Prior to fixing damaged pallet rack beams or columns, it is essential to engage the services of a qualified, professional engineer to supervise and direct the assessment of the system’s condition, as well as design and oversee the ultimate repair or replacement. Building codes and standards evolve and improve over time—meaning a rack system installed several years ago may not meet current standards.
When repairing an older system, should the work be performed to the codes in place during the original installation, or to current standards?
As outlined in RMI’s “Guideline for the Assessment and Repair or Replacement of Damaged Rack – Version 1,” section 6.4.1:
- Repair projects with the original stamped and sealed engineering drawings and documentation that do not have any changes likely do not need evaluation under the current RMI/ANSI Specification.
- If no calculations or documentation from the original project are available but are now required, the system must be evaluated under the current RMI/ANSI Specification and IBC requirements.
In other words, if the original engineering documentation is available and the system has not been moved or modified, the supervising engineer may elect to evaluate the repair of the system under the original design guidelines and building code standards. If the original engineering documentation is not available, or the system has been moved or relocated, best practice is to evaluate and permit the system to current building code standards.