If you’re considering installing a flag pole on your property and flying the American flag, it’s important to know the basics of the US flag code. For example, no flags should fly higher than the American flag and you should always ensure that your American flag is illuminated.
That being said, the flag code isn’t the only thing to study up on before installing your own flag pole. Like any other structure on your property, your flap pole will require maintenance if you want it to last for years to come.
What does flag pole maintenance entail? We’re glad you asked!
Read on to learn everything you need to know in our flag pole maintenance guide.
Flag Pole Terms to Know
When learning about flag pole maintenance, it’s helpful to start by learning the anatomy of your flag pole. Despite their cumbersome size, flag poles are easy to build and install in your yard. They’re also easy to maintain, as long as you know the right terms for the different components of your flag pole.
These components include:
- the finial: a decorative ornament that screws onto the top of your flag pole above the truck
- the truck: the pulley assembly at the top of your flag pole; this can be stationary or revolving
- the snaphook: sometimes referred to as the flap snap, this component is the hook that attaches your flag to the halyard
- the halyard: the rope that runs through the truck and allows you to raise and lower your flag
- the flash collar: the cover that sits at the base of the flag
- the foundation tube: the steel or PVC pipe that goes directly into the ground to hold your flag pole in place
Some flag poles may utilize additional components. The ones we’ve listed here, however, are standard to most flag poles.
Basic Flag Pole Maintenance: Cleaning Your Flag Pole
Is your flag pole looking a little dingy? Flag poles can become dirty after a storm or simply from exposure to the elements, pollen, and other debris. There’s no set schedule as to how often you should clean your flag pole, so follow these steps as needed.
Cleaning Aluminum Flag Poles
Unless the manufacturer specifies a different cleaning method, you can clean your aluminum flag pole with soap and warm water. A mild soap, like dish soap, is best.
To do this, attach a sponge that you’ve saturated in soapy water to the halyard. Then, raise and lower the halyard several times to give the flag pole a good scrub.
Cleaning Fiberglass Flag Poles
You can purchase cleaning kits for fiberglass flag poles. However, if you’re in a pinch, a mild bathroom spray cleaner that isn’t bleach-based will do the trick.
Once again, saturate a sponge, only this time you will do so using the bathroom spray cleaner. Then, hook the sponge to the halyard and raise and lower the halyard several times.
What Not to Do When Cleaning Your Flag Pole
What shouldn’t you do when cleaning a flag pole?
For starters, make sure that your flag pole doesn’t have an anodized finish. If it does have an anodized finish, skip the cleanings, altogether. Cleaning the anodized surface can damage it and cancel any warranty you may have for your flag pole.
In addition, avoid dry cleaning your flag pole. In other words, don’t try to scrub away dirt and grime with a dry surface. The moisture of soap or cleaning spray protects your flag pole from becoming scratched or worn–and does the trick better than a dry surface could in the first place.
Replacing Damaged Flag Pole Parts
How often should you inspect your flag pole for damage? Some signs of damage will become apparent to you on sight, in which case you will want to address them ASAP.
However, we also recommend inspecting your flag pole any time you decide to replace your American flag. We also recommend inspecting the halyard every time you raise or lower your flag, or at least a few times a month.
Signs of Flag Pole Damage
Most of the time, your climate or inclement weather is the culprit of flag pole damage. For example, freezing temperatures and salty air can dry out your halyard rope, leading to dry rot. High winds can cause your flag pole to bend or lean, which is a serious problem that must be addressed right away.
Damage can also occur as the individual components of your flag pole start to wear out. For example, if you’re finding it difficult to raise or lower your flag, it may mean that the truck is broken or that the halyard needs replacement.
When you’re looking for residential flagpoles for sale, keep an eye out for companies that also sell replacement parts. That way, you won’t have any difficulty finding the right size parts for your flag pole.
A Note on Replacing Your American Flag
Keep in mind that when you’re flying an American flag, you should always inspect it for quality. If your flag is frayed, fading, or torn, it’s time to replace it.
Make sure that you refer to the flag code when replacing your American flag. There is a proper way to dispose of an old American flag. Throwing an old flag in the garbage is not an acceptable disposal method.
Practice Flag Pole Maintenance and Keep Your Flap Pole Pristine
Are you getting ready to install a flag pole on your property for the first time? We hope that our flag pole maintenance tips will come in handy as you take care of your flag pole in the coming years.
Looking for more handy tips and tricks? Take a look around to find information about everything from lifestyle choices to health approaches and beyond.
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