How To Properly Store And Protect Your Wooden Pallets When Not In Use

Posted on: 27 April 2018

Timber pallets are tremendously versatile and used in an enormous variety of industries, but whether your pallets are used to carry bottled water or bespoke furniture, you need to keep them in good condition to avoid dangerous accidents and unnecessary expense. While they are enormously durable, and treated with a wide variety of chemicals that prevent mould and termite damage, timber pallets are not invulnerable, and a pallet weakened by unnecessary wear and tear can become a hazardous liability.

Obviously, the most important way to prevent pallet breakage and decay is to source your pallets from a reputable supplier with high construction standard, but storing your pallets properly is almost as important. To extend the working life of your wooden pallets as much as possible, keep the following storage guidelines in mind.

Use sheltered locations wherever possible

The chemical treatments used to prevent pallets from rotting are formidable, but not invulnerable, and routine exposure to intense sunlight and rain will cause them to degrade more quickly. You should therefore store your pallets in a dry, sheltered location wherever practical.

Inside a warehouse or other storage building is ideal, but if space constraints force you to store some or all of your pallets outside, consider covering them with a robust tarpaulin or other waterproof enclosure. If your pallets are new, keeping them in the plastic wrapping them are delivered in until they are needed is also a good idea. 

Don't stack your pallets too high

Pallets should always be stored horizontally, as a stack of pallets stored on their ends are in constant danger of tipping over and causing serious injury. However, stacks of horizontal pallets should not be too high. Even a small pallet can weight 30lbs or more, and an overly-tall stack of pallets can put tremendous strain on the pallets at the bottom from all that accumulated weight, causing crushing damage that can severely weaken them. Most industry standards stipulate that pallets should not be stacked high than six feet high.

Avoid fire hazards

As you can imagine, a stack of timber pallets can pose an immense fire hazard if they are exposed to sourced of flame, and the area you stack your pallets in should be kept free of any and all potential fire hazards at all times. If you store your pallets outdoors, keeping them a safe distance away from any nearby buildings is vitally important. Pallets stored indoors should only be stored in buildings fitted with a functioning sprinkler system.

Choosing heat-treated pallets is another good way to minimise fire hazards, as these pallets have a much higher ignition point than regular pallets, and tend to burn more slowly if they do catch fire.