Frequently Asked Questions

Temperature/Weather Effects

What are the safe storage requirements and acceptable storage temperature minimum/maximum ranges for Polecrete® Stabilizer?
Closed, unopened containers of Polecrete® Stabilizer A & B components should be stored out of direct sunlight at 50°F-95°F (10°C-35°C).

What is the normal shelf life of this product?
When stored under recommended conditions, 24 months.

Does the product have to be kept in a warm environment before use in the field (i.e. in the cab of a truck)?
For best results, we recommend that it be kept within the storage temperature range.

Can this product be used in outside temperatures below -20°C?
Yes, but for best results, the foam kit should be kept at 70°F or above until use. Also, the hole for the utility pole should be augured at the same time the product will be used.

Will expansion volumes be reduced because of use in lower temperatures?
Yes.

What is the cold weather performance of this product?
After the initial cure, outside temperatures do not affect product performance.

Does the product become brittle when outdoor temperatures reach less than -20°C?
No.

Will cured Polecrete® Stabilizer shrink when the temperature drops, affecting its bond to the pole and surrounding soil, potentially opening gaps/cracks for moisture?
No.

Will Polecrete® Stabilizer’s properties change significantly from 40°C to -50°C.?
In rigid form, no. In liquid form, yes. For best results, the foam kit should be kept at 70°F or above until use.

What is the setting/curing time until the product is 100% cured?
15 minutes at 70°F.

Is the curing time related to outdoor temperature?
Yes, colder outdoor temperatures can slow curing time.

Does humidity affect curing time? If so, how?
No.

How susceptible is the cured product to the effects of freezing/thawing?
Freezing and thawing has no effect on the cured foam.

Does the presence of road salts or other transportation contaminants affect Polecrete® Stabilizer?
No.

Health/Safety

Is an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) available for this product?
Yes, both a Technical Data Sheet and a Safety Data sheet are available for download on this webpage under the “Resource Downloads” section.

What are the recommended PPE to be worn when using the product?
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)) protective eyewear and chemical resistant gloves. (Gloves are provided in each kit.)

Are there any chemical byproducts/vapors produced when the foam is mixed and installed?
No, Polecrete® Stabilizer releases CO2 when mixed.

Are there specific procedures to follow when handling this product?
Yes, instructions are included with each kit. Demonstration videos are available for viewing on this webpage. BMK personnel are also available to provide an in person demo at no charge.

Is there any safety requirement to remove the foam?
Yes, do not burn the cured foam.

Is this flammable product? How will it stand up to grassfires? Lightning strikes/grounding?
Please review the Technical Data Sheet and Safety Data sheet available for download on this webpage under the “Resource Downloads” section.

Are there any health risks if transported inside the cab of a vehicle? If so, what are they?
No.

Environmental

What environmental standards does the product meet?
Polecrete® Stabilizer is classified as non-hazardous by the US EPA and DOT, and has zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and Global Warming Potential (GWP).

Are any environmental permits required to use this product?
No.

Can this product be safely used in bodies of water such as sloughs or wetlands (contained within a culvert for example)?
While closed cell urethanes typically float in water, Polecrete® Stabilizer has been used successfully in marshy environment. Once set, the foam’s performance compared to concrete and other tamping/holding materials is typically much better.

Is there any danger to wildlife, plants or water species before the product is cured? After it’s cured?
Yes, in liquid form, Polecrete® Stabilizer should not be consumed. After the foam has cured, it is not digestible and does not break down.

Is there any restriction on using this product in pastureland or on in any animal sensitive area?
No.

Is there any property that may attract animals (such as sodium)?
No.

What is the disposal procedure for the cured product when it needs to be removed? Is it landfill acceptable?
Yes, cured urethane is a legally acceptable landfill.

Can the cured foundation be left in place should a pole failure occur?
Yes. But typically when a pole is removed from the ground, the urethane will come out of the ground with it, which is a testament to the holding strength of Polecrete® Stabilizer.

What is the disposal procedure for the A and B component containers? Are they readily accepted in landfills?
Yes, empty plastic containers are legal landfill.

Chemical

What are the chemical properties of the foam, and have there been any studies on the impacts to the longevity of wooden poles?
Rigid, properly mixed urethane foam is totally inert. Liquid urethane seals the pores of a wooden pole, which not only preserves the pole but also keeps the treated wood preservatives from leaching into the soil.

Mechanical

What are the loading limits for a typical wooden pole installation?
80 PSI is the limit.

Will the foam permanently deform once exposed to sustained loading?
Yes, over and above the limit of 80 PSI.

Operation/Maintenance Concerns

Is there a maximum pole setting depth? What is the recommend depth of excavation to install the foam?
Standard electric utility constraints should be followed (i.e. depth setting = 10% of pole length + 2 feet).

Is there recommended equation between a utility pole’s class/length and the hole’s size/depth?
Yes. Standard electric utility constraints should be followed.

If the top 2 feet of the hole are backfilled with natural soil, should the pole be buried deeper?
No. Standard electric utility constraints should be followed (i.e. depth setting = 10% of pole length + 2 feet). The foam, after it expands and cures, will occupy the excavation space, which will reduce or eliminate the amount of soil to be used as backfill.

Will the foam shrink over time?
No.

New poles will shrink. What is the impact of this on Polecrete® Stabilizer’s performance?
None.

If the pole is damaged (e.g. lighting strike), how do we remove the pole and clean the foam from the foundation?
Place the auger next to pole and auger down greater than half way the buried length. Then pull the pole into the augured slot.

What is the life expectation of Polecrete® Stabilizer foam?
We do not have a definitive answer, but suspect it is eternal. BMK Corporation has been in existence 27 years, and we know the foam lasts that long.

Are there any UV inhibitors in this product?
No

Do the bonding properties of Polecrete® Stabilizer change depending upon the pole material types (e.g. composite, concrete, steel)?
Polecrete® Stabilize has the same bonding properties no matter what material is used for the utility pole.

Does Polecrete® Stabilize have any impact on underground primary, ground wires, etc?
No.

Moisture Concerns

If the bottom of the pole might be left under water after installation (i.e. can’t pump water out 100%), are there other recommendations for installation?
Yes, use crushed limestone to dissipate the water, or fill with limestone up to the water level. Then fill with Polecrete® Stabilizer.

A new wooden pole will likely experience shrinkage after installation. Will the foam trap water in between foam and pole?
No. The foam forms a permanent bond directly to the pole, keeping water out, and also typically preventing shrinkage.

After years of service under the effect of wind and conductor loading, will a gap appear between pole and foam? If so, can water get trapped in the gap and create an accelerate decay environment?
No. The foam forms a permanent bond directly to the pole, keeping water out.

A pole’s surface and the excavation may be moist when it is removed from the ground. Will this decrease the foam’s ability to encase the pole firmly?
No, the condition of the soil or pole does not affect the bonding of the foam to the pole.