Is it okay to get wooden shipping pallets wet?

If you store your business’s wooden shipping pallets outside, you might be wondering if it’s okay for them to get wet. Get the answer and extra advice here.

Wooden shipping pallets are a cornerstone of global logistics. This might seem dramatic, but these simple devices are the most common platform for supporting and stabilizing bulk shipments for goods of all types.

If you work with wooden pallets, you know you have to store them when they’re not in use. If you have limited warehouse space, you might have to leave them outside. Of course, you should use a cover to protect the pallets from the elements. However, it’s still quite possible that moisture will make its way to your pallet supply. But is it okay to get wooden shipping pallets wet?

Below, we answer this question and provide more helpful information on storing and recovering your pallet supply.

The Impact of Moisture on Wooden Pallets

As you already know, wood and water have a complicated relationship. When wooden pallets absorb moisture, they can become softer and get put at risk of decay. Wet wooden pallets may also become heavier and promote mold and mildew growth, which can weaken the wood over time. Furthermore, prolonged exposure to moisture can cause the wood to warp or swell, rendering the pallets unusable. These factors can potentially make the pallets unsafe for handling and transportation.

The Nuance

By now, you might be thinking that it is not okay to get wooden shipping pallets wet. Though you certainly want to avoid excessive moisture, the truth is that a little bit of water won’t do much harm. Pallets are designed to be durable under a lot of stress and a variety of weather conditions. Therefore, as long as you do your best to protect your pallets from the elements, you don’t have too much to worry about.

Preventative Measures

So how do you protect your pallets from the elements? Storing pallets in a dry, covered area is the simplest and most effective way to prevent them from getting wet. Using pallet covers or tarps can offer additional protection for pallets stored outdoors. If possible, choose elevated storage to avoid contact with wet ground. You can also treat your pallets with water-resistant coatings or buy pretreated ones.

What To Do if Your Pallets Do Get Wet

Despite your best efforts, there may be instances when your wooden pallets do get wet. When this occurs, simply move the affected pallets to a dry, covered space and let them dry completely before use. Placing them in a well-ventilated area can expedite this process.

Additionally, check for any signs of mold damage on wooden pallets. Look for warping as well. If you notice any of these problems, it may be best to remove and replace the affected pallets to maintain safety standards. While you shouldn’t leave your wooden pallets exposed to the elements, these durable transportation devices can handle a bit of moisture. Simply be smart about storage and know the difference between a pallet you can recover and one that needs to go. If you do these things, you can keep your operations running smoothly with durable wooden pallets.

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