“You may have a grow tray between the water and the wood but you still may have accidents where water will get on the wood… If you do not catch it soon enough then you may find that you have a very heavy shelf of plants and water coming down on you in a very dangerous way. Obviously, this is something you want to avoid.”

It might seem like this is obvious but sometimes it is not for some people. You have to ask if the hydroponic shelving you are trying or looking to procure is actually water-resistant or waterproof. The fact is that most things that we think of as “waterproof” are actually water-resistant. However, there are varying degrees of water resistance as evidenced by the IP categories you find on some products. We could go into depth about that but most of those ratings do not exist, for the most part, for the industry you are inside of right now. What we are talking about is the water-resistance of the frame of the shelving you want to get for your hydroponic growing system or apparatus.

Pressure-treated wood is not as water-resistant as you think it is or should be. The University of Massachusetts has an article about pressure-treated wood and why you see so many decks with the compound used on them being thrown away after a few years instead of the 40 years it is supposed to be able to last. The reason is that the treatment protects against mold, fungus, and other pests but not water. The article says that the treated wood still absorbs and releases water which causes the wood to move and crack over time.1 It is the reason you see many water pressure treated decks go away because of this constant movement eventually wears down the wood. If you apply this knowledge to the fact that you are going to be growing hydroponically then you might see the problem. You may have a grow tray between the water and the wood but you still may have accidents where water will get on the wood. You may find that one of your trays has worn down over time and started to leak. If you do not catch it soon enough then you may find that you have a very heavy shelf of plants and water coming down on you in a very dangerous way. Obviously, this is something you want to avoid.

“You may find that one of your trays has worn down over time and started to leak. If you do not catch it soon enough then you may find that you have a very heavy shelf of plants and water coming down on you in a very dangerous way. Obviously, this is something you want to avoid.”

Another thing to keep in mind is that wood is not as strong as metal. You could have hydroponic shelving made out of wood but it is not going to be an optimized shelving unit for the future. It will have the problems we mentioned in the previous paragraph and it might not handle the weight very well either. You could have the same problem from the previous paragraph where the shelf falls on you which could injure you or your workers. Wood, being an organic living compound, for the most part, has weaker strength properties than metal which is, obviously, much more solid. If you intend on growing up to an industrial scale then you want to have a system that can grow to that level and with your business. Of course, profitability and money are an issue. However, if you have the money then you should go with the metal option for your hydroponic shelving units.

“The last thing you should be aware of for your hydroponic shelves is, if you want to have a legal shelving unit, then you need to consider, if the company selling you the product has seismic calculations available for the particular unit you are trying to buy.”

We should mention that you will have to make a choice between consumer-level products and industrial level products. Many consumer-level products say that they are “industrial strength” products. Most “industrial strength” consumer-level products hold up to 800 lbs. If you are just a beginner then this might be more than enough. If you are an intermediate to advanced or experienced grower then you want true industrial strength which would be 2500 lbs per level. Keep in mind that a lot of the 800 lbs products will grow vertically but only to that level. You can have a shelving or rack system that can hold 2500 lbs per level and can grow vertically up to the legal limits as defined by your local government.

The last thing you should be aware of for your hydroponic shelves is, if you want to have a legal shelving unit, then you need to consider, if the company selling you the product has seismic calculations available for the particular unit you are trying to buy. Local governments vary from place to place based on the seismic activity underneath them, however, most people do have these calculations as a necessary component of the permit process. You need to make sure that you are getting this for your business or else you may face a situation where you cannot use your hydroponic shelving unit. You may have to store it or disassemble it. You may have to have it modified to fit the parameters of the rules. It might even end up being cheaper to purchase a new unit instead of having the seismic calculations and modifications done to the unit so you can use it.

If you want to have good shelving you can use for your hydroponic shelving, at an industrial level, then you have come to the right business. You can call us at 503-536-7218 to talk about your needs. You can also click the links to see vertical grow racks or mobile grow racks you can use for your business.

Sources:

Contributors, H. S. W. (2000, April 1). How does pressure-treated lumber work? Retrieved from https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-

improvement/remodeling/question278.htm

Wood Myths: Facts and Fictions About Wood: Building and Construction Technology: UMass Amherst. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https:// bct.eco.umass.edu/publications/articles/wood-myths-facts-and-fictions-about-wood/

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *