How Do I Properly Store and Maintain Timber Materials to Prevent Warping and Deterioration?

How Do I Properly Store and Maintain Timber Materials to Prevent Warping and Deterioration?

29th Feb 2024

Properly storing and maintaining timber materials is crucial to preserving their quality and preventing issues like warping and deterioration. Timber, being a natural and versatile material, requires specific conditions to maintain its integrity over time.

In this guide, the expert team from Canterbury Timber breaks down the best practices for timber storage and maintenance, helping you ensure that your wood remains in top condition for future projects.

Proper Storage Techniques

The way timber is stored can significantly impact its longevity and usability. Timber should be stored off the ground, on level surfaces, to ensure even support and prevent moisture absorption from the ground.

Using stickers or spacers between timber layers promotes air circulation, reducing the risk of mould growth and wood rot. Additionally, timber should be covered with a breathable material, like a tarp, to protect it from direct sunlight and rain while allowing moisture to escape.

Humidity and Temperature Control

Controlling the environment where timber is stored plays a vital role in its preservation. Extreme changes in humidity and temperature can cause timber to expand, contract, and eventually warp.

Maintaining a stable environment, ideally with a relative humidity of 35% to 55%, helps preserve the wood's natural moisture balance. In areas with high humidity levels, using dehumidifiers or fans can assist in maintaining optimal conditions.

Handling and Transport

Proper handling and transport are essential to prevent damage to timber. When moving timber, it's important to lift it correctly to avoid bending or stressing the wood, which can lead to warping.

During transport, timber should be securely fastened and supported to prevent movement that could cause cracks or splits. Protective wrapping can also shield timber from the elements and potential contaminants during transport.

Regular Maintenance

Regular inspection and maintenance of stored timber can help identify and mitigate potential issues before they lead to significant damage. Check for signs of pests, such as termites or beetles, which can weaken timber structures.

Treating timber with appropriate wood preservatives can protect against pests and fungal growth. Removing any debris or spillage on timber promptly prevents moisture accumulation, further reducing the risk of deterioration.

Expert Tips

  • Rotation, Rotation, Rotation: Regularly rotate your timber stock to ensure all materials are used in order of their storage time, preventing long-term issues with older stock.
  • Invest in Quality Storage Solutions: Consider investing in shelving or racking specifically designed for timber storage. These solutions provide adequate support and ventilation, reducing the risk of warping and deterioration.
  • Monitor Environmental Conditions: Use hygrometers (an instrument to measure humidity in the air) and thermometers to continuously monitor the humidity and temperature of your storage area, adjusting controls as necessary to maintain optimal conditions.

Storing For Success

The proper storage and maintenance of timber materials are crucial for preserving their quality and preventing warping and deterioration. By following these guidelines and implementing regular checks, you can ensure that your timber remains in excellent condition, ready for your next project.

Remember, investing time and effort in correct timber storage not only saves money in the long run but also contributes to the success of your woodworking or construction projects. To find out more, contact us today.


How do you store wood to prevent warping?

Store wood off the ground on a flat, level surface, using spacers between layers for air circulation. Keep wood covered with a breathable material to protect it from direct sunlight and moisture while ensuring good ventilation.

What are the proper storage practices for timber?

Proper timber storage involves keeping it dry, off the ground, and in a well-ventilated area. Use spacers for air circulation, cover timber to protect it from the elements, and maintain stable humidity and temperature levels.

How do you properly store wood?

Proper wood storage includes elevating it off the ground, ensuring it's straight and supported evenly to prevent bending or warping. Protect it from moisture and direct sunlight, and keep the storage area well-ventilated.

Do I need to do anything differently when storing construction timber?

Construction timber, especially if used outdoors, may require additional protection against moisture and pests. Consider treating it with wood preservatives and ensuring it's stored in a covered, ventilated area until used. Additionally, inspect construction timber regularly for signs of wear or damage.

Does Canterbury Timber offer trade accounts and discounts?

Canterbury Timber are proud to offer trade accounts and pricing. To find out more and apply for a trade account, visit our website