All it Takes to Rot Your Post

For this destructive process to be successful all that is needed are a few simple ingredients, wood, moisture, oxygen, decaying organisms, nutrients from the soil and a temperature above 10 C and away you go. At depths over 200mm below ground level the conditions for any serious form of rot and decay are greatly reduced if nothing else because the temperature is generally well below 10c and oxygen and nutrient supply is restricted.

So this leaves the ground line section of the pole in conditions ideal for rot and decay, combine this with the fact that this is also mechanically the most highly loaded section of the pole and it’s hardly surprising that this is the common point of failure for timber poles
So why do we need to worry about this? wooden poles have traditionally lasted a reasonable period of time.

Traditional Wood Treatments

Traditionally wood has been treated with preservatives to prevent decay  giving many years or decades of trouble free service in a wide range of soil and timber types. Environmental pressures have resulted in changes to legislation effecting wood preservatives

Our customers tell us that this is leading to a reduction in pole and post lifespan. This is bad enough for a domestic fence post but much worse when the pole is being used to support high value commercial vines, fruit trees and plants or stock fencing to prevent livestock straying.

Take the example of 1000 poles used in vineyard. With failures occurring on a regular basis throughout the life of the pole population it is not unusual to see annual replacement rates typically running at 6 to 10%.

The Business Cost

And the cost of this?  Around £1800-£2,400 per year per 1000 posts installed, including post cost, labour, fuel overheads etc.  Or £18,000 – 24,000 every 10 years. Never mind the damage that might occur to valuable vines trees or plants in the meantime.

So looking at this in context, the initial cost of the pole at a few pounds each is virtually insignificant in relation to the lifetime cost of installing and replacing the poles or posts as they fail.

The simple solution to this problem is to use a ground line barrier sleeve such as Postsaver and Polesaver ground line sleeves. They are flexible and elastic and maintain the barrier when the wood moves, shrinks or cracks with a seal being maintained over even the largest of cracks. They can be used with all preservative types including creosote and copper based preservatives.

Sleeved posts can be installed in any of the normal ways including being driven in, the tough dual layer construction being damage resistant in the stoniest of ground conditions a claim backed up by the hundreds of thousands of sleeved posts installed in this way without problems.


But now there is another solution. Our Guaranteed Life Posts

We have introduced a revolutionary idea for further protecting your posts. Our suppliers have invested in state of the art equipment which enables the application of a polyurea coating around the timber at ground contact level. This product has been tried and tested in the waterproofing market for over 30 years. Order these posts and ensure they won’t rot for years.

Available in diameters from 4″ to 8″ and in lengths up 8 feet you can be confident that we have a solution for your installation.

Check out our product page for more information or call the team at Threapwwod to discuss your needs.

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