How to Handle Rusting Racking

Rusted pallet racks can easily come tumbling down.

Could you imagine the horrible consequences if something like that happened at your warehouse?

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for the problem to happen. You can prevent it from ever occurring in the first place.

Here’s how:

Paint, Galvanize or Spray

Choose whichever one you want: paint coating, hot-dip galvanizing, or thermal spraying.

They all work to prevent your pallet racks from rusting.

Paint coating involves applying primer, intermediate coats, and a finish coating.

Hot-dip galvanization immerses your steel racking in molten zinc.

Thermal spraying applies zinc, aluminum, or zinc-aluminum alloys.

However, none of these provide perfect protection. They do help. But your racking can still rust anyway.

So, it’s important to understand how rust works, and what you need to do when you see various levels of rust.

What to Do with Rust

For starters, you might notice small patches of rust on your racking.

This is really only a cosmetic issue because the rust hasn’t penetrated deeply and weakened your racking yet.

Non-galvanized metal will appear brown. Galvanized metal appears white.

At this point, you really don’t have to take any action. Merely observe, stay aware, and be ready to act if the rust worsens.

If you start to see pits in your steel racking, repair replace it.

Another way to gauge if rust is becoming a problem is if your steel has lost 10% or more of its original thickness.

You don’t have to panic yet. But you do want to start planning to replace the steel. And you’re wise to avoid loading the racking with super-heavy product.

When you notice large patches of rust nearly covering all your steel racking, it’s definitely time to replace it.

You’ll notice deep pits and etching. And your racking will have a dramatically lower load capacity.

Get it taken care of ASAP.

During the most intense rusting, you’ll notice holes in your steel racking.

Honestly, your rusting racking should never get to this point. But, maybe you’ve walked into just such a situation.

You shouldn’t have any product on the racking. And you need to replace it immediately.

A qualifier to all of this is that, if you notice rust on a load-bearing area of your racking (such as a welded joint or column base), you should inspect it closely and act sooner.

You shouldn’t wait until you notice pits and that more than 10% of your racking’s thickness has rusted away.

You should act sooner than that.

Stay Safe

When you make a safe decision, you make a smart decision.

Never criticize yourself for acting too early.

Armed with this information, you can now create your own process for monitoring rust in your racking.

That keeps your employees safe. And it prevents embarrassing disasters from happening.

Both are always good things.