Getting Houston Back on Track After Harvey

September 5, 2017

Update: UTComp is committed to helping businesses get back on track after natural disasters strike by offering one-week turnaround for UltraAnalytix® data reports to determine if structural damage has occurred to FRP assets (normal guarantee is three weeks). For more information, call us at 519-620-0772 or email Jo Anne at

Sept. 5, 2017

The UTComp team has been devastated watching the images and hearing the stories coming out of Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Many of our friends and colleagues have been personally and professionally impacted by the recent flooding.  At the same time, we have every confidence that Texas will come through this and be better than ever.

Now the process of recovery starts – getting back to home life and getting businesses back in operation.  From my experience as a plant and facilities engineer, I know how important it is to get your operations back up safely and in good time.

With the amount of flooding that has taken place – amazingly, the volume of rain that fell was equivalent to one of the Great Lakes – I am sure there are many questions about possible damage to industrial assets that must be answered before restarting.  Has the flooding caused damage to storage tanks, reactors or vessels?  Has damage occurred because of movement?  How do you determine if equipment can be restarted?

For steel equipment and machinery, the inspection and start-up protocols are very well understood and there are a lot of people with the skills to complete that work.

Inspection and start-up protocols for Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) equipment

For FRP equipment, many of the same protocols should be followed as for steel – equipment should be inspected for signs of damage prior to resuming operations. Start with an external visual inspection to look for any damage. The key areas for an external visual inspection are:

  • Tanks and vessels: hold-down anchors and lugs, nozzle flanges, structural attachments to the tank, and the tank bottom if flotation might have occurred
  • Piping: flanges, spools at supports and spools at joints
  • Ducting: duct at supports, FRP expansion joints, duct at joints

During a visual inspection, you are looking for obvious signs of cracking, shifting, movement, etc. Where there is concern, UTComp’s UltraAnalytix® inspection system is a reliable non-destructive and non-intrusive method to determine whether structural damage has occurred to FRP assets. For example, if the tank or piping sections were submerged at all, there may be damage from the water pressure – and this can only be detected by UltraAnalytix®.

There are several inspectors in the Houston area who have been trained in the systematic inspections recommended and use UltraAnalytix®.  Our engineers are always ready to assist with evaluations and data analysis, and to help with remediation and repair of any damage to get customers back on their feet as quickly as possible.

To help speed recovery efforts, we’re also offering customers in affected areas a one-week turnaround for UltraAnalytix® data reports (normal guarantee is three weeks), our way of helping Houston get back to business again. For more information, call us at 519-620-0772 or email Jo Anne Watton at

– Geoff Clarkson, President and CEO of UTComp