The question of whether or not bulk bags or FIBCs can be stored outside may not have ever occurred to you. It might seem obvious that the answer is yes, because FIBCs are constructed to hold large amounts of materials. It might seem like a no-brainer that something made to hold so much material would be strong enough to withstand a little weather. However, that’s not considering the whole picture. In fact, storing bulk bags outside can have seriously negative effects on the integrity of your bulk bags, leaving them vulnerable to failure at the worst possible times.
If you’re concerned about bulk bag storage and whether or not it’s a good idea to store your FIBCs outside, consider the following points:
• UV radiation: Most bulk bags are made with polypropylene fabric, which is strong enough to hold big, heavy loads but vulnerable to UV radiation, including sunlight. When exposed to sunlight for any length of time, the chemical bonds inside the polypropylene fabric begin to break down. At best, this means the color of the fabric fades. At worst, the structural integrity of the fabric begins to break down. The fabric can crack and tear, which means a bulk bag that has been weakened by exposure to UV radiation may be prone to fall apart under pressure. That’s the absolute worst time for an FIBC to fail.
• Extreme weather: In addition to sunlight exposure, extreme weather conditions can wreak havoc on the complex chemical structure of the polypropylene fabric used to make bulk bags. Storing bulk bags outside where they can be exposed to rain, snow and cold weather can contribute to the deterioration of polypropylene fabric, especially if it has been weakened by UV radiation already.
What If You Need to Store Bulk Bags Outside?
Although it’s not recommended that you store bulk bags outside, if you have no alternative, you should take precautions to protect your bags from the elements. Keep them covered completely with a material that will block as much UV radiation as possible. Make sure your bags will stay dry at all times, and move them indoors into a clean, dry storage space as soon as possible.
Bulk bags are built to withstand a lot, but that doesn’t mean they can survive anything. To maintain the integrity and safety of your FIBCs, it’s essential to follow the right storage procedures and keep them protected from the elements as much as possible. Otherwise, your bags may fail when you need them the most.