Well, Christmas is over, Hanukkah is done. The holidays are past and now the planning has begun. Now is the time to plan ahead and nip any impending problems in the bud.
For example, those pulley ropes don’t last forever. Order them now and change them so that you don’t end up with a catastrophic scenario after your season has begun. You can usually replace the rope quite easily but what rope you choose to replace what is currently on your purple martin system is CRUCIAL.
Under NO circumstances should you use polypropylene rope, it is yellow in color and often used in marine applications. It is sometimes referred to as nylon rope or boat rope. Do not use it as it will degrade in the sunlight with UV rays and break. Natural fiber ropes are also a poor choice as all natural fibers will decompose by their nature. Make sure you purchase real polyester rope or nylon rope. They even make ropes that are a combination of the two. They resist UV rays and are the best choices for outdoor use. We recommend bringing them out of the weather to get them to last longer- up to 10-12 years. Leaving them outside year round cuts their life expectancy to 5-8 years. Polyester rope is the best choice and easy to find.
Real nylon rope is harder to find. Look for solid, braided 100% nylon. It is white in color and is more elastic than polyester, so may require tightening due to stretching.
With any rope, look for wear and fraying. Small tufts are normal. These tufts look like small feathers or hair sticking out of the rope. If your rope becomes stiff and hard or begins to unbraid, then you should replace the rope. Whether you replace only the rope or the pulleys also, is up to you. Just make sure you oil with 3-1 oil, not WD-40. I was not aware that WD-40 is not really an oil but a water dispersant and will not adequately protect your pulley’s. (Thanks Diane!)