What is a Communication Tower Audit?
Tower audits are inspections performed by professional companies who inspect, document and recommend maintenance actions to keep your tower and equipment in tip-top working condition. Scheduling an annual audit is recommended. An immediate or emergency inspection should be performed when any visual damage is noticed, especially after a storm or other event that affected the stability and safety of the tower.
Audits involve ground inspection as well as above-ground inspections. All parts of a tower inspection are usually accompanied by photographs and diagrams. Although an audit may only take one day onsite by a tower inspector, the finalized report and recommendations can take many additional days.
Tower Components Inspected
Each professional tower inspection and tower audit company will have a unique list and protocol used to perform their audit. But here are a few of the core components included in most tower audits:
Obstruction Lighting & Marking Audit
- Condition and Operability of obstruction light bulbs and fixtures
- Condition of conduit and cable of the electrical systems
- Cleaning of junction boxes and light fixtures
- Comparison of appropriate color brightness for aviation orang and white paints (ensure fading paint is still within acceptable range)
- Assessment of paint used in the efforts of corrosion control
- Tower foundation
- Tower members
- Guy anchors
- Guy cables
- Tower verticality and twist
Antenna Systems Audit
- Check for visible arcing on any antenna system components (Energized Tower only).
- Antenna panels
- Antenna components and halyard cables
- General corrosion of ground points
- Missing bolts
- Broken ground leads
- Clamps installed to the ground lead
- Platform corrosion
- Ladder and ladder brace corrosion
- Handrails and safety chains condition
Audits and the recommended maintenance is also a good time to schedule tower professionals to perform other services at the same time – such as guy wire tensioning, lighting system upgrades, grounding system improvements and resurfacing/painting.
Better to Know!
A comprehensive tower audit is worth the expense to know exactly what areas of your tower are in need of maintenance. Benjamin Franklin made famous the saying “A stitch in time saves nine.” The same holds true for tower maintenance – a bolt in time saves nine! Reach out to a qualified tower inspection and audit company to schedule your next tower audit.