Pros and Cons of Wooden Utility Poles

Wooden utility poles are the pillar of the United States’ electric grid. Wood is a renewable resource that provides strength and resilience, making it a great option for utility poles. Keep reading to discover the pros and cons of wooden utility poles and how our products at Critter Guard can help keep all types of utility poles and power protected.

Pros of Wooden Utility Poles

1. Readily Available

Wood is a renewable resource and trees grow all around the world, making wood the most readily available and affordable material for utility poles.

2. Environmentally Friendly

While it may not seem like the most environmentally friendly choice, the use of wooden utility poles is actually a positive step towards reducing the carbon footprint. Wooden utility poles come from sustainably managed forests where, on average, three trees are planted for every harvested tree. In addition, the wood used to manufacture the utility poles is renewable and the waste rate is relatively low. In case of any damage, wooden poles go back to the factory for recycling.

3. Lower Electrical Conductivity

Wood is an insulator, making it a safer material for poles than concrete or steel. During lightning and thunder storms, wooden poles can help reduce power arcs.

4. Easier to Transport

Wood is a strong, yet lightweight material that can typically withstand surface damage and handling, making wooden utility poles much cheaper and easier to transport.

5. Easier to Install

Due to wood being a lightweight material, installation of wooden utility poles is relatively easy as heavy machinery is not needed.

Cons of Wooden Utility Poles

1. Prone to Decay When Poorly Protected

If not properly protected, wooden utility poles are easily susceptible to wood rot. Wood rot is triggered by moisture intrusion and the growth of fungi. Once wood rot occurs, the wooden pole will become weak and structurally unstable.

2. Susceptible to Fire

Wooden utility poles need to be properly treated with a preservative to minimize wood rot. While this treatment does help protect wooden poles from decaying, it can also run a fire risk. When lightning hits, or the pole comes in contact with extreme heat, fire can occur.

3. Can be Weakened by Critters

Insects and animals can easily cause wooden utility poles to deteriorate. Some insects, like termites, feed on wood, while others make their home in the wood, thus causing damage and weakening the pole. Birds, such as woodpeckers, can also cause heavy damage to wooden utility poles.

Preserve Wooden Utility Poles with Critter Guard

At Critter Guard, we specialize in protecting electric power lines, utility poles, and other important electrical equipment. Our Pole Guard product is designed to prevent critters from accessing utility poles and power lines, helping to reduce critter-related damage to wooden utility poles. To learn more about our Pole Guard product and how it can help protect wooden utility poles and power in your area, contact us today!