After purchasing your LUX Architectural Products, the next step is installation. But, before you begin your installation, you will inevitably have some products that will need to be stored until you’re ready to use them. The last thing you want to deal with after going through the process of ordering, picking colours and products, and having them shipped to you, is running out of panels because of faulty storage practices and damaged products.
LUX Architectural Products uses prepainted panels for many of our colourways and products. Prepainted panels are a staple in the cladding industry and, if properly installed under normal service conditions, they have excellent resistance to corrosion and other damage.
However, pre-painted panels can be subject to corrosion failures prior to installation if they are not handled and stored correctly on the job site. Excessive storage periods or poor storage conditions often result in water intrusion into panel bundles. When storing LUX products, there are a number of tips, instructions, and recommendations to ensure your product is stored properly, safely, and in a way that will not damage the cladding or affect your warranty.
By adhering to these tips, you can ensure your LUX Architectural Products remain in top condition until they are ready to be installed.
1. Unloading & Job Site Storage
The first step in storing LUX products properly is receiving your order and unloading the panel bundles in a manner that does not damage them. When the products arrive, immediately check for any crate or product damage. Do not install damaged products.
To maintain the integrity of the product, precautions must be used when loading and unloading the product. LUX products should be moved by forklift from the center of the crate, taking extra care not to hit the crate with the forks or allow the crate to twist.
The panel bundles should be stored in a level area out of the way of other construction activities to minimize the number of bundle movements required at the job site.
2. Do not store for a Prolonged Time
Prolonged storage will always increase the likelihood of storage corrosion. Therefore, the best prevention is to minimize storage time.
Besides moisture, two other important factors contributing to the corrosion of stored prepainted panels are temperature and exposure time. Given enough time, your bundle of panels will eventually become wet, and storage corrosion may occur under most job site conditions.
For that reason, the best defence against storage corrosion is reducing site storage time to discourage the collection of water or moisture. If your bundled panels experience prolonged exposure to wet conditions, you might see paint blistering and substrate corrosion. In fact, wet stack corrosion in the right conditions can manifest itself in as little as two weeks.
3. Avoid Moisture
Water is a necessary prerequisite for the corrosion of stored prepainted panels and for that reason, all precautions should be taken to ensure any water or moisture does not compromise your panels. However, if proper precautions are not taken during transport, water and/or moisture may already be present between the panels upon delivery at the job site. That is why it is extremely important to check your panels for any trapped moisture or damage prior to installation. If your panels are damaged, contact us before moving on to any other installation steps.
Unfortunately, once water or water vapour is collected along the sides of a panel bundle, there is a chance it may penetrate between the panels. Ambient humidity and temperature cycles will also promote water intrusion into stored panel bundles through condensation. Additionally, wet, uncured or pretreated lumber should NOT come in contact with the panel bundles during transport or storage.
Although humidity and condensation can inadvertently promote water intrusion, rain and snow are other potential sources of moisture that can cause storage corrosion of prepainted panels. That is why it is important to store your LUX products either indoors or under a roof if possible.
In short, it is essential you keep your LUX products as dry as possible. In the next step, we will provide some instructions on how best to accomplish this.
4. Storing LUX Properly
If you have ensured that your LUX products have arrived at your job site undamaged, the next step is properly storing your LUX in a manner that will keep them safe from damage.
If it is necessary to store the bundles on the ground, a plastic ground cover or tarp should be laid under the bundles to minimize condensations of water from the ground onto the panels.
The bundles must then be raised off the plastic ground cover to avoid contact with water puddles and allow for air circulation around the bundle to promote drying of condensed water. Use spare lumber to add space between the bundle and the tarp. (However, be sure that wet, uncured or pretreated lumber does NOT come in contact with the panel bundles during storage.)
Next, ensure your panel bundle is stored at an angle to promote drainage of water. Be sure to provide sufficient support to the raised and angled portions to avoid excessive bowing or collection of water.
Once the panel bundle is raised off the tarp ground cover and angled appropriately, the bundle must be sheltered entirely with a loose-fitting waterproof tarp to protect during rain or snow.
It is crucial NOT to cover the panels too snugly with the tarp when on the ground. By covering prepainted panels in this manner, airflow is prevented, and moisture in the ground under the tarp is trapped under the tarp. The effect is worse than just letting the bundles of pre-painted panels sit uncovered in the rain. This is because a “humidity chamber” has been created, and sunlight will heat the tarp and accelerate corrosion by means of increased humidity pulled from the ground below.
Proper storage of bundled pre-painted panels is essential and, to some, considered “time-consuming and costly” to do. However, failure of your panels is an even more costly idea when you have to reorder and wait for delivery. Other costs associated with delays in Jobsite completion as well as material replacement are things to consider when debating the use of proper storage methods.
By following these procedures, you can help ensure your LUX products look their best and maintain the timeless, bold aesthetic that LUX Architectural Products are known for.