Utility pole damage can be debilitating and affect your personal and professional life. However, there are essential things to know about utility poles before deciding which type to install or replace. Understanding the signs to look out for will help determine whether you need to replace a damaged utility pole. Gas leaks and electrical shocks are possible whenever the safety of utility poles is at risk. It would be best to look for several signs to determine whether you need to replace a damaged utility pole.
1. The Pole is Leaning
A utility pole leaning at an angle can cause dangerous power surges. The pole might look okay, but something is amiss if the pole leans at an angle. Environmental factors such as storms, wind, and soil erosion can cause a leaning pole to break. If the pole is leaning, it must be replaced instead of risking an electrical surge or injury. You might overlook a slight lean at first, but over time you will see the pole’s tilt getting worse until something breaks and there is an electrical outage because of the damage to the utility pole. Putting warning signs on utility poles about the leanness is a great way to keep your family safe and warn everybody in the neighborhood about any hazard. Taking precautions to protect yourself and your family is the best way to ensure everyone is safe regarding leaning poles.
2. Decaying Wood
Utility poles are exposed to harsh environmental weather conditions that can cause wood decay. If the wood is decaying, it needs to be replaced immediately. If a pole begins to rot, more weight is added to the structure, which increases the risk of collapse. An exposed utility pole is dangerous for everyone in the area because loose power lines can cause electrocution or fires. If you choose not to replace a utility pole with decayed wood, you may be putting yourself and your family at risk. The damaged core of the pole increases the risk of failure and accidental electrocution. Scheduling regular inspections to check for damage is an excellent way to ensure that the pole is safe and that there are no safety hazards. Insect infestations could cause the wood to decay, or the pole could not be maintained. Be sure to have a licensed contractor inspect your utility poles for safety concerns before you decide whether to replace them.
3. Power Line Decay
The wiring display is the most visible sign that an electric utility pole needs to be replaced. The corroded wires are dangerous for everybody, especially for children who may reach out and get shocked. Power lines can also cause fires if improperly maintained and eventually fall to the ground. Electrical currents flow through them, and if they erode down, they will cause a hazard even when not exposed. It is also essential to understand that if the lining on the wires is damaged due to mildew or any other environmental factors, you could have a short circuit leading to electrocution in the area. Insulating the cables on the pole is an excellent way to prevent electrocution. Low and decaying power lines can cause a visible hazard and should be replaced immediately.
Utility poles get damaged over time, especially when storms and other environmental factors damage them. A safety hazard is a leading risk when utility poles get damaged. Scheduling periodic inspections is an excellent way to ensure your poles are safe.