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Polesaver Sleeves Prevent Ground Line Decay In Wooden Utility Poles

Ground-line decay accounts for over 95% of wooden utility pole failure and is one of the highest costs to utility companies.

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Apply Polesaver Sleeves

Quickly and easily apply Polesaver Sleeves to exclude all the causes of ground-line decay

Create A Total Barrier

Polesaver Sleeves make conventional ground-line decay impossible, thus ensuring pole strength is maintained over the life of the pole

Reduce Your Costs

Polesaver sleeves significantly reduce inspection, repair and replacement costs, giving you the lowest cost pole option and an expected pole life of 50+ years

Problem

Solution

Image showing a cut-away of a Polesaver sleeve on a wooden utility pole

What are Polesaver Sleeves?

    • Polesaver sleeves are non-toxic, composite barrier sleeves, they feature a dual-layer construction with an outer thermoplastic sleeve and an inner, meltable bituminous liner.
    • Upon heating, the liner melts, and the outer sleeve shrinks down tightly onto the pole to create a tough, air and watertight seal to the pole surface.
    • This seal permanently excludes all the factors necessary for wood decay to occur, making conventional ground line decay impossible.

User Case Study: Latvenergo (Latvia)

Pole material: Pine

Preservative treatment: Water-Based Copper

Average pole life: 20 years (previously CCA)

Pole replacement rate: 30,000 poles per year

Reason for using Polesaver Sleeves:  Required an assured 40+ year lifespan when switching to a water-based copper preservative.

Benefits Of Using Polesaver Sleeves

Polesaver Sleeves allow wooden poles to perform like concrete, steel or composites at a much lower cost

Improves Safety

Improves safety for staff who have to climb poles and the public exposed to the potential danger of falling poles and live cables

RFID Tags Built In

RFID (Radio-frequency identification) tags with a unique electronic serial number are embedded into each sleeve, allowing easy asset tracking and management

Prevents Pole Failure

Maintains full pole strength over time thus preventing pole failure and outages in bad weather

Substantial cost savings

Polesaver gives substantial cost savings by reducing the requirement for pole inspections, maintenance and replacement

Why Do Wooden Utility Poles Decay?

Ground-Line decay accounts for over 95% of wooden utility pole failures. Learn more about why it happens below

Rotten wooden utility pole

1

Preservatives Loose Effectivness

Traditional wood preservative tends to lose effectiveness over time at the critical ground-line section of the pole.

2

Repeated Wetting & Drying Cycles

This loss of effectiveness is due to oxidation and loss of chemical preservative as a result of repeated wetting and drying cycles.

3

Conditions for Decay Are Ideal

Conditions are ideal for decay at the ground-line where there is a plentiful supply of oxygen, moisture, warmth and wood-decaying organisms. These factors are not present deeper in the ground.

4

All The Required Factors

This plentiful supply creates the perfect conditions for wood decay and pole failure to occur at the mechanically critical ground line section of the pole.

How Do Polesaver Sleeves Prevent Decay?

In Detail

  • Ground-line decay occurs in the upper 150mm or 6” of the ground, where all the factors necessary for decay to occur are present. These include wood-destroying fungi of which there are around 30,000 different types, wood moisture content > 25%, oxygen, nutrients and ground temperature higher than 10 C° (50F°).

  • Deeper in the ground, the temperature, nutrient and oxygen levels are generally too low for decay to occur. Above ground exposure to air drying generally ensures the moisture content of the wood is below the 25% level at which decay can start making decay highly unlikely. Above and below the ground line, wood preservatives are highly effective at preventing decay.

  • Polesaver Sleeves create a long-lasting air and watertight seal that permanently excludes all the factors necessary for wood decay to occur. They also prevent any loss of wood preservative in the protected zone giving enhanced “double” protection over time.  The watertight seal also seals to the pole surface behind the sleeve and lowers the entry point for moisture from the ground severely limiting “wicking” of moisture up the pole. This seal ensures that the sleeve keeps moisture content in the upper part of the sleeve below the 25% threshold at which wood decay can start.

  • Polesaver Sleeves provide total long-term protection; they make conventional ground line decay impossible, thus ensuring that decay is prevented and pole maintains its strength over time. Each sleeve is made of high quality, proven materials and is guaranteed for 50 years.

  • Termite attack of poles can be a problem in many parts of the world. Termites are generally attracted to decaying wood as this is easier for the termites to digest. By preventing decay, Polesaver has proven to be effective at reducing termite attack of poles. Learn more about preventing termite attack.

