Storing timber

As a living, breathing organism - even after being cut - timber has to be maintained for its lifetime, especially in our harsh South African climate. Here are a few points to note when caring for timber.


When buying timber products for home improvement of DIY projects, you should be aware that there are a few things to bear in mind when storing timber in your home:

Always store timber in a dry, well ventilated area where it will be protected from the elements such as damp or moisture, rain, and direct sunlight.

Bear in mind that conditions at the timber merchant and hardware store are very different from your home environment. For this reason it's always best to let timber adjust to the conditions of the home for a few days before working with it. Properly storing timber is vital if you want to prevent it from bowing and warping.

Avoid laying timber and timber products flat on the ground, as this will cause twisting, warping and bending as the timber absorbs the moisture from the ground if untreated. It is better to store timber stock and finished projects on wood pallets or planks to protect it from rising damp.

If you are storing timber for a long period, turn it over every 2 weeks or so to prevent cupping. This is especially true for laminated pine shelving. A wall-mounted storage system will keep wood off the floor, but allow for plenty of supports. Also avoid packing too much timber on the racks to allow room for the timber to breathe.

If space is limited and you need to store timber vertically, only do this when the wood is absolutely dry. As long as timber is raised off the ground - and supported at the top and bottom to prevent bowing - you should be able to prevent damage,

Mouldings, specifically pine, should be kept in bundles for as long as possible to prevent bending and warping.

Doors should be stacked on a flat surface on top of pallets or dunnage and not directly on the ground, and avoid storing them on their edges/ends.

Care and Maintenance of Timber

Once an item has been installed, make sure to treat it with a quality wood treatment. Woodoc offer a range of products for all types of installation, both interior and exterior. Refer to Woodoc’s guidelines to ensure maximum protection of indoor and outdoor wood.

Adapted from article by RSB group and Popular Mechanics