Why use decking?
Decking can provide a number of benefits to your racking installation, such as additional stability or added safety. It can help to ensure small parts don’t fall from the racks or stop rolls of carpet from sagging in the middle. Decking is designed to protect stock from damage, and can also allow air flow to aid ventilation and ensure products don’t become dusty. But does your pallet racking need decking? And if so, what is the best type for your warehouse?
What do I need to think about?
One consideration when thinking about choosing decking is the weight loading of the deck as each material type has its own weight capacity. Choosing one that doesn’t provide the correct loading will lead to products not been stored safely and securely, or having decking that is overly engineered for its purpose, which costs money. Knowing the weight load you need will determine the type of decking, but the heavier duty the decking, the more expensive it is likely to be.
Determining the protection that decking offers against fire and water from sprinkler systems in the event of a fire should also be a consideration. For example, a steel deck will withstand exposure to fire for a longer period of time compared to timber or chipboard, but a steel mesh deck will allow more water from a sprinkler system to pass through compared to a solid deck.
A final consideration with decking is the longevity of each option and how susceptible to wear and tear they are. Steel decking may cost more in the initial outlay but will tend to last longer than a chipboard deck that suffers more over time. The location of the deck will also be a factor here, as external racking will subject the deck to the changing weather, which can impact on its long term performance if it is not suitable for the conditions.
What are the types of decking?
There are a number of different types of decking available, at different price points and which serve different purposes.
Steel would be the most expensive option but can provide the highest weight bearing capacity. On top of this, it offers more protection against the risk of fire and would withstand variable weather conditions if used in an outdoor setting.
Mesh decking can be supplied in various sizes depending on the weight bearing needed, making it a versatile option for storing all types of items. The gaps of the mesh ensure that air can circulate and allows inventory to be kept relatively dust free, whilst permitting water from sprinkler systems to pass through, should it be needed.
There are two choices with timber decking – closed timber panels or timber slats. The timber would be fitted securely to the beams to eliminate the risk of falling. Timber is a more cost effective solution compared to steel, whilst still offering a high loading bearing capacity. Timber decking is a great solution when storing rolls of carpet.
Chipboard is the least expensive decking option, pound for pound. It is fitted securely to the racking and can be a solid solution for internal racking installations. However, due to its construction it is more prone to wear and tear and will, under normal operating conditions, need replacing more frequently than the other options.
Quickline can support you when choosing the right decking for your warehouse so contact us today to discuss your project.