• Hollie Harrison

4 Reasons You Should Do a Structural Inspection

First, what is a Structural Inspection?

I’m glad you asked.


A structural inspection is where Elrod Engineering and our Certified Welding Inspection Partners review the existing pylon to see whether it is structurally sound (Green Light), needs repairs (Yellow Light), or the sign needs to be condemned (Red Light).

Here are four reasons you or your client may be interested in having this done for your next project:


1. Reuse an Existing Sign

We love a good retrofit, don’t get me wrong. What we don’t love is putting a brand-new cabinet on an old pole that may or may not fail within the next year. Sending out a CWI to check the welds on an existing pole, running an analysis, and overall inspecting this pylon is just a confirmation to you and your client that this sign will last.

In an Initial Inspection, we like to look at the base pole and foundation, this photo shows the area around the base of the pole excavated to the top of the foundation. You will be able to see if water is setting next to the pole, rust build-up, and add a protective paint layer for protection.

2. Maintenance

We all need a little TLC every now and then. It helps get us through those rough patches and enjoy the sunshine even more. Our signs need that same TLC also. We want to make sure they are in great shape for that storm with a high wind coming next week, next month, or maybe next year. The sign and client will thank you once that storm is over, and it is still standing strong.

3. After the Storm/Hurricane/Tornado

If the sign structure isn't part of a regular inspection/maintenance program, after a major storm is an opportune time to have it inspected. The strong winds, debris flying, ground sinking, or heavy rust damage can alter the structural integrity of the sign. We want to make sure you don’t have to worry about picking up the pieces to your sign after the next storm.

4. Safety Matters

If those three reasons above don’t spark your interest, safety should. No one wants a sign to fall in the parking lot, car, or building. Therefore, making sure your sign is ‘healthy’ and strong is important to your company and your clients.

5. Prolong the life of the Sign

A freestanding sign can represent a significant capital expenditure, and an inspection and maintenance program can significantly extend the operating life of a sign structure for your clients, potentially reducing their long term capital needs for signage.

This photo depicts the splice and gussets; we remove the paint and test the weld (MT and VT) using the CWI equipment. You are also able to see the rain cap conditions and if the gusset welds are correct.

Sign Structural Inspections is the new maintenance program for your next client.


A 5–15-year follow-up to check welds, inside cabinets, and overall analysis of the structure is the TLC your sign needs.


Reach out to us today to ask questions, see about pricing, or schedule your first inspection. We can schedule an inspection all over the United States, so we’ve got you covered from the ground up!



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