If you are like most people who love doing their own home improvement projects with lumber, you know that one of the most important parts of your project is keeping your lumber dry. Wood can easily absorb moisture, which leads to warping and rotting. If you want to make sure that your next DIY project is successful, it is essential that you keep your lumber dry by doing the following.
Storing the lumber in a dry, covered area
Lumber tends to absorb moisture from the air, which can cause it to warp and rot over time. This occurs due to the wood’s natural porousness. You should store your lumber in a dry, covered area such as a shed or garage to prevent this from happening. This will protect the boards from rain and humidity so that they remain undamaged for your next project.
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This could mean storing the lumber in a shed or even just covering it with a plastic tarp when not in use. While a plastic tarp won’t provide the same protection as a shed, it is better than leaving the lumber outside completely exposed to the elements.
Treating the lumber with sealants
A sealant refers to a substance that is applied to wood in order to prevent it from absorbing moisture. Sealants are specifically designed for this purpose and can be found in most hardware stores. There are two main types of sealants available: water-based and oil-based.
Water-based sealants are typically easier to apply and provide a greater level of protection from moisture. On the other hand, oil-based sealants can last longer but require more effort to apply correctly. Whichever type you choose for your project, make sure that the directions are followed carefully in order for it to be effective.
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Avoiding direct contact with water
Lumber that is exposed to water for an extended period of time can easily become warped and rotten. Therefore, it is important to avoid placing your lumber directly in contact with any sources of moisture such as pools, streams, or ponds. If you must use the wood near a water source, make sure that it is elevated and far enough away from the water so that it doesn’t become saturated. Additionally, if you are working with outdoor lumber, make sure that it is protected from direct contact with rain by using a plastic sheet or custom tarps.
Using a dehumidifier
For those who live in areas with high humidity, it is important to use a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers work by removing moisture from the air, which helps to prevent your lumber from absorbing too much of it. Additionally, this will help to protect the rest of your home from any potential water damage.
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When selecting a dehumidifier, it is important to consider the size of the room that needs to be covered. Smaller rooms may only require a smaller model while larger ones will need something more powerful.
Inspecting the lumber regularly
Finally, regular inspections of your lumber are a great way to make sure that your project is going smoothly. This will allow you to catch any signs of warping or rotting before they become serious problems. One of the most important signs to look for is a change in color, such as a darkening of the wood. This could be a sign that the lumber is starting to absorb moisture and should be discarded before any further damage can occur. Another sign is a change in the texture, which can be caused by too much moisture.
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Seeking professional help
If you are uncertain about any of the steps listed above, it is always best to consult a professional. This could mean talking to a local hardware store or even hiring an experienced carpenter who can provide advice on how to keep your lumber dry and in good condition.
The state and quality of your lumber can make or break a DIY project, and that’s why it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure that your lumber is kept dry. These steps include storing the lumber in a covered area, treating it with sealants, avoiding direct contact with water, using a dehumidifier, and inspecting it regularly for signs of warping or rotting. If you are uncertain about any of these processes, do not hesitate to seek professional help.