Storing Beams and Logs
It is very important to take a proper care of timbers because they can be harmed by many factors, such as sunlight, water, lack of air circulation, fungi, and bugs. Sunlight will turn color to dark and UV radiation cause wood damage after a long-term exposition. Water and poor air circulation cause rapid fungus damage.
The best way to care for timbers is to put them onto a stack and when storing logs, make sure they are barked.
Important rules to follow
- the very bottom layer should be about 10" above the ground as prevention of dampness
- all layers are to be leveled in both directions
- sticker should be used to allow air circulation between layers. Distance between stickers depends on timber size. It is recommended to put sticker every 3 or 4 feet in lower layers, every other sticker in top layers can be omitted
- size of the sticker shall correspond with beam size. Minimum sticker size for large beams is 1"×1"
- stickers in the next level should be placed directly above existing ones
- stack should not be more than 3 or 5 feet wide and no more than 61/2 feet high. If you do not plan to manipulate with timber for a log time stack can be larger
- minimal beam spacing to allow air circulation is about a half an inch
- it is recommended to paint beam heads in order to reduce end checking
- insecticide should be also applied
- stack should be protected from direct sunlight, rain and snow (shed, cover)
Time needed for timbers to dry can be roughly calculated using well-known equation where 1/2" = 1 year (e.g. beam 8"×10" needs 8"(shorter side) ÷ 2(faces) ÷ 0.5 = 8 years until it gets completely dry).