Pros & Cons of Using Wooden Posts for Your Guardrail

When you're planning to install a guardrail, you need to decide what type of rail itself will suit you. It's also important to think about the type of posts that you'll use. While many people use metal guardrail posts, another option is the traditional choice of wood. There are a number of pros and cons of using wooden posts for your guardrails, including the following points.

Pro: They Dissipate Energy

If you're concerned about cars hitting your guardrails while traveling at high rates of speed, wood can be a good choice. The big difference between wood posts and metal posts is that the former type will often snap when a fast-moving vehicle makes contact with the guardrail. This means that energy is being dissipated, which can not only help to slow the car down but may also reduce the risk of the motorist being seriously hurt.

Con: They Require Replacement

Having your wooden guardrail posts break when someone drives into the guardrail may be a good thing because of how the energy is dissipated, but one challenge that you'll face is that you'll need to replace the posts promptly. Metal posts don't sustain this type of damage, which means that the guardrail will often keep its structural integrity—to some degree, anyway—even after someone hits it. It's obviously an extra expense and potentially a hassle to have to repeatedly replace your wooden posts.

Pro: They Provide A Natural Look

Depending on where you're installing your guardrail, you may appreciate it offering a natural look. If this is the case, choosing wooden posts over metal posts may be preferable. You may even wish to entertain the option of a wooden guardrail itself, to give you a structure that is entirely made of wood. Your local guardrail company can talk to you about the considerations of choosing a wooden guardrail instead of a metal one.

Con: They Could Rot

Provided that they're installed and maintained correctly, your wooden guardrail posts should last a long time. However, if you don't maintain them, and standing water remains at their base, some of them could begin to rot. This could mean that the posts break even after minor contact, which will be a hassle. In order to prevent standing water at the base of any post, you need to ensure that the ground around the post is crowned. This will encourage the water to run away, rather than remain at the post.

If you're still on the fence about wooden posts for your guardrail, contact services like Traffic Control Products Company of LA, Inc to learn about your specific options.