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3 Tricks For Making Survey Pins More Visible Permanently

by Sara Cook

Land surveying is a unique skill that requires the surveyor to find the work of their predecessor and test the current measurements against those markings. Of course, it can be almost impossible to find these pins and other markers left behind during the last land survey because they're often covered over by dirt and leaves or grown deep into a tree's new bark. Spray paint and colorful flags work for a few months or years, but eventually they go away as well. Make sure the survey pins being installed now are easy to find 10, 25, and 50 years from now with these tricks.

Use a Lot of Metal

It's common practice, and required in most states, that the surveyor bury large pieces of rebar in the ground at the corners so they can be verified later with a metal detector if all surface markers are gone. Paying your surveyor a little extra to install these around the perimeter in a few more areas, such as anywhere there's an unusual change in the shape of the property boundary, allows you to zip along with a metal detector any time you need to verify your boundary. You can also bury pieces of rebar yourself along the boundary line, but make sure you don't disturb other markers in the process.

Attach It to a Tree

The US Forest Service primarily marks private property boundaries with metal marker tags loosely hammered into trees on large spikes that allow the tree to grow without swallowing the nail or sign. Your surveyor can adapt this method to his or her own uses by nailing capped marker pins or nails with plastic caps into a large tree a few inches above the ground. Brightly colored caps are easy to spot against any kind of dark bark, and careful nailing of the marker or nail gives the tree multiple inches of stake to surround before getting to the visible part of the marker. It will take multiple decades for a marker like this to disappear from view.

Protect High Pins

Setting pins higher above the surface of the soil makes them visible and unlikely to be covered by dirt and debris. However, they also pose a safety hazard by tripping those strolling around the property or damaging lawnmower blades. Try installing secondary decorative monuments that are taller than the pin and sitting right next to them. A concrete statue is going to remind you not to mow or trip over a raised marker, and it's also a good reminder of where your property boundaries lie.

For more information, contact companies like Bush Roed & Hitchings Inc.