Mold is one of the major issues that all pallet users face. This is especially true during the hot humid summer months. Stretch wrap can make a mold problem worse and even cause the mold to transfer onto your product. There are some things to consider if you are running into issues with mold.
- Mold is everywhere.
Mold spores are found everywhere, and they are waiting for the right conditions to grow. Pallet users need to make sure they have proper storage and handling processes to avoid mold. These include maximizing air flow through pallets to dry the pallet surfaces so that they are less favorable to mold growth.
- Stretch wrap around wood pallets facilitates mold growth.
One of the best (worst!) ways to help mold grow is to wrap wood pallets with stretch wrap. Stretch wrap is an impermeable plastic cover that both eliminates air flow and traps moisture. Even if the surface of the wood is dry to the touch, there is likely moisture locked deeper in the wood. As it comes to the surface, if it is trapped by stretch wrap, then you have created an ideal surface for mold growth.
- Hot humid temperatures contribute to mold growth.
Even though you might store your pallets in a covered and well-ventilated area, elevated temperatures and an increase in humidity during the summer can affect mold growth. Mold thrives between 77°F and 86°F. Many locations across the US have average summer temperatures on par for mold growth.
Wrapping your wood pallets with stretch wrap in the summer can create the perfect environment for mold growth. Under some conditions, the moisture trapped within a stretch wrapped load can cause mold on all packaging materials and possibility even your product. This can create cost issues.
The stretch wrap practices that worked during the winter may need to be modified for the summer. While it is possible to use stretch wrap in warmer temperatures, your unit load practices should be carefully monitored. This will help ensure your pallets and your products remain mold free.
Is mold affecting your pallets or products? You might need to reconsider your unit load methods in the summer. Let us know the issue by commenting below.
Post by: John Clarke, Technical Director