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FAQ’s – Industrial Rope Access

Frequently Asked Questions – Industrial Rope Access


How often should our industrial chimneys and smokestacks get inspections?

ASCE Chimney & Stack Inspection Guidelines call for visual or binocular inspections every six to twelve months. Full interior and exterior inspections should be performed on industrial chimneys every two years. The age design and operating conditions of any particular structure may dictate different inspection frequencies.


Do metal stacks need to be inspected as well?

Yes, metal smokestacks should be inspected just like industrial chimneys. Metal stacks experience wear from both operational and environmental conditions. Chemical attack can cause corrosion and weaken the structure and erosion can occur from particle matter.  Thermal cycling, vibration and wind loading can also cause deterioration over time.


If a problem is found in our chimney or smokestack during the inspection, can you address the problem immediately?

Yes, the Industrial Access Team comes prepared to address the majority of urgent issues commonly found during the chimney/stack inspection.  With the  approval of our customers, we can often implement repair measures during the same mobilization to the site.


How long does it take to get the written inspection report?

Our detailed written reports are produced by our engineering staff and are sent to the plant contact. The normal time for delivery of the complete written report is 30 days after completion of field activities.


Can you do exterior work on a stack while the stack is running?

Yes, many repairs on the exterior of industrial chimneys and smokestacks can be repaired during normal plant operating conditions. However, there are some repairs that require the stack to be inactive.  As with all of our work, safety is always our first consideration.


Is the build up inside the stack or chimney harmful to the environment when cleaned?

During the cleaning of stack of chimney interiors, we frequently find deposits of ash, soot or similar by-products of combustion or production. While most of this material is inert and poses little to no risk, we implement containment and removal processes to assure safe handling and proper disposal of these materials.


Can you inspect our industrial chimney stack in one day?

As you might expect, the time required to inspect a chimney or stack will vary greatly with the size, complexity and accessibility of the structure.  A smaller, single-wall steel stack with ladder access to the top will be inspected in less time than a large utility plant chimney with an independent, free-standing liner or liners.  Since each structure is different, call us with a general description of your chimney or stack.  We’ll be glad to discuss  the typical time needed for an inspection.


Why is chimney and smokestack monitoring so important?

Industrial chimney and smokestack monitoring is important for EPA compliance, local regulatory & air permit requirements, and for promoting combustion efficiency.


What is Rope Access?

Rope Access is defined as a set of techniques in which ropes and specialized hardware are used to provide the primary means of support for workers to access and complete work at height. This is accomplished using a two-rope system. The main rope supports the worker and the safety, or back-up, rope provides fall protection.


What are the benefits of Rope Access?

Versatile Accessibility: Industrial Access is able to develop access & work plans for structures, industrial concrete chimneys, steel smokestacks, ductwork, bridges or dams utilizing less manpower, time, scaffolding and heavy machinery than traditional access methods.

Cost Effective: By reducing material and labor costs, we save client time and money. The ongoing rental fees and repetitive labor tasks required to erect, move and remove scaffolding are eliminated.

Fast: Rope Access allows us the ability to gain access to any part of your building using minimal time, space, and equipment. This keeps overall job time down, contributing to cost efficiency.

Minimal environmental impact: Our specialized ropes, techniques, and equipment allow Industrial Access to finish your chimney job with minimal environmental impact. We have developed specialized techniques for the removal, containment and disposal of waste materials that meet all environmental guidelines as well as good construction practices. We keep noise, exhaust fumes, and heavy machinery to a minimum to keep clients and their neighbors going about their day.


What are some common Rope Access applications?

• Interior & Exterior Chimney Climbing Inspections

• Building and Chimney Repairs

• Smokestack & Chimney Surface Cleaning and Sealing

• Rust Removal & Painting on Stacks, Tanks and Silos

• Bridge & Dam Service

• Wind Turbine Service

• High Access Brick Work on Industrial Chimneys

• Photography & Video In Hard To Reach Places Such as Industrial Chimneys and Smokestacks

• Marine Stack Service

• General Steeplejack Services

Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of using Rope Access for industrial maintenance & repairs: 877-697-9337 | 770-255-1313 – info@industrialaccess.com

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