With all the wet weather this year, mold has definitely become a concern at facilities. All molds have four basic requirements for growth; suitable temperature (70-80º F), oxygen, food and moisture. Eliminating one of these elements can prevent mold development. The most practical strategy for mold prevention is to eliminate the moisture factor. Nineteen percent or less moisture content on any component will not facilitate the growth of mold. Unfortunately, wooden components can be exposed to weather conditions prior to or during shipping that increase moisture content. Therefore, it is recommended that the following steps be taken to limit exposure to moisture which can result in the development of mold.
* Have lumber shipped wrapped in paper and/or under tarp.
* Open or walled storage sheds are preferable to outside storage.
* Store pallet components away from standing water.
* Ensure the storage area has good drainage.
* Elevate the wooden components to allow cool, moist air to move downward and away from the pallet components.
* When stored outside, wooden components should be stacked so they are not touching. This will enable sufficient airflow.
* Require forklift operators to inspect wooden components prior to loading. If mold is observed, these wooden components should be removed from shipment and cleaned in accordance with facility mold growth clean up and control procedures.
* Make certain your supplier understands your needs related to mold on any wood products you purchase from them.
We realize that many of you utilize components with moisture content exceeding 19%, but following the above guidelines can greatly diminish your exposure to issues related to mold.