It may come as a surprise, but even reclaimed lumber needs time to acclimate-- with some exceptions-- before it ready to be put to use. Because The Lumber Baron wants your projects to turn out well we thought it would be a great idea to provide you with some information about decking acclimation, why it is important, and how long the process is going to delay is going to take.
What is Acclimation?
Acclimation is the process of allowing your deck lumber to adjust to the conditions where it will be used. Without acclimation, your deck project is more likely to show warping, separation or other undesirable effects. And while acclimation is typically associated with hardwoods, even reclaimed hardwood, softwood needs to become adjusted as much or even more so because it is already more susceptible to warping.
Does All Lumber Require Acclimation?
The easy answer to whether all lumber needs to be acclimated is “Maybe.” If you are installing a deck, for example, whether or not to acclimate depends on the fasteners being used. If you are attaching your decking with clips, acclimation is very important, but installing with screws provides a tighter bond and acclimation becomes less vital. The Lumber Baron suggests acclimating all deck lumber because you have invested in your materials and deserve to get the best results possible from your efforts.
There are several factors which determine whether deck acclimation is necessary and how long it should take. When deciding on an acclimation period, you need to take into account things such as:
How Long Does Acclimation Require?
Depending on your location and weather, the length of time required for proper acclimation ranges from 3 or 4 days to as much as 2 weeks. This can be confusing for some, but the simple truth is that acclimating lumber is based on local factors that vary from one project to another. The important thing is to separate your lumber so that it receives adequate light and airflow for the moisture to be coaxed out of the grain of the wood and dissipated into the air.
Perhaps the best advice we can provide you on this subject is to discuss the details of your project with us when you come in to select your lumber. Our staff is well-versed in the care and use of the lumber we sell, and we would be more than happy to provide you with specific information based on the lumber you plan to use, prevalent weather patterns, and the application you have in mind.