How To Install Bollards

How To Install Bollards

Mar 27, 2023

After spending some time choosing and finding the right places your bollards, there is only one thing left to do: installation.  

There is a lot that goes into installing bollards, so it’s important to ensure you’re fully prepared. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll be detailing every aspect of bollard installation to make sure you’re on the right track. 


Why you should install bollards

The main purpose of a bollard is to help prevent any accidents between vehicles and pedestrians. By installing a bollard, you are attempting to keep an area safe. 

Here are a few other reasons why you should install a bollard:

  • Traffic control

  • Bollards are an effective way in which to prevent drivers from entering an area. Whether you’re marking pathways, drop off and pick up zones or creating emergency routes, bollards are useful for handling traffic in particularly congested areas. 

  • Create security barriers

  • Heavy-duty concrete and steel bollards are perfect for protecting property and keeping the public safe. If your area or vehicle is in need of security, bollards can be put in place to prevent accidents from happening. Anti-ram bollards are also a strong and durable alternative which prevents vehicles from going any further. 

  • Prevent unauthorized parking

  • Parking bollards are great for defining areas where parking is not allowed and keeping areas safer for pedestrians. This is especially important during rush hours or in particularly congested areas where drivers have a tendency to park wherever they want, regardless of whether or not it is permitted.

  • For decoration

  • Besides traffic control and security, bollards can also be placed to add character and visual appeal to an area. Bollards come in a variety of designs that combine form and function, meaning you won’t have to compromise on safety or aesthetics.

    Things to consider before installing

    Once you’ve picked your bollard, there are a few things you must do before you can begin to installation. 

  • Bollard inspection 

  • Conduct an inspection to ensure that they match the specifications of what you ordered. While inspecting your bollards, be sure to check for any defects on the surface. This applies to all bollard types of bollards, whether you're dealing with removable bollards, fixed bollards, or decorative bollards.

  • Local regulations 

  • You must make sure that you have permission to place your bollards, as local laws could, in some instances, limit your options. Seek counsel from the UK Department for Transport, or your local equivalent, regarding bollard installation requirements. This is good practice, as an incorrect or illegal installation could result in your bollards being removed.

  • Site plans

  • Refer to your installation site plans. These should contain key information on hazards such as gas lines, wiring, and pipes - things you must be aware of to avoid any disruptions. This will help you figure out the best spacing and installation methods.

  • Measurements & spacing 

  • Bollards typically come in three different heights: 20cm, 50cm and 90cm. Depending on the function of your bollard, you should make sure that your bollards are clearly visible to both drivers and pedestrians. 

    You should also be looking into the right kind of spacing for your bollards. If you’re not looking to restrict public access, bollard spacing should allow wheelchair users to move between them easily. 

    The step-by-step guide to bollard installation

    Before you begin the bollard installation process, please do the following:

    • Check for hazards
    • Clean the site
    • Drill holes for bollard bolts
    • Mix a concrete base

    Please note that the bollard installation process may require you to use heavy-duty construction equipment. If you don't have the requisite equipment, let a professional handle the job for you.

    How to install fixed bollards

    Fixed bollards are generally easier to install than removable bollards. This is because fixed bollards don't need gravel or a rebel cage. Before you get started with the installation process, though, be sure to check site plans to see where you can place your bollards and if there are any hazards in that area such as underground wiring or power cables.

    Steps for installing fixed bollards:

    1. Penetrate the surface and make a cube-shaped hole in line with the bollard’s dimensions.
    2. Place the bollard base into a concrete mix. Hold it in place to ensure the bollard stands upright.
    3. Fill the cube hole with concrete until it’s level with the surface.
    4. Use a soft cloth and water to rinse off any excess concrete. Avoiding scratching the surface of the bollard while doing this.

    How to install removable bollards

    Installing a removable bollard may require slightly more effort than a fixed one. Always ensure that the bollard remains in its packaging until you're fully ready to begin installing it.

    Steps for installing removable bollards:

    1. Use a high-powered auger to drill holes at the installation points.
    2. Make a hole at least 15 centimetres wider than the bollard’s diameter.
    3. Use a vacuum to clean off any debris or water.
    4. Put a rebar cage and gravel on the installation site. It should be below the bollard to strengthen the placement and control moisture.
    5. Place the removable bollard’s ground sleeve in the ground. Keep it still while you fill up the hole.

    How to install collapsable bollards

    Collapsable bollards require the utmost care when installing, as they are designed specifically to prevent vehicle damage.

    Steps for installing collapsable bollards:

    1. Ensure the depth control on your hammer drill is set to the bollard installation specifications in the manufacturer’s manual.
    2. Use the mounting instructions to determine the diameter and depth of the bollard installation holes.
    3. Drill the holes and remove any debris, as needed.
    4. Put a drop-in insert into each hole.
    5. Insert a setting tool into each hole and use a hammer to secure each one.
    6. Place the fold-down base over the holes and secure it with washers and bolts.
    7. Connect the padlock to the bollard in a standing position.
    8. Test the collapsible bollard by manually raising and lowering it or using a test vehicle.

