Very few places in North America are free from humidity and rapid temperature fluctuations, and out of those places, even fewer make sense for a distribution center. Issues of humidity and temperature can be the bane of a warehouse safety manager's existence, leading to sweating slab syndrome on concrete floors that leave dangerous standing water for employees and forklifts alike.
While concern over slippery surfaces spurs on efforts to fight sweating slab syndrome, there is even more at stake than your workers taking a fall when fighting for control of your indoor climate: your pallet rack. You may think we're only talking about rust, and you're partially correct. Rust is still a problem, particularly where your pallet rack is scratched or paint is chipped, but a greater threat rises straight out of the floor. One that will threaten your workers' safety just as much as standing water.
Pallet rack on uneven ground
The expansion and contraction brought on by rapid temperature fluctuations can cause your concrete floor to buckle and become uneven. On top of that, any additional moisture will crack and chip apart your floor. What was once an even, planed surface may now be a rolling landscape, and sitting on that rolling landscape are rows and rows of gleaming pallet rack, holding thousands of pounds of valuable material as they tower over your workers' heads.
There could be a number of reasons for your floor to become uneven. Temperature-controlled warehouses may have malfunctioning air conditioning systems. Others may not circulate air well enough to prevent it from settling and release its moisture on surfaces that reach dew point temperature. To combat these problems, a new AC system, dehumidifier, or high-volume, low-speed fans may be the answer. For your pallet rack, the only answer might be a new floor.
Keeping your pallet rack square and plumb
Maintaining the center of gravity is crucial toward the safe use of your pallet rack. In minor cases, installing shims under your uprights may be all you need to keep your pallet rack plumb and safe to use. In fact, it's very rare to find a warehouse floor that doesn't have at least one dip where uprights need to be shimmed. However, in rare cases, the floor can be so uneven that even the naked eye can detect leaning pallet rack.
Requesting a pallet rack inspection
If you experience climate-related issues in your warehouse or DC, chances are the problem has spread further beyond a wet spot on the floor. Your best course of action at that point is to request a rack inspection to determine the overall safety of your pallet rack. Speedrack Midwest can provide a full review of your pallet rack system. You will be given a full report, including recommendations for resolving any issues and keeping your workers safe. From there we can determine the best course of action together.