The way that you store your lumber, as well as where you store it, can impact the condition of the wood when you go to use it for your project. There are some smart strategies that are used by lumberyards and mills to preserve and protect your investment- your lumber.

Some things that can impact the condition of your lumber include:

Climate and temperature.

Consider the relative humidity and temperature before storing lumber for extended periods of time; temperature impacts moisture in the air, which determines the amount of moisture change that your lumber will experience while stored. Moisture changes lumber in a variety of ways, such as warping, splitting, and prematurely deteriorating the wood.

The amount of moisture.

Pressure-treated lumber is more resistant to moisture and can tolerate being outdoors better than untreated lumber; if you try to dry out your lumber too quickly, it can cause splits. Rain doesn't impact the moisture in your lumber as much as the humidity in the air does, but if left uncovered, lumber that is saturated from a storm is very difficult to dry out properly.

Stacking strategies.

Poor stacking of your lumber can cause bending and warping, which makes the wood harder to saw. If possible, stack dried wood between under-dried planks to equal out the moisture content. Use inexpensive pile covers to protect your lumber after stacking, typically found at home improvement and building supply retailers.

Storage sheds.

Moisture absorbed by lumber can't evaporate when tucked out of the sun and stacked; yet protective storage such as a storage shed is important for kiln dried lumber. Stacked lumber should be under cover in the event of rain or snow, and a storage shed works well for this as long as you store the lumber before it becomes too wet. If your shed is unheated, be sure that it has a floor or paving underfoot to prevent moisture from seeping in and affecting your lumber.

Use care to properly store your lumber so that it is in good shape when it is time to complete your building project. Keep lumber in a climate-controlled environment whenever possible, and at the very least, protect lumber from the elements with a shed or tarpaulin. If you are taking on a big construction project, it may be beneficial to consider renting a storage unit or space to keep lumber safe, dry, and protected until it is time to use it. Talk to a materials provider, like Grant Road Lumber Co, for more information.

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