Preventing Damage to Stored Equipment

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No matter the industry, nearly every company will have stored equipment at some point. Very few companies use 100% of their equipment 100% of the time.

Idle parts are a common piece of normal operation for some industries, particularly for industries that rely on heavy equipment such as oil and drilling. Certain pieces of equipment may only be pulled out and used a couple times a year, and often times even less frequently.

In theory, having the equipment on hand when it’s need can be much more cost-effective, reducing rental costs and time delays, as most equipment can happily sit in storage for months or even years at a time. However, other factors need to be considered in order to take the right steps to maintain the integrity of idle equipment.

Making sure your equipment is ready to go when you need it.

It’s going to depend on what, where and when you are storing. But there are some basic tips that can get you started on successfully tucking gear away for a later date. 

  • Clean it from top to bottom. There is no point putting dirty equipment into long term storage. By the time you need to pull it out to use again, the dirt, grease, oil, and other contaminants on the surface of the equipment will wreak havoc on how the machinery functions. Take time to scrub the equipment from top to bottom after it’s last use of the season, no matter how big or small it might be. Using a mild detergent to dissolve the grease and remove oils is a good idea, as well. A little elbow grease now will save you a lot of replacement costs later on.

  • Flush out systems. Whether it’s a large engine or a small compressor, if there are liquids that make it work, you should consider flushing them out before you put it into storage. That’s because oils and lubricating agents can cause issues with the equipment over time. They might also leak into your storage space, and if you aren’t checking for them, you could end up with a serious environmental issue on your hands, not to mention a lot of damaged and leaking equipment. Flush out the systems according to the manufacturers recommendations. Remember that some lubricating agents may be needed to prevent equipment from rusting into place. There are systems and agents made for these long-term storage situations that can be used. 

  • Plug access points. Some of the worst offenders when it comes to equipment storage are pests. Spiders, ants, mice, and other unwanted guests could view your stored equipment as a safe place to make their next home, especially if it’s close to a food supply. Unfortunately, when you store items for weeks, months, or even years, that’s plenty of time for two pests to become a full-blown infestation. Pests can completely ruin your equipment, chewing up electrical cords, tearing up interior surfaces, and clogging up the inner workings with feces and other debris. It’s not something you want to face when you need to get to work with the equipment. So make sure they can’t get in there in the first place. Block all access points such as vents, windows, and any other openings on the equipment with pest-proof measures. 

  • Apply corrosion protection. Your equipment could be at risk of corrosion during its time in storage. If the storage space is prone to dampness or you have to store the items outside in the elements, you’ll be risking corrosion of your metal parts. At the very least, that could mean replacing those corroded parts before the equipment is operational again. At its worst, corrosion could effectively ruin the equipment and you could be facing some heavy duty replacement costs. Corrosion prevention such as Enviropeel will block the elements from getting to at-risk parts and keep corrosion at bay for as long as your equipment is in storage. 

  • Keep dry and well-ventilated in storage. It almost doesn’t matter what you are storing; the best place for equipment to be is in dry, well-ventilated storage. That’s because it’s the perfect condition to prevent mold and mildew from forming as well as prevent corrosion and rust. While it’s going to be difficult to find a storage space that protects your equipment from all forms of danger during its idle time, somewhere that’s dry and has good ventilation is a good start. 

Maintenance for Stored Equipment

  • Rotate shafts and bearings occasionally. Any moving parts should be made to move occasionally. This will help maintain the motion of the equipment and ensure that it’s free from rust when you need it to start working again. 

  • Perform regular inspections on stored items. Inspections are a vital part of storing your equipment. Assign routine inspection tasks to make sure there are no signs of pests, leaks, or corrosion on any of the equipment. If anything unusual or problematic is noticed, make sure that measures are taken to deal with it immediately. 

Looking for corrosion prevention for the equipment you currently have in storage? Enviropeel has exactly what you need. Find out how we can help protect your equipment so it’s ready to work when you are. Give us a call or contact our team here.

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