Bollards are vital in marking sections to ensure people and vehicles stay in line. You can use them to protect buildings, control traffic, or guide pedestrians to minimise accidents. The installation might seem easy until you need them on uneven ground. Uneven ground is a disadvantage when it comes to installing them. And, you can’t afford to compromise on strength or the linear arrangement. Otherwise, you’ll have missed the whole point of having bollards in the first place. Whether you’re using them for property or traffic, they must be strong and follow a marked-out path. But how can you achieve this on uneven ground? Well, here are some tricks to get you started.
Grind the High Side:
Grinding works well when dealing with a hard surface. Since you need the bollard to level for stability, you can grind the high side of the slope. Grinding helps flatten the surface so the bollard can stand on its own. However, this may not be easy on higher slopes. You must avoid going too low and grinding the lower side. Also, ensure it doesn’t become sloppy since you’ll create a depression where water logging is possible.
Additionally, check the diameter to ensure the bollard fits perfectly, reducing spaces. This is especially important when the bollards are an access system for pedestrians or visually impaired individuals. Wide spaces can cause tripping by catching a shoe heel or walking cane.
Use Shim for Steeper Slopes:
Grinding may not be ideal when the slope is overly steep since it might look unsightly or even impossible. Grinding steep slopes means the high side will cover the bollard higher than necessary. Therefore, you can use a shim or a wedge to raise the steel bollard’s lower side.
When it comes to the material, plastic is the best because it’s cheap and resistant to water and rot. Additionally, it’s easy to manipulate it in different shapes and directions to enhance the level and strength. They also come in different sizes and thicknesses depending on the bollard’s size.
You can use steel shims, but they aren’t convenient due to rusting. Although you can galvanise them, they may be good when dealing with salty water. Additionally, they might be expensive.
The secret behind neat shims lies in the trimming. It helps to trim them properly, ensuring they don’t stick out because they can be dangerous. Plastic is easy to trim, ensuring it embeds in grouting on the lower side for a neat look.
Pour New Concrete:
Using new concrete is the easiest way to level the ground for bollard installation. This is because you can use a trowel to level the high and low sides of the bollard’s footprint. You can shape the lower side like a sharp step or add a slight angle that transitions from the footing to the grade.
When dealing with internally mounted bollards, you can use the new concrete to set and level the anchors. On the other hand, you can make bolt holes for adhesive anchors. However, ensure the concrete is well cured before making these holes. The curing depends on different conditions such as temperature, humidity and the type of concrete. Ideally, the curing should take between 3-7 days but continues to harden with time.
Use Non-shrink Grout to Enhance Stability
You can’t conclude installing bollards on uneven surfaces without piping non-shrink grout. Usually, you need the grout on the lower side to seal all the spaces under the edge. The grout is also necessary for cementing the shim and concealing it to enhance its appearance. Most importantly, the grout makes the bollards stable and prevents debris accumulation in the inner cavity.
You can choose from a variety of non-shrink grouts. The best is a hydraulic cement grout that mixes several compounds to prevent shrinking as it dries. Also, there are metallic grouts which are ideal for security installations. You can also get one with an aluminium coating to reduce staining by oxides.
Bollards are essential for security, safety and aesthetics, especially when you colour and design them well. You can also add lighting to enhance the view. To achieve this, they must be strong and level, which can be challenging when working on uneven ground. Some tricks you can use include grinding the upper side or shimming the lower side of the slope. In addition, you can use new concrete and non-shrink grout to make them more stable.
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