Wood protection: how to store lumber

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In this article, you will learn what becomes the main cause of mold and insect damage to wood. We will tell you about how to properly store and protect lumber, what are the methods of antiseptic treatment, protection from infection, and how much antiseptics themselves cost.

Wood protection. How to store lumber

Tree pests

The issue of maintaining the quality of lumber during storage is extremely important when it comes to large stocks in private ownership. Large enterprises can afford a total rejection of up to 30-40% of the material, but this is beyond the means of a private owner. It is much cheaper to take preventive (preventive) measures to preserve the quality of the forest.

During storage, the tree is exposed to the following harmful effects:

  • rotting;
  • insect damage;
  • warping.

The latter process is typical for solid timber (board, timber) more than 2 meters long. An additional hazard factor for wood is storage in a fire hazardous place, but in this case the quality and conditions of the material are not important..

The natural cause of all wood problems

It is not without reason that insects and fungus (mold) attack wood in damp and warm places. It is the water that is contained in the fibers or on the surface of the tree that is the favorable environment in which important nutrients are dissolved. Moisture-related wood problems:

  • breeding ground for insects and fungi;
  • natural oxidation of matter – the cause of the appearance of “blue”;
  • risk of frost cracks.

These three reasons serve as sufficient reason to say that it is moisture in all its manifestations that is the main problem of lumber. By ensuring dry storage, you avoid the root cause of many other problems..

Wood storage methods

Consider the popular techniques that craftsmen use when harvesting and preserving wood to prevent the indicated troubles.

Technique 1. Careful selection and rejection of material at the stage of acquisition or before conservation

At the time of selection, when purchasing or transferring existing stocks, each board should be carefully inspected. This time-consuming activity will take time, but will save you from future losses. A timely detected infection with a tree beetle will protect from the spread of the pest. It is imperative to shift the stock, which is stored for a long time – there may be damage by the fungus, which also spreads (however, rather slowly).

Wood protection. How to store lumber

Technique 2. Higher the stack from the ground

The higher the material is from the surface of the soil, the better for the owner. There are three reasons to lift a stack:

  • access is difficult for insects, especially termites, which cannot move outdoors for a long time;
  • in spring and autumn, when the soil is moistened by rains, a zone of high humidity forms near its surface;
  • even at a low height of 30-40 cm, air circulation is more intense.

Wood protection. How to store lumber

Of course, there must be significant airflow between the bottom row and the base..

Technique 3. An obstacle that is too tough

In areas where there is a danger of being hit by wood chips or termites (that is, in all places in the middle zone and to the south), stone or metal material (pipe, brick, cinder block) is placed under the lower lining of the stack. Enterprises that store or use sawn timber concreted separate areas for this. This is to ensure that larvae and termites that make hidden passages in the ground cannot reach the material..

Technique 4. Cross pads or “pads”

Longitudinal elements must be shifted with transverse slats or bars. For material with a thickness of 25 mm or less – after 2 rows, more than 25 mm – each row. The thickness of the slings is at least 15 mm, the pitch is 500–700 mm. This technique is basic and very effective, since it has combined functions – it prevents the direct spread of fungus and provides ventilation of the rows.

Wood protection. How to store lumber

This storage method minimizes warpage of long items, which occurs due to temperature and humidity changes. Uneven humidity or intensity of drying leads to deformation of boards and beams more than 2 meters long. It can be longitudinal or transverse bending, helical or wavy deformation. Any type of deformation leads to a partial loss of properties and complicates further processing.

When using rebars, the wood receives a natural percentage of moisture and temperature along its entire length at once, uniformly changing properties.

Reception 5. Pre-processing

Experienced craftsmen know that there is never too much antiseptic. It is impossible to “re-antisept” a tree, but the more often and thicker it is treated with special compounds, the more chances are to save the material. The first processing of a wooden structure after installation is a sign of a not very conscientious attitude to work.

Wood protection. How to store lumber

The costs of a modern antiseptic are incomparable with the losses from damage to the material. Compositions such as “Antiseptic”, “Antipyren”, “Antizhuk” are more than available today. Due to the presence of resins in the fibers, the tree willingly accepts impregnations based on petroleum products – kerosene, diesel fuel, oil (mining), primers, drying oil. Their specific smell and toxicity scare away pests, but over time, the smell disappears and insects return.

Wood protection. How to store lumber

Antiseptic prices of domestic manufacturers

Name Manufacturer Packaging Price, rub.
“KREPS PRIME-ANTISEPTIC” (concentrate 1: 4) St. Petersburg 10 l 1350
Good Master Antiseptic for severe conditions Chelyabinsk 5 Kg 335
“ZOTEX Silva” Wood Antiseptic Novosibirsk 10 Kg 520
“SENEZH” Difficult antiseptic Balashikha 10 Kg 750
“DREVOTEKS” Antiseptic impregnation for wood Yekaterinburg 3 Kg 1000
PROSEPT EXTERIOR Antiseptic for outdoor use Yekaterinburg 1 l / 5 l 360/1300
“Nortex-Doctor” Antiseptic Khabarovsk 43 l 5600
NEOMID 440 ECO Antiseptic for outdoor use Krasnoyarsk 5 l 1400

Exceptions can be made only by materials that are antiseptic by the autoclave method..

Technique 5. Horizontal arrangement

This form of storage was chosen not only for the convenience of transportation. The tree remains alive until complete decomposition – the processes laid down by nature continue to go on in its massif. One such process is the movement of water from the root along the trunk to the top of the tree. This property of wood is called hygroscopicity. A board or timber stored in an upright position (butt down) will “pull” moisture up the fibers and the product will eventually be affected by mold.

Horizontal laying avoids the hygroscopic effect that our ancestors knew about. For the same reason, woodpiles for storing firewood are folded horizontally..

Technique 6. Protection from atmospheric waters

The most common mistake is to keep the material outdoors all autumn, and wrap it up with polyethylene from all sides before freezing. This procedure, instead of being beneficial, will lead to a loss of wood properties up to 25%. The masters call this mistake: “steam the tree”.

Wood protection. How to store lumber

Indeed, the material that has collected excess moisture in the fall, sealed hermetically, will keep it inside the “greenhouse”. If the wood is clean, then most likely mold will not form. But the weather will change repeatedly, including towards warming, which will lead to a weakening of the fiber structure, like a steamed broom. At the same time, the appearance of frost cracks is guaranteed.

The covered material must have a constant supply of air for ventilation and equalization of humidity. The ideal option is a canopy with a hard roof, but this “luxury” is not always possible. When arranging a polyethylene protection, remember about the air, which is best left at the ends of the stack..

All of the above methods apply to any wood species, including valuable ones. There are several breeds that are not afraid of insects and changes in moisture, but their cost is so high that it is unlikely that anyone will have to stack them in the open air. He will talk about tree pests and how to deal with them in the next article..

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