Bollards will only be effective when they are installed correctly. If you have a difficult site, or require high security bollards for industrial or security areas, then it is advisable to employ professional bollard installation services to tackle difficult areas. The bollard type and function usually dictates the degree of complexity of installation. Complex, in-ground bollards are best installed by professionals with expertise in these type of installations.
However if you have a smaller project and straightforward installation conditions then bollard installation may be something you can do yourself.
Consider the number and location of the bollards and the overall effect upon the environment before going ahead. Bollard type, quantity, and placement should be worked out prior ordering the bollards and/or starting installation. Consider the surrounding areas so that there is minimal or no impact upon the space beyond the intended area for the bollards.
Fundamentally, bollards fall into three different installation categories:-
Bolt-down bollards – these are generally of lighter weight and are fixed with bolts drilled into the ground. These are often used in domestic situations, offices, or areas that don’t require high strength or resistance. This category includes fold-down and some flexible bollards.
You can install surface mounted bollards yourself, providing you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Following the installation instructions will ensure the best performance for the bollards and cover you for the manufacturer’s warranty.
In-ground bollards – These bollards are concrete reinforced below ground to give strength and resistance. In-ground bollards are suitable for industrial situations and general public buildings for traffic management and protection of property. These bollards are not designed for movement or flexibility, although they can be combined with other bollard types for controlled access. Careful ground preparation and the right equipment are essential to ensure the best performance of the bollards.
Retractable bollards – These bollards are ideal for traffic, access management and general security. They also require below ground installation, often including electrical work. Retractable bollards do not provide the strength of the simpler in-ground bollards but correct professional installation is required for maximum efficiency.
Expert bollard installer have the knowledge, experience and equipment to correctly assess the site and its potential problems, such as drainage, and take steps to rectify and prevent any potential issues.
With bollard installation, whether you are installing them yourself or using professionals, safety always comes first…to the workers, the public and the general environment. Consider traffic or pedestrian management during the installation period, particularly if you are encroaching onto any public areas.
Terrain is another vital factor to consider. Bollards need to be upright and secure to be structurally stable. It is advisable to get expert advice on bollard installation if you have uneven ground or difficult terrain. Difficult terrain does not prevent bollards being installed, however the right foundations are essential.
When calculating bollard placement and spacing, don’t forget the primary aim for the bollards. Is it mainly for traffic control, or do you require property protection? Maybe you only need to restrict access to private areas.
Any Lighting requirements should also be taken into account prior to installation as an electrician may need to be involved in the installation process. There are many bollard designs which incorporate lighting as part of the design. If lighting is required, then consider which type will be most appropriate for your installation.
For lighting a pathway or driveway, maybe solar powered bollards with lights will be sufficient for this use, and require minimal maintenance compared to wired bollard lights. Consider the frequency and placement of the lights and if you need further expert advice before going ahead.
When selecting the bollard type for your needs, make sure you look at the ongoing maintenance required. In-ground bollards will require regular maintenance checks to ensure that the ground below the surface doesn’t become too wet, or loose which would compromise the strength and may damage the construction of the bollards. The same applies to retractable and fold-down bollards. Regular maintenance will keep the bollards looking and functioning in top condition.
To sum up the basics:-
- Assess which bollard type is best for your situation and budget.
- Establish whether you can install the bollards yourself, or do you need an expert?
- Obtain expert bollard installation advice before you start so that you are well prepared
- Make sure you have covered all safety and traffic control aspects before commencing the installation.
- Do you need the involvement of other contractors such as a ground/soil assessment or an electrician?
Being well informed and prepared prior to commencement will save you time and money and minimize future issues.