Comparison Of Partial Vs Full Barrier Sleeves

With different types of sleeves available, learn more about the difference and importance of using full barrier sleeeves

Partial Barrier Sleeve

Partial barrier sleeves are wrapped around the pole at the ground line section and are either heat shrunk, tacked in place or fixed using self-adhesive bands at the top and bottom of the sleeve to adhere to the pole surface.

Partial barrier sleeves do not seal the pole surface behind the sleeve and do not exclude all of the causes of wood decay (moisture, oxygen, nitrogen and decaying organisms). Moisture can track up behind the outer sleeve to form a damp band at the top of the sleeve where decay can start.

Full Barrier Sleeve (Polesaver)

Polesaver full barrier sleeves consist of a heat-shrinkable outer sleeve lined with a meltable bituminous thermoplastic sealant.

Polesaver sleeves are wrapped around the vulnerable ground line section of the pole and heat shrunk in place. The bituminous liner melts and seals the pole surface behind the sleeve to create an air and watertight seal that excludes all the factors necessary for wood decay to occur. The seal to the pole surface ensures moisture cannot track up behind the sleeve to form a damp band at the top of the sleeve, thus preventing decay at this point.

Lifespan & Strength Evidence

Based on independent EN252 field test data, Polesaver Sleeves are proven to maintain the pole’s strength over time.

A typical wooden pole loses strength over time and once below the 50% strength threshold; pole replacement will be required.

Polesaver Sleeves make conventional ground line decay impossible, thus ensuring that 100% of the strength of the pole is maintained over time.

Our sleeves are the only proven and independently tested the product on the market that ensures pole strength is maintained over-time at the critical ground line section, improving safety and grid reliability in bad weather.

Click Here To Download Test Report

(*based on independent EN252 field test data, full report available on request)

How Do I Apply Polesaver Sleeves?

Polesaver Sleeve Application Instructions

How Do Wooden Utility Poles Compare To The Alternative Materials?

A typical wooden utility pole stores around 320 kg of CO²!

Extending utility pole life naturally reduces the pole replacement rate, as well as allowing for increased inspection intervals. This reduction in pole replacement means that using Polesaver sleeves can significantly reduce your CO² emissions.

The manufacture of poles from alternative pole materials such as steel, concrete or composites generates significant amounts of CO², while not necessarily offering longer pole life than equivalent a Polesaver protected wooden pole. In terms of the lifetime cost, a Polesaver protected wooden utility pole is the lowest cost option with the lowest environmental impact of all pole materials available.

Below are some typical examples of CO² production for different pole types (full report available on request).

Concrete

CO2 created per 1000 poles =

+1460 tonnes*

Steel

CO2 created per 1000 poles =

+784 tonnes*

Composites

CO2 created per 1000 poles = 

+867 tonnes*

Wood

CO2 absorbed per 1000 poles =

-316 tonnes*

*Source Conclusions and Summary Report on an Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Utility Poles Prepared by: AquAeTer, Inc

What Are Polesaver Sleeves Made Of?

Polesaver sleeves are a dual-layer non-toxic barrier sleeve consisting of an outer thermoplastic sleeve coated with an inner, bituminous thermoplastic sealant. There is a high performance adhesive strip to one edge to allow the sleeve to be wrapped around the pole and adhered to itself before heat application.

Inner Bitumen Sealant

The inner, thermoplastic meltable bituminous sealant is a complex blend of bitumen (asphalt) and over 20 other additives engineered to provide a durable and long-lasting seal to the pole surface. Its meltable characteristics mean that when the sleeve is heated, it melts and penetrates the pole surface, bonding the outer thermoplastic layer to the wood, creating the air and watertight seal required to prevent decay.

Outer Thermoplastic Sleeve

The outer, thermoplastic sleeve consists of a material that has a proven track record in severe ground-contact barrier applications for over 50 years.

Polesaver Sleeves Are Proven In Volume Use

Reduce Likelihood of Termite Attacks

Termites are typically attracted to decaying wood as this is easier for them to digest. By preventing ground-line decay, Polesaver sleeves reduce the likelihood of termite attack saving your poles from attack and failure in termite prone areas.

Independently Tested

Polesaver Sleeves meet the requirements of A.W.P.A. P20-18 BP1 Barrier products and have been independently tested to the following standards: A.W.P.A. E1-97, ENV 807 and EN252, all with zero decay/termite attack (full test reports available)

Click Here For Test Data

Reduce Costs & Environmental Impact

Not only do Polesaver sleeves reduce your costs by extending pole life, but they also help you achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions

Why Use Polesaver Sleeves?

Polesaver has sold over 7 million sleeves to 30 customers in over 30 countries worldwide

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7+ Million Sleeves Sold
Years In Business
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Countries Supplied To

A selection of Polesaver Customers

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