Frequently asked questions
1.Question Why is the post/pole not covered at the bottom
Answer Because the conditions below 200mm in the ground will not sustain decaying organisms, the temperature is below the 10C level necessary for decay to occur and oxygen and nutrient levels are very low meaning the decaying organisms are unable to survive.
2.Question Won’t the sleeved part of the pole become saturated with water and rot
Answer In a normal pole or post water enters the post from the ground, travels up to the above ground section and is lost to the atmosphere by drying, wind, sun etc. When a sleeve is applied the post surface is sealed and the entry level for moisture is lowered. Moisture is still lost from the above ground section. This means the moisture content in the sleeved section of the pole is lower than for an un sleeved pole
3.Question Surely the sleeve will be damaged in transit and installation and protection will be lost
Answer The Polesaver sleeve is very tough, the dual layer construction means that even if the outer sleeve is damaged the inner bituminous liner maintains a seal on the pole surface. Our experience to date with other utilities and pole producers is that if the sleeved pole is handled sensibly eg not dragged of the back of the lorry, the sleeve held with a grab etc then problems are unlikely, we offer a patch tape for repairing damage but have not supplied any to date.
4.Question We will have to test it in our soil/ground conditions for months or years before we can use it.
Answer The critical section of the pole is totally isolated from the ground, this means that the soil conditions etc are totally irrelevant. Putting the sleeved pole in the ground is no different from leaving the sleeved pole on your desk. it will not rot, the decaying organisms cannot get in.
5.Question How long will the sleeve itself last?
Answer The material used to make the outer film liner has been used as an in ground barrier film in damp proofing and landfill liners for over 60 years without problems. The projected lifespan of the outer sleeve in the worst ground conditions is over 200 years. Bituminous sealants have been used to protect wood from decay for over 2000 years
6.Question How do you know the product will last in reality
Answer We have been making sleeves for 20 years, over this time millions of poles and posts have been protected without a single reported failure to date
7.Question Our poles are treated with copper type preservative and do not last very long why is this?
Answer For two reasons; the older CCA (copper chrome arsenic) preservatives used chrome to fix the copper to the wood to prevent leaching of the copper and Arsenic to prevent attack by termites and other organisms. The copper only preservatives do not have chrome to fix them to the wood and so are leached out of the wood more easily. Also in many parts of the world there are copper tolerant fungi present in the soil, the copper only preservative is not effective at preventing decay by this type of organism, the absence of Arsenic means there is no protection against termites etc.
Polesaver prevents these problems occurring by keeping the preservative in and the causes of decay out.
8.Question Does the product need a licence or biocidal approval to be used.
Answer No the sleeves are non-toxic and do not require any approvals, certification or import licences for use
9.Question Does the sleeve prevent termite attack
Answer On independent test where wooden blocks were encapsulated with sleeve material termite attack did not occur, In some countries with certain termite species we have been told it is sufficient to only apply a sleeve to the ground line section of the pole as the termites generally live in the upper part of the ground and if they cannot detect wood will not burrow down to attack the wood deeper in the ground. In other countries the whole of the in-ground section of the pole has to be encapsulated
10.Question How long will the above ground section of the sleeve last?
Answer In normal use the film has a service life in excess of 40 years, the film is U.V. stabilised and highly weather resistant
11.Question What happens when the burial depth varies, how much sleeve needs to be left above ground level?
Answer The minimum to be left above ground is 10cm the maximum 25cm with a recommended average of 15cm this is normally enough to cope with all likely variations in burial depth
12.Question Who else is using the product?
Answer We are selling sleeves to utilities in Scandinavia, Europe, Ireland and west Africa and undertaking installation trials in South America and Australia
13.Question What happens if the pole cracks due to drying above ground, can decaying organisms enter and rot the pole
Answer If cracks form the moisture content in the upper part of the sleeved section of the pole is normally below the 20% level necessary for decay and rot to occur, so decay does not occur.
14.Question What life extension can I expect as a result of using Polesaver sleeves,
Answer typically the use of Polesaver doubles the life of the pole.
15.Question Can the sleeve be applied to wet poles
Answer No but they can be applied to poles that are lightly damp to the touch, if in doubt simply flash dry the pole surface using the blow torch prior to sleeve application.
16.Question How long does it take to apply a sleeve to a pole?
Answer It typically takes around 2 minutes per pole using a blow torch
17.Question Can sleeves be applied to poles with elephant foot/enlarged base or poles that vary in size
Answer Yes the sleeve is simply tightly wrapped around the ground line section of the pole, taped together using the pre-applied tape strip and then heat shrunk in place using a blow torch or application machine.
18.Question Are there any special precautions to be taken prior to applying the sleeve
Answer Yes it is sensible to remove any splinters or tears on the part of the pole to be sleeved as they can puncture the sleeve when shrinking in place, we recommend the use of a surform for this which we can supply
19.Question Is the product patented?
20.Question Is the sleeve flammable?
Answer Yes but the ignition temperature is very high
21.Question What equipment is needed to apply the sleeves to the pole?
Answer We supply a trigger light high powered blow torch to shrink the sleeve in place, this is lightweight, safe, efficient and easy to use and one that we have found to best for sleeve application following many trials with alternative blow torches.
22.Question What gas is needed to power the torch?
Answer The torch runs on Propane, it can be used with a propane/butane mix but some problems with lighting can occur.
23.Question Is there another way of applying the sleeves in high volumes?
Answer Yes we have an automated conveyor feed application machine, the sleeve is applied by hand and the machine heat shrinks the sleeve on the pole, this machine can process up to 150 poles an hour.
24.Question What size poles can be sleeved?
Answer We supply sleeves for all pole sizes
25.Question Can the sleeves be used on poles already in the ground
Answer Yes provided the pole is not starting to rot or decay, we recommend that boron rods are used to treat the core of the pole as a precaution when applying sleeves to poles already in service
26.Question Can the sleeve be used with any type of preservative
Answer Yes the sleeves can be used with all types of preservative system
27.Question How much does it cost for the gas to apply a sleeve?
Answer Typically £0.08 per sleeve
28.Question Over what temperature range can I store and handle the sleeves?
Answer The storage temperature range is 0C to 40C, sleeves must not be stored in direct sunlight and we recommend that sleeves are applied to the poles out of direct sunlight. When we supply to hot countries the pallets are supplied with reflective/insulating pallet covers to keep temperatures low, we recommend that the pallet covers are left on until the sleeves are used.
29.Question What quality control is used when making the sleeves
Answer sleeves are rigorously checked against a set of tight quality standards including size, weight, film thickness, softening point, shrink ratios, print quality. We are currently implementing a quality control system to ISO 9001 and expect to be registered by the end of 2015.