Top 5 Scaffolding Maintenance Tips
What are tips for scaffolding maintenance?
- Clean scaffolding equipment before storage
- Dismantle, stack, and rack correctly
- Use WD-40 to prevent rust and deterioration
- Keep wood and moving parts covered
- Replace any faulty or worn parts
Safety and proper maintenance go hand in hand — and when it comes to the construction industry, achieving these two things is critical. This is why the tools are one of the first considerations before building any structure.
Of all construction tools available, the most used is scaffolding. Nearly all workers make use of them to do their jobs. Thus, knowing about the best scaffolding maintenance tips will ensure your equipment is maintained well and your workers are safe on site.
Here, we discuss how to properly maintain your scaffolding equipment, and keep them functional and safe for use over your project’s duration. Read on!
Clean Scaffolding Equipment Before Storage
Generally, it’s a good practice to clean all your construction equipment after every use. This is especially true for scaffolding. Things like stucco, mud, paint, wet cement, tar, and other materials can easily spill and coat your scaffolding. If you don’t remove them, they can harden and damage your equipment.
Before cleaning your scaffolding, you should dismantle them completely, allowing for proper dirt removal. A power washer is recommended to easily remove any stubborn dirt and debris. In the case that this tool is unable to remove some spots, you can also use sandpaper or a sander instead.
Dismantle, Stack, and Rack Correctly
Once properly cleaned, your scaffolding parts need to be stored in an area that is safe from heat, humidity, and other elements while not in use. Proper storage is needed because exposure to these elements can speed up the deterioration and corrosion process of metal.
But when dismantling and storing your scaffolding, there is the tendency to rush the process as it can be very time-consuming and tiring for workers. However, carelessness can lead to dents, improper storage, and other issues, which rack up replacement and repair costs.
So, make sure your workers are trained to dismantle and store your scaffolding correctly. While some storage solutions may be temporary (depending on your project), they should avoid stacking pieces in ways that can lead to denting or bending. Proper training should also include how to keep the parts organized, helping you quickly locate and assemble your scaffolding for your next project.
Use WD-40 to Prevent Rust and Deterioration
As we mentioned, scaffolding can easily become worn down and corroded when they are exposed to the elements. But, because of how they are used, exposure is inevitable during your project.
The good thing is that you can give them some extra protection to keep them functional and safe to use despite the exposure. This can be done through the use of WD-40, or other similar metal lubricants. With some good lubrication, the bolts, nuts, and other moving and detachable components are shielded from rust and deterioration for longer.
Lubrication will also reduce friction between components, which means your scaffolding is likely to become worn down in a short time. This improves the scaffolding’s sturdiness, safety, and lifespan — ensuring it can be used throughout the entire project.
Keep Wood and Moving Parts Covered
While scaffolding is mainly made from steel and other metals, it also includes some wooden components. These are wood planks, which are bracketed together to provide platforms and support for workers as they use the scaffolding equipment.
While the metal can withstand some exposure to rain, wood will become warped and rotten under the same conditions. Smaller metal parts like bolts and nuts are also more likely to rust and corrode when left under the rain.
To prevent this from happening, make sure to keep your scaffolding when not in use. You can either store the equipment in a shaded area or throw a trap over the scaffolding for temporary cover.
Replace Any Faulty or Worn Parts
Though scaffolding equipment can be made from strong and durable metals, they will inevitably become worn or faulty and need to be replaced. This is simply part of having equipment that consistently bears heavy loads and high traffic use.
While dismantling and cleaning your scaffolding, it would be good to inspect each part to identify which ones are still usable, and which ones could potentially cause a safety hazard. Keep an eye out for parts that show bending, splitting, or other signs of wear and tear. Also, check weld areas for any cracks or broken edges.
How to Solve Faulty or Damaged Scaffolding
After finding faulty or damaged parts of your scaffolding, you may be wondering what you can do next. If there is extensive damage, these parts will need to be replaced, or it may be time to buy a new scaffolding set. Otherwise, you can also do the following:
- Downgrade — You can repurpose the part for other use if the fault or damage does not affect the whole part. For example, a deformed or warped metal plank can be cut and remade into a soleplate.
- Scrapping — If downgrading is not possible, you can also have the parts scrapped.
- Repair — Some faults can be repaired, which reduces the need for replacement purchases. For example, welding, re-binding, and other methods can be used to reform the faulty part and make them fit for use again.
- Reduction in Length — Parts can also be cut and shaped again. For example, a faulty tube can be cut to eliminate the damaged ends.
Follow these essential maintenance tips for scaffolding to ensure all your scaffolding equipment is at its best and remains completely functional and safe for longer. This creates a safer and more productive work environment for your workers while reducing construction costs.
If you have more questions about maintenance or if you need to replace or repair your scaffolding equipment, contact our expert team at Supreme Pipe today. We will ensure you get the most out of your materials for scaffolding and other projects.