    How to install bollards in asphalt

    If you intend to install bollards into asphalt, you must be cautious as this process can be tricky due to the heat sensitivty and how fast it takes to harden.

    Different types of ashpalt require different approaches:

    • Hot ashpalt: This surface is much harder and is often used for car parks, driveways and racing tracks thanks to its durablilty. It can fight against extreme weather and, thanks to its heat absorption, can clear pathways during winter much faster. However, this type of asphalt hardens quickly after being poured, so you must be prepared when placing bollards. 
    • Warm asphalt: This type of asphalt has a lower temperature than the hot mixture, ranging between 20°C to 40°C. Warm asphalt is a more sustainable mixture and can be used for roads just as easily as the hot mixture. 
    • Cold asphalt: If the road has any damage or potholes, a cold mixture can be useful to fill in the gaps. 

    Bollards can easily fall down during the installation of this mixture. To avoid your bollards from falling and causing a hazard, follow these simple steps:

    1. Install a concrete base using cement.
    2. Allow for space between your anchor casting and concrete base.
    3. Pour the concrete as required.
    4. Position the bollard above the anchor casting.
    5. Put a pole through the base.
    6. Leave five to seven centimetres of space for the asphalt.

    Installing bollards in existing concrete

    If your area already has a concrete surface, there are still ways you can install a bollard.  Before installation, you may need to use the site plans to figure out how deep you’ll have to dig into the existing concrete. This requires you to also use manufacturer guidelines and bollard regulations.

    Be sure to check for underground hazards such as wiring and pipes as well.

    Steps for installing into existing concrete:

    1. Clean the installation site and get rid of any debris.
    2. Use a core drill to make a hole in the concrete surface. The diameter should allow for five extra centimetres on each side of the bollard base.
    3. Remove water and debris using a vacuum.
    4. Use an auger or a post-hole digger to dig a hole.
    5. Mix and pour concrete.
    6. Pour concrete into the bollard until it fills up completely.
    7. After the installation of your cement dome, clean the bollard.
    8. Allow the concrete to cure for two to three days before resuming work in that area.
    9. After the concrete has cured, inspect the site to see if there's any damage or scratches on the bollard.

    Setting up bollard lights

    Bollard lights come in solar-powered and wired variations. The Self Righting Night Owl bollard, for example, is a great low-energy absorption highway sign that illuminates but doesn’t distract drivers. The practices for the installation of both solar-powered and wired variations are the same, however, most professionals advise against setting them up in a straight line, as this could resemble an aeroplane runway.

    Consider opting for a zig-zag pattern. This will give a unique touch and can even provide more light to a larger area.

    Uneven surfaces

    Bollards positioned at an angle have a structural disadvantage, especially surface-mounted ones. An uneven surface presents several problems but there are ways in which we can combat this. The solution is usually cutting and pouring a new slab, modifying the higher side, and trimming where necessary.

    In this regard, enlisting the services of a professional may be a better approach, as this job requires very specific expertise.

    Bollard maintenance

    Once you've installed your bollards, your work is far from over. In order to keep them in the best working condition, they need to be regularly maintained. This is particularly the case for removable bollards or bollards with electrical components.

    It's important to perform regular checkups on your bollards to identify and prevent damage. Ruptures and damage usually occur due to rust and other environmental issues. To make things easier, you can request the help of a professional in the area to do annual maintenance.

    Bollard installation practices vary according to the landscape and type of installation, so before you decide to DIY a bollard installation, think long and hard about it. Consider whether you have the right tools and materials. 

    If you don't have sufficient experience in this area, let a local installer handle it for you.


    Does it take a long time to install bollards?

    Like most things related to bollard installation, the installation time depends on the type of bollard. Concrete bollards generally have the longest installation time, as the concrete mix has to cure. Electrical bollards and removable bollards also take a substantial amount of time, due to the complexity of installing them.

    How secure is a bollard?

    In general, bollards are very secure, as their main purposes is to prevent and resist against accidents and access. However, security levels can vary from bollard to bollard. Different types of bollards offer different levels of impact resistance, so it may come down to what you want to use a bollard for.

    For example, using a bollard that's made of galvanised steel and concrete can be good for preventing ram-raiding. Whereas, a plastic or fold-down bollard may not provide the same amount of impact resistance.

    How deep should bollards be?

    The depth to which you bury a bollard will depend on engineering requirements and the desired mounting method. For instance, fixed bollards use in-ground mounting and will typically require 60 to 120 centimetres of concrete embedment unlike removable bollards.

    If you're doing the installation and you're unsure, then be sure to consult an installation expert beforehand.

    How much does it cost to install bollards?

    The cost of installing bollards varies according to a number of factors. These include:

    • The type of bollard you want to install
    • The materials
    • How many bollards you need to install 

    On average, the labour costs for installing a single bollard start at around £60. This estimation would be for standard parking bollards.

    How are concrete bollards secured to the floor?

    Concrete bollards need to be surface mounted. Surface mounting uses a combination of concrete anchors and bolts.

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