prevents condensation from fogging up the door window by preventing a temperature differential.
5. Lockable doors ensure access to the posting surface to keep posts official.
“One morning I went outside to find that some children had rearranged the letters to spell out a profane message.” said Thomas Keane, former president of the Limestone Acres homeowners association in Wilmington, Delaware. “The neighborhood association was not amused.”
6. The door frame must have full length piano hinges to support the weight of the door when it is opened. Using just a couple of small hinges will quickly wear down and fatigue the aluminum case frame.
7. The door frame should have a rubber gasket seal to prevent vertical rain seeping through the gap.
An airtight door frame is important especially for residents in coastal areas that experience strong vertical winds.
8. Cabinet should be at least 3-1/4″ deep. This leaves room to add additional letter panels, chalk boards, dry erase boards, or bulletin boards.
These additional panel types make your community message center highly versatile and allow for creativity for the holidays or other occasions.
9. A name header may be included on the display case or sign pediment. A name header provides identity and recognition for outdoor bulletin boards.
10. Make sure the cabinet comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. Any problems due to improper materials or assembly will occur within the first year of exposure to the elements.
Kontny says he appreciates his new bulletin board which was provided by a reputable manufacturer for free. “I like it, they didn’t have to,” Kontny says of his new bulletin board. “In fact, we will soon replace another one, which has been destroyed by the sun’s rays, and I will buy another one like this because it is easy to maintain.”