Considerations for Proper Storage of Construction Materials
Construction materials are often expensive and potentially dangerous. Accordingly, it is important to store them properly at all times. Environmental contamination can damage some materials more easily than others, and storing things without proper care can lead to hazardous situations for workers at a jobsite. It can also lead to your items becoming degraded and unusable. Read on for considerations for proper storage of construction materials.
Evaluate Your Materials
Different storage methods are required for different construction materials. Examples include:
- Paint – Air and heat can cause paint to become unusable quickly. If you are storing items in an area that is particularly susceptible to high temperatures, you may want to consider moving paint cans elsewhere. The ideal temperature for paint is between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Place plastic wrap over the rim of your can before sealing the lid. This will prevent air and rust from affecting the paint.
- Cement – Cement must be kept as dry as possible. Moisture can easily cause cement to set. Cement bags should be kept at least two feet from walls and ceilings and should not be kept on the floor.
- Bricks – Bricks are easy to store for their durability. They should be kept safe from exposure to water, but otherwise, they do not need to be wrapped or covered.
- Lumber – One of the most common items in construction, lumber can be tricky to store properly. It is very susceptible to moisture damage because it is porous. Moisture will cause it to warp, which can render it unusable, so prioritize keeping it in a dry location.
Train Your Workers
If you are operating a company that utilizes construction tools and machinery, make sure your workers are trained in how to handle all items. Every person who may come into contact with potentially hazardous materials should know the risks and the proper way to interact with them. Storing these items in a careless way is dangerous, and you should have a clear plan in place for where they are stored. You can post a chart or guide on the front of your storage container or wherever you store your items that workers can use to remember where things should be kept.
Purchase a Storage Container
A storage container is the best place for keeping your construction materials. You can purchase a container and keep it on your job site, making it easy to access the tools you need and keep them safe when they are not in use. Storage containers are weathertight, meaning they will keep contents safe from exposure to water, moisture, heat, and environmental contamination. They are available in a range of sizes and are compatible with a variety of security features, affording you peace of mind that your items will be safe at all times. A storage container company can help you choose the right unit for your particular needs.
Use Organizational Tools
Many construction tools can be dangerous if they are stored improperly. Consider the following when storing your tools.
- Interior Features – If you are storing your items in a container, consider adding some organizational features. Shelves, racks, drawers, and cabinets can be used to keep things neat and properly categorized. Try to store similar items together, as some materials can react when stored too close to one another.
- Boxes – Plastic boxes are great for keeping small materials organized. Choose boxes that are sealable and can be stacked on top of each other. Do not stack heavier items on top of lighter ones, as this can easily create a hazardous environment.
Keep the Container
Most power tools come with a hard, plastic container. Hold onto the original container and use it for storage. These containers are usually designed for optimal storage conditions based on the specific tool.
Clean Your Items
Before putting anything into storage, make sure it has been properly cleaned. Whether you are storing building materials or power tools, inspect them thoroughly and wipe them down if they have been in use. Remove any dirt, grease, mud, grime, and debris. Otherwise, rust can develop, which can quickly spread and cause serious damage to your items.
The best way to ensure you are storing items properly is by following the manufacturer's instructions. Most machines will have guidelines for storage in the operator’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website. If you can’t find instructions in either of these sources, contact customer support and ask them for their recommendations.