Wood is the most essential thing for human life. They are part of our daily life such as chairs, tables, decks, etc. These woods are made by many processes and treatments. Pressure-treated wood is one of them. If you truly want to know how to speed up the drying of pressure-treated wood, below we are exploring it. It would be fun to talk about.
Nonetheless, It’s the most famous and common treatment for woodworkers