Mold can be a problem for new pallets made from “green”, or recently felled and sawn lumber. Mold spores exist everywhere and require just air, a food source, and moisture to grow. Green lumber has stored sugars and proteins that mold can feed on and all green lumber contains moisture with varying levels depending on wood species.
So how can you prevent mold from growing on new pallets or pallets that were dry but have become wet? One way is to use a fungicide on the sawn lumber. At Premier Pallets we use a product called PQ-8 to inhibit the growth of mold on new pallets. The active ingredient in PQ-8 is copper-8-quinolinolate and is a proven and effective fungicide.
For pallet users, typically in the pharmaceutical and food industries, that cannot accept pallets treated with a fungicide there are alternatives. Your pallet manufacturer can “air dry” the pallets after being built to allow for sufficient moisture reduction from the lumber. In addition, some species have inherently lower moisture content than others. For example, the sapwood of red oak has almost 30% less moisture than yellow poplar and almost half as much as sweetgum. In some cases, Premier Pallets can select only certain species of lumber for new pallets to help lessen the chance of mold growth.
For pallet users, proper storage of pallets once they’ve been delivered is important as well. Storing new pallets in a van or closed space without adequate ventilation is sure to cause mold problems. Dry, open spaces with room between pallet stacks is best for preventing mold growth. For more information on preventing pallet mold or ordering mold-free pallets please contact us.