Those that own utility poles, whether private individuals or companies of any size, know that caring for their poles is a very important aspect of ownership. There have been many studies concerning remedial treatments and their success rates in ensuring that the utility poles in question enjoy a long service life.
One of the most important steps in remedial treatment is groundline treatment. To be truly effective, the groundline treatment must possess certain characteristics. These include one of the ingredients of the treatment solution being able to penetrate at least three inches beyond the surface of the pole. This depth of treatment will ensure the maximum amount of protection against decay. Another important aspect is that the treatment solution applied must be able to remain in the wood for a period of time as specified by the length of the cycle. The final two aspects which are crucial are the need for the treatment to be able to control both soft rot and also control brown rot decay fungi and the ability to be mixed with biocides to provide a full spectrum of organism protection.
Pastes used to preserve the poles are especially popular as they are extremely easy to apply and provide a 100% level of complete coverage. Commercially available forms of preservative pastes are made to be waterborne, thus they are free from petroleum products. This is great as they do not succumb to the affects of gravity, or “slumping”, as it is otherwise known.
While pastes are easy to use, many a utility pole supplier prefer to use preservative bandages. Even though the bandages are more expensive than paste, they are viewed as less time-consuming to apply than is paste. This is an advantage if there are many poles to be treated, however, there is the risk of incomplete coverage when bandages are used. Therefore, they mus be applied very carefully, preferably by trained professionals.
By using quality and time-tested methods of preservation, the lifespan of usability will be greatly lengthened and the need for replacement will be greatly reduced.