How Long Do Light Posts Last For + How to Make Them Last Longer

terracast Blog

Commercial lampposts made from metal or concrete will not last as long as our unique Classic PolySteel® lampposts. The same factors that cause metal or concrete posts to break down do not affect PolySteel®.

Reasons Steel Lampposts Break Down

Steel lampposts are coated in a thin layer of powder coat or baked enamel, this is intended to serve as a protective coating that keeps the elements out and prevents rust. It works in the short term, but it doesn’t take much to break down this outer layer. Even a small chip in the outer surface allows moisture and salinity to seep inside the pole and start impacting the durability of it.

Moisture will create rust and corrosion, and once this process begins there’s no turning back the clock. Over time, the damage will progressively get worse until the integrity of the pole is in danger. There have been many stories in the news about light poles that suddenly fall over, damaging cars and narrowly missing pedestrians. This can occur if damages are ignored and not fixed in time.

Reasons Concrete Light Poles Break Down

Concrete is a very porous material that allows a lot of different elements to get inside over time. As moisture enters concrete, it may become trapped beneath the surface. As temperatures cool down and heat up, this moisture will expand and decrease in size, over and over. This puts pressure on the concrete pole and eventually causes cracks to surface. Cracks allow even more water to get inside and this increases the rate that additional cracks form.

At the base of most concrete poles is a steel center, once moisture enters through the concrete it will reach the steel base and cause corrosion to occur from the inside out.

Factors that influence how long concrete and metal poles last:

Since concrete and steel poles are so susceptible to damages, there are a variety of factors that will influence how long they last before breaking down. Including:

  • Weather
  • Temperature fluctuations
  • High salinity levels, for instance in coastal areas
  • Damages such as getting hit with weed whackers, animals urinating on the base of the pole, and cars or other objects hitting them

Why is PolySteel® Different & Longer Lasting?

Our unique blend of resin mixed with galvanized steel and industrial plastic foam creates a superior and long-lasting light pole that is virtually immune to the elements that break down steel, concrete and other commonly used materials. We rely on rotational molding to create the strongest pole possible, capable of outlasting the competition by a longshot.

At the core of the lamppost is galvanized steel, which gives the pole its strength and stability. From there, we add a thick layer of polyurethane foam, a type of lightweight plastic that isolates the core and gives the pole its shape. On top of that, we apply a quarter-inch thick layer of Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE), this gives the pole its final shape and detail.

The end result is a surprisingly lightweight pole that is durable against the elements. Pet waste, moisture, or high salinity levels have no effect on these poles and will not decrease their lifespan like other materials.

In addition, metal poles often fall victim to thieves who steal loose metal parts for scrap. With no outer metal to speak of, there’s no incentive for thieves to rip off any part of our poles. Yet another reason our poles outlast the competition.

How to Make Poles Last Longer

Let’s say you already have steel lampposts and want to make them last longer, is there anything you can do? There are two options that we offer to help make poles last longer.

The first, is our unique Light Post Bases. The bottom of a traditional light pole has seams and the interior of the base is not powder coated or covered in an enamel finish. As a result, this is where damages often originate. By adding a snap on Light Post Base to the bottom of the pole, you can prevent further damages from getting inside, while upgrading the appearance of the pole.

Our resin pole bases are immune to the elements, and so they will not rust and corrode like traditional light pole bases. While they cannot reverse the damage that’s already been done, they can prevent further damage and improve the appearance of light poles that are rusted, chipped or corroded at the bottom.

As we like to say, if you can’t replace it, re-base it! Learn more

The next option is our Post Cover, which can fit over the entire post by slipping on over the existing pole. It works like an outer shell to offer protection, reinforcement, and a new look to poles. Made from the same materials as our PolySteel® classic lampposts, this will protect your steel pole from corroding any further.

The Post Cover can fit over a pole that measures 3 inches in diameter. It is premade at 10 feet in length so that you can cut the cover to fit as needed. Learn more