Wooden pallets are widely used for the transportation of goods all over the world, mainly due to their low cost. However, one thing many stakeholders overlook is wood’s tendency to absorb the humidity of the air that surrounds it. Moisture in wooden pallets can cause them to become misshapen and weak, even rotting away entirely.
It doesn’t matter how well-treated the wood is; it is a natural material, and it will be affected by moisture. Many solutions have been presented to this problem, with plastic pallets becoming increasingly popular as more specialists realize the advantages that they can offer. Here’s what you need to know about how moisture impacts wooden pallets.
Mold, Bacteria, and Fungi that Fester on Wood Pallets
With thousands of possible fungi that can land on a wood surface, wood pallets are constantly at risk for infrastructure degradation. Certain kinds of fungi can demolish structural polymers that make wood the unique material it is. The trouble with wood pallets is their porous nature, meaning it absorbs everything that it encounters. Mold spores can populate rather quickly on wet surfaces, especially under the right temperature conditions.
It’s estimated that between 64 and 71 million wood pallets are exported annually, and end-users are making strides to prevent their pallets from getting infested. Most of them are forced to apply heat treatments just long enough to kill insect larvae and pull out moisture from the center of the pallet. This additional step is time consuming and frustrating. Plastic pallets owners simply have to wipe down their materials with soap and water—a much less tedious process.
How to Measure Wooden Pallet Moisture
Wood moisture meters serve two purposes: they measure the impact of moisture on the material and help you determine how the humidity has affected the pallet’s structural integrity.
Moisture meters come in two forms – the first has pins that push roughly a quarter-inch into the wood, and the second simply measures the humidity of the wood’s surface. Though the latter are more convenient, they are less reliable and accurate than their pin-equipped counterparts.
Resist Moisture Completely with Plastic Pallets
If you find your wooden pallets have an unacceptable amount of moisture, plastic pallets are a great alternative. A variety of industries have made the switch due to their notable durability. With plastic pallets, you don’t have to worry about rotting or moisture since the material is naturally water-resistant and won’t be compromised if it gets wet.
Are your wooden pallets rotting away or becoming warped due to excess moisture? Rather than buy more of them only to repeat this cycle, why not invest in plastic pallets and avoid your moisture worries for good? At PTM Solutions, we have plastic solutions for every type of business, budget, and need. Contact us today to learn what’s right for you!