By its very nature, scaffolding is tremendously tough and durable -- after all, you and your employees would never agree to climbing onto a rasied platform too fragile to take their weight. Aluminium scaffolding is particularly prized for its long-lasting durability. And looking at scaffolding for sale means you're looking for a solid, long-term investment.
However, while aluminium scaffolding is very tough, it is not invulnerable, and stringent safety laws mean that scaffolding tubes that have only suffered slight damage may be marked as unfit for use. Keeping your scaffolding properly stored when not in use is the best way to prevent accumulated damage from rendering your scaffolding unusable. To make sure your scaffolding is stored properly and securely, keep the following guidelines in mind:
Avoid storing your scaffolding in damp areas
One of the main reasons aluminium scaffolding is so durable is that it is considerably less vulnerable to corrosion than traditional steel scaffolding, and you will never see the large, damaging deposits of brown rust that can destroy steel scaffolding tubes on your aluminium scaffolding. However, aluminium scaffolding can still suffer incremental corrosion over time if not properly stored and handled.
Aluminium is, contrary to popular belief, a reactive metal. Its near-immunity to rust occurs because it produces an insulating surface layer of aluminium oxide when exposed to oxygen and moisture. This naturally occurring layer of oxide will generally protect the metal from appreciable corrosion -- however, sections of oxide can be scraped off of a scaffolding tube during normal use, and a small amount of corrosion can attack the exposed area until a new layer of oxide is formed. Over time, these brief periods of mild corrosion can cause considerable accumulated damage.
To minimise the amount of corrosion damage suffered by your aluminium scaffolding when sections of oxide are rubbed or scraped off, keep your scaffolding in a cool, dry area with low airborne humidity, such as a well-ventilated storage shed. Never store your scaffolding outside.
Use proper stillages for storage
Another way to protect your aluminium scaffolding from incremental corrosion is keeping your tubes well-organised when in storage. Tubes scattered willy-nilly on the ground are more likely to have their oxide layers scraped off, and are more vulnerable to condensation and moisture that accumulates at ground level.
Scaffolding stillages are very useful for keeping your tubes organised when they aren't being used. These versatile racks resemble metal pallets with vertical posts attached to keep the scaffolding in place, and will help prevent oxide-destroying friction while keeping your tubes raised well above ground level. Most scaffolding sellers offer stillages for sale and may offer discounts if stillages are purchased along with your new scaffolding.
Inspect your scaffolding often
No matter how meticulously you store your aluminium scaffolding tubes, a certain amount of wear and tear in the line of duty is unavoidable. Minor damage, such as small dents and minor patches of corrosion, are much easier and cheaper to rectify than more significant damage, so you should make sure your scaffolding is inspected regularly so minor damage is detected before it worsens. Keeping your scaffolding in a well-lit storage area will make inspection easier.