3.3 Inspection & Maintenance Procedures for Wood Poles.
3.3.1 Internal Decay. When performing inspections and
maintenance on antenna poles it is important to know that internal decay
occurs as a result of fungal infestations that (1) start in poles before treat-
ment or (2) where wood destroying organisms are able to penetrate the
outer protective shell of preservative treated wood which surrounds the
non-treated wood in the center. Deep checks which develop after treat-
ment, mechanical damage from improper handling, woodpecker holes or
other actions which break the protective shell, provide avenues for entry
of decay fungi, Internal decay will also develop in pole tops cut or holes
bored in the field when the cut surface is not coated with a topical pre-
Do not cut the butt ends off poles as
this exposes the central untreated core
of wood at the bottom of the poles and
provides easy access for termites and
Checks and mechanical damage in the shell of treated wood can also ex-
pose the center of the pole to decay fungi.
3.3.2 External Surface Decay. External decay is most
common at or below the ground lime. As poles age, external decay may
develop as the effectiveness of the treatment begins to decline.
3.3.3 Insects. Attacks of the untreated interior portions
of poles by subterranean termites or carpenter ants are difficult to
detect. However, if insects can gain entry, so can decay fungi There-
fore, the two will often occur together.
3.3.4 Inspection Procedures. The purpose of a pole
inspection is to: (1) identify poles that are dangerous and should be
replaced and (2) identify poles which are in the early stages of deteriora-
tion so that corrective actions can be taken.
Visual. A visual examination of the poles, using binoculars to inspect
tops, can provide valuable information regarding the pole's condition.