Reusing Wood Pallets – What to Consider

wood pallet

Reusing Wood Pallets – What to Consider

3 Jun, 2015
Tracy-R
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Social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest have highlighted countless D.I.Y projects that have something to do with old or recycled wood pallets. True, you can use used wood pallets for decorative and even functional home improvement projects. You can even reuse them for shipping your own products. What makes it even better is that there are tons of recycled or used wooden pallets in Mississauga, so you can easily buy used wood pallets. But you need to be aware that not all wood pallets are made equally and that some of them may even be dangerous to reuse.

Wood pallets are generally used in shipping. These are used as a base or platform where cargo is placed on top. Wood pallets are very sturdy and are able to take on a ton of weight, which is why people reuse them. However, depending on what the pallet was used for, it may not be safe for reuse. Some pallets are treated with chemicals that could end up harming you, so be wary about that when you’re planning to use them in your living space.

What To Consider When Reusing Wood Pallet

Here are a few things to remember when reusing a wood pallet.

Look for the Stamp

Most wood pallets have some kind of stamp on the side that contains all the information about it, where it was made, and if it went through some kind of chemical treatment. Keep in mind that not all stamps are visible, so you might need to search around the pallet before you can find it. Understand what the letters and numbers on the stamp means. It should follow the CWPCA (Canadian Wood Pallet and Container Organization) regulations to ensure safety. There’s a sort, simple guide online for you to follow.

Mind the Structure

Check the physical condition of the wood pallet. Does it still look sturdy? Are there any cracks or holes on the wood? Do you see any stains on it? Is it painted and is the paint chipping off? These are just a few questions to ask. Just because it looks sturdy, doesn’t mean it is. Recycled or used wooden pallets dealer in Mississauga would often let you see the pallets before buying them. You can even try stepping on one to see if it budges or moves while supporting you.

Pressure and Heat Treatment

Check the stamp and see if it has an “HT” signs on it. The “HT” on a wood pallet indicates that it’s Heat-Treated, meaning it can withstand a higher heat and was most likely used for international shipping. These pallets are sturdier and were not fumigated with carcinogen methyl bromide, which is a neurotoxin that kills off invasive species of insects that could damage the pallet. Methyl bromide exposure can be dangerous.  Untreated pallets are safer to use for home improvement projects and in shipping especially when the products may end up getting tainted with the chemicals.

Don’t Use if for Firewood

Some people use wood pallets as firewood, especially if the pallets are made with sturdy, dens wood. It’s not advisable to do this since some pallets are treated and can release harmful chemicals in the environment when heated. These chemicals can enter your body and cause life threatening problems. You need to be careful when reusing and disposing wood pallets. Even though you can get a bulk of wood pallets for cheap, it’s still not safe to set them on fire.

When buying recycled or used wooden pallets in Mississauga, ask the supplier where the pallets came from and what they were used for. Get some background on them so you’ll know what to expect. Whether you use them for shipping or for another project, it’s always good to know that the pallets are safe and are still useable before you get them.

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