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How Should Timber be Stored?

When constructing your grand design, you want to ensure your materials are all perfectly suited to the task at hand, whilst providing the ideal aesthetic to bring your vision to life.


When constructing your grand design, you want to ensure your materials are all perfectly suited to the task at hand, whilst providing the ideal aesthetic to bring your vision to life. Of course, being the perfectionist you are, you may encounter delays due to new ideas or developments, and, whilst you are considering the next best move, it would be a tragedy to allow your perfectly sourced materials to spoil in any way – and this is why it is so important to implement proper wood storage.

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Common Problems From Incorrectly Stored Timber

It is time to stand up and take notice of real problems that could occur if your timber storage system is not set up correctly, resulting in spoiled materials and costly replacements.


Moisture Damage

If timber is stored in a damp area, or directly on the ground, it can absorb moisture, which can lead to warping, swelling or rot, resulting in unusable timber.


Fungal Growth

Excessive moisture can also encourage the growth of fungi, mould and mildew, which can stain and weaken the wood and lead to possible health concerns.


Pest Infestation

Be vigilant about pests such as termites, wood beetles and ants that can damage the timber whilst it is stored.



Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can lead to discolouration and degradation of the timber due to UV radiation.


Warping and Bowing

Without correct stacking and support in your wood storage, the timber can warp, bow or even twist as it dries, leaving it unsuitable for precision work or aesthetic purposes.



Contact with non-stainless metals, chemicals or soil can leave stains on the timber that can penetrate the membrane and be impossible to remove.


Physical Damage

Improper timber storage in a high-traffic area can result in knocks and bumps, leaving dents or splits on your timber.


Weight Pressure

Improperly supported stacks can result in too much weight on the lower pieces of timber and cause compression marks, crushing or cracks.


Fire Risks

Timber can pose a serious fire risk hazard if stored near heat sources or not kept clean.

To avoid these issues, it is crucial to store timber in a suitable environment with consideration for factors including, moisture, temperature, pests, physical protection and safety for both personnel and the timber pieces. Regular inspection of your wood storage practices is advised to ensure the area stays clean, efficient and safe.


Proper Practice for Timber Storage?

Fresh-cut timber, also known as green timber, contains a high level of moisture and requires immediate timber storage to ensure it dries thoroughly and remains usable. The following steps will ensure your fresh-cut timber is looked after correctly and in perfect condition for when you need it.


1. Stacking

Stack the timber in a well-ventilated area, using small pieces of wood (stickers), placed perpendicularly to your stored timber approximately every two feet. This will allow air to circulate around each piece.


2. Sticker Alignment

It is imperative to ensure all your stickers (small pieces of wood) are aligned vertically with one another in each layer to protect your timber from warping.


3. Elevation

Ensure your wood storage system keeps the timber off the ground to prevent moisture absorption and allow air circulation below.


4. Covering

Protecting your timber storage area from the elements is vital to ensure your timber doesn’t absorb rainwater, however, it will still require access for air to circulate.


5. Weighting

Place weights on the top of the timber stack to help keep the timber laying flat and further protect it from warping.


6. Location

Choosing the ideal location for your wood storage area can make all the difference. You’ll want to store it in a flat, dry area, and, if possible, in line with prevailing winds to maximise airflow, but not in direct sunlight as this can cause uneven drying or splitting.

Air-drying timber can be a lengthy process as it can take up to a year for each inch of thickness to dry in a temperate environment. Kiln drying is another method often used as it can complete the process in anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks.

The above steps should also be followed when storing timber prior to its use, to ensure it is in optimum condition when you need it.


Timber Storage Is All About Positioning

When it comes to getting timber storage right, the main consideration should always be positioning, as this can prevent any unwanted issues from occurring and maintain the structure, form and aesthetic of your pieces. Always stack your pieces in a vertical alignment with the stickers equally spaced, allow air circulation to penetrate throughout and ensure your timber is not in contact with the ground or any other surfaces which can allow moisture or pests to take hold. Remember that dry wood is particularly susceptible to catching fire so ensure your timber is never stored near any heat sources.

If you are finding it difficult to create the ideal environment to store your timber or would like further information or tips on how to keep it safe, get in touch with our friendly experts at Coventry Timber Products and we will guide you to ensure your timber pieces are in perfect condition and ready to go, so you don’t have to worry about the integrity of your construction or compromise on your vision.

For more information on How Should Timber be Stored? talk to Coventry Timber Products Ltd

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