Protecting building materials from damage reduces waste while helping to maintain the structural integrity once the materials are installed.
In this article, we will share 17 tips for properly handling and storing building materials from the experts at our trusted building materials store.
1. Store similar materials together
By keeping similar materials together, you ensure each category is safely stored in a suitable environment. Environmental conditions are critical to protect building materials.
For example, something porous, such as lumber, is vulnerable to damp conditions as it will absorb water and damage the wood. By understanding the conditions required to optimize material lifespan, you can create safe storage areas based on categories of materials.
2. Store lumber in a dry area
As mentioned in our previous example, lumber requires a dry storage area and air circulation to prevent damage from moisture. Therefore, never place lumber directly on the ground or floor. Instead, place lumber on staggered bricks or palettes that allow for airflow that helps keep wood dry.
3. Prevent lumber from bowing
Stack wood horizontally to increase air circulation. Ideally, horizontal storage racks are recommended as this raises wood off the floor, keeps wood stacked properly, and also avoids the risk of bowing.
4. Prevent tile cracks
Most tiling will withstand almost any environmental conditions. However, to prevent the risk of cracking, it is best to stack tiles on their side instead of laying individual tiles or boxes flat.
5. Keep cement completely dry
Cement requires zero moisture until use. Storage options for cement are extremely limited. Never store cement outdoors. Even if you try to protect it using a waterproof tarp, dampness can seep into the bags, causing it to clump.
Instead, choose a dry room with excellent ventilation, keeping the sacks of cement a few feet away from walls and above floors.
6. Reduce water exposure for bricks
The nature of bricks prepares them for outdoor exposure, making them easier to store than most materials. Despite being weather-resistant, it still helps to store them on a tarp instead of the bare ground and cover them to reduce water exposure.
7. Avoid outdoor storage for paint
Paint requires a temperature between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which often means outdoor storage is not recommended. Even storage in a shed can expose paint to undesirable temperatures, which impacts its consistency.
Store paint in a cool, dry area. Don’t expose it to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight. Cover the surface with plastic wrap before resealing the lid to keep it in good condition for future use.
8. Follow the manufacturer’s storage recommendations
Reading the manufacturer’s storage recommendations is crucial to avoid any potential damage to the materials. While natural materials like stone and wood may not come with specific storage instructions, many other materials have storage recommendations listed on their labels.
Following these instructions can extend the lifespan of the materials. Moreover, adhering to the storage instructions can also protect the warranty for many products, saving you from unnecessary expenses in the long run.
If you’re ever unsure about the best way to store materials, get in touch with a building materials store like Yvon Building Supply. One of our experts will be happy to discuss the best storage options for every type of building material.
9. Invest in a storage area
If you don’t have storage available, it is worth investing in a storage facility, especially if you tend to purchase building materials in bulk. The storage should be completely waterproof and ideally offer climate control to provide the best protection for your building materials.
Materials can also be stored in a rented storage container that can be moved from site to site. This provides a convenient way to transport bulk materials and keep them secure and damage-free.
10. Avoid accidents with safe stacking
Although most materials can be stacked, how you stack them makes a difference. Avoid stacking drums, barrels, and kegs that can become unstable and present a tipping risk.
The pressure of stacking can also increase the risk of denting or collapse of containers, leading to damage and waste. If you must stack drums, barrels, and kegs due to limited storage space, place wood palettes or boards between each container to keep them steady.
11. Consider weight limits when using racks
If your storage area uses racks, be sure you understand weight limits in order to stack and store items wisely. Exceeding weight limits puts materials at risk of damage and increases the risk for injuries should the racks collapse.
13. Replenish and access stored materials safely
When storing and accessing building materials, always use appropriate loading equipment. While some items are safe to hand load, larger and heavier materials might call for dollies, forklifts, lift trucks, etc., to reduce the risk of injury.
14. Keep track of inventory
Make sure you have a system to keep track of inventory to reduce waste, loss, and theft.
Having designated areas for each type of material, using charting and mapping to find materials quickly, and keeping accurate counts as materials arrive and are used creates a more efficient operation that saves money and avoids mismanagement of materials.
15. Use hazardous waste and material signage
Ensuring that everyone understands the risks, hazards, and safe handling of all materials is a must. Post signage that indicates dangers and provides clear instructions on handling.
You should also include other relevant warnings to ensure materials are not damaged and that workers do not use dangerous practices that can lead to injury.
16. Invest in safe racking and storage systems
Investing in safe and reliable racking and storage systems is a great way to optimize limited storage space while ensuring the safety of the storage area. These systems can help you properly store materials to improve their longevity, maintain their quality, and maximize the use of space.
You can choose from a variety of storage systems designed to stabilize materials, reduce moisture, improve air circulation, and more to help protect materials until they are ready for use.
Proper racking techniques can safeguard against accidents and damage by using appropriate stacking methods, and creating safe mechanisms and blocking units to avoid slipping, falling, or shelf collapse.
17. Store items based on frequency of use
When storage space is limited, it makes sense to store items so that the materials used most often are the easiest to access. Specialty items can be placed on higher shelves or at the back of storage units, allowing the most used materials to be easier to reach.
Avoid high temperatures for drywall
Drywall needs to be stored in a dry area with good air circulation. However, it cannot be stored in temperatures higher than 125 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also remove the protective shipping plastic wrap as this can increase risk of condensation.
Your Top Building Materials Store: Contact Yvon Building Supply Today
Using these building material storage tips will protect your investment, help maintain the integrity of building materials, and keep workers safe.
At Yvon Building Supply, we have been delivering high-quality building materials to Ontario construction companies, contractors, and builders since 2011.
We have a fleet of top-of-the-line trucks equipped with hydraulic lifts and seven locations across Ontario ready to serve you. For more information about our building supply delivery, call us at 905-635-8700 or contact us online.