Now that summer has come to an end, your home improvement projects may still be in full swing. Snow will be flying soon, which means that you need to consider how to protect your lumber if you have been storing it outside. Constant temperature changes and exposure to rain and snow will take a serious toll on lumber. Because wood can be restored and repurposed, crafty DIY’s usually always have it laying around. Let’s look at the basics of how to store wood.

How to Store Wood Tip #1: What Effects Do The Elements Have?

Mold is one of the most damaging effects of rain and snow on lumber left outside. Perfectly good pieces of lumber are often wasted after it becomes infested with mold, because it is simply just not fit to bring in the house. Wood can be cleaned and cleared of mold, but it takes a lot of time and effort.

You can hose down the timber and scrub it with a solution of 1 quart of water mixed with a ½ cup of bleach. To penetrate small cracks and crevices, you can use a soft bristled brush to get a deep clean.

How to Store Wood Tip #2: Consider Fading

Wood will quickly fade and lose its luster after prolonged exposure the elements. This can be remedied with stains of various types. The only draw back is that this will require some upkeep to keep the “new” look.

Whether you are a homeowner looking into how to store wood for upcoming projects or a contractor housing larger amounts for current clients, there are some simple guidelines that can help you keep your lumber in tip top shape.

How to Store Wood

How to Store Wood Tip #3: Indoor Storage

If possible, storing lumber indoors is always the best option. Even kiln dried lumber is at risk of twisting, shrinking, and swelling. An indoor storage area that raises the wood off the floor and in a horizontal position is ideal.

If you are bringing lumber in from the outside in hopes of preserving it, it is important that you acclimate it before storage or use. Using a moisture meter is the best way to know when this process is complete. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on the amount of moisture and the type of wood you are dealing with.

How to Store Wood Tip #4: Outdoor Storage

If you cannot avoid storing your lumber outside, you can still protect it and minimize damage. Just like inside storage, it is important to keep your product off of the ground when it is sitting outside.

Always cover your lumber with waterproof tarps to prevent direct contact with rain and snow. However, keep in mind that living creatures that live outside may find this a warm place to respite from the weather. To prevent infestation, consistently check your bundles.

Even with these precautions, lumber stored outside will still experience fading, discoloration, and shrinking/swelling. Many of the current design trends are calling for “vintage” looking wood. If this is your goal, these outdoor storage tips will still keep your lumber free from mold so do not skip them.