Much like the preventative health care visits you make to your family physician or dentist, your flag display requires routine “health checks” to ensure that it is always in top flag-flying condition. At a minimum, a quarterly flag display “check-up” will help you to identify and correct any emerging issues. With harsh winter weather already upon us, now is the perfect time to evaluate the condition of your flag display. Doing so is as easy as 1-2-3:
1. Examine your flagpole and evaluate whether any maintenance or cleaning is needed.
Because flagpoles are built from extremely durable materials such as aluminum, fiberglass and steel, repairs are rarely needed. It is still best to check your flagpole’s condition whenever you replace your flag or pole accessories. Should you discover that your flagpole is leaning or damaged in any way, cordon off the area around the flagpole and avoid close proximity to the flagpole until it can be removed, stabilized or replaced. If you need to purchase a new flagpole, call 800-628-3524, and one of our Customer Care Professionals can help you choose the best flagpole for your environment.
Flagpole cleaning varies based on the composition of your flagpole:
- Most aluminum flagpoles can be cleaned with mild soap and warm water. Simply attach a soapy sponge to the halyard and clean the pole by raising and lowering the halyard with the sponge attached.
- Aluminum flagpoles with anodized finishes, such as clear, bronze or black, do not require cleaning. The anodized color serves as a protective coating, and cleaning the surface can actually cause damage to the flagpole while also voiding its warranty.
- Fiberglass flagpoles can be cleaned with a mild bathroom cleaner and water. As needed, flagpole cleaning kits are available for order from Carrot-Top.
2. Examine your flagpole accessories and evaluate if any repairs or replacements are needed.
Inspect your flagpole’s halyard (the rope that moves the flag up and down the pole), the snap hooks that secure the flag to the halyard and any snap hook covers.
First, begin your flagpole accessory inspection with your flagpole’s halyard. Untie the halyard from the flagpole’s cleat and then lower and raise the flag while closely inspecting the condition of the entire halyard. Look for fraying, picks and weak spots on the halyard. Should the halyard be compromised in any way, it is recommended that you replace the halyard as soon as possible.
As long as the halyard is in place (and not broken or pulled loose from the pulley at the top of the flagpole), you can replace the halyard without a bucket truck. To do so, simply tape the end of the new halyard to an end of the old halyard and pull it up the flagpole and through the truck’s pulley. Avoid overlapping the two halyard ends or using an excessive amount of tape. The goal is to glide the taped rope smoothly through the pulley so you can pull the new halyard into place and then remove the old halyard.
If your flagpole’s halyard is either missing or broken, call Carrot-Top’s Customer Care Center at 800-628-3524 and our Customer Care Professionals will share the next steps for either repairing or replacing the halyard. In this instance, a bucket truck may be necessary to guide the new halyard through the pulley at the top of the flagpole.
Second, while your flag is lowered, inspect your flagpole’s snap hooks and any snap hook covers. Check to see if the snap hooks close completely. If not, or if their springs are compromised in any way, replace the snap hooks and the snap hook covers. Also, if the snap hooks regularly hit your flagpole and produce a constant clanging noise, consider replacing your existing snap hooks with rubber-coated snap hooks.
Finally, should any flagpole accessories require replacement, it is helpful to have the following flagpole dimensions on hand when ordering accessories: your flagpole above-ground height, flagpole top diameter and flagpole base diameter. If any of these dimensions are unknown, a Carrot-Top Customer Care Professional can offer guidance on how to easily take these measurements.
3. Examine the present condition of your flag and either clean or replace it as needed.
Are your flag colors vibrant, and is your flag free of spots, soil, fraying and tears? If you discover any spots or soil on your flag, spot clean it with mild soap and water. Never dry clean your flag.
In general, a flag that is flown every day has a service life of about six months, depending on local weather conditions and the type of fabric used to make the flag. Nylon and polyester flags are recommended for outdoor use. Carrot-Top’s Beacon® Nylon flags and Patriarch® Polyester flags are guaranteed for six months. Cotton flags are recommended solely for indoor display or parade use only since their colors can bleed when they become wet.
Replace your flag if it is frayed, faded or overly soiled beyond what spot cleaning can readily remove.
By following these three easy steps as part of your flag display’s winter “check-up,” you will ensure that your display remains a colorful, safe and welcoming beacon of patriotism and civic pride despite the seasonal presence of Old Man Winter.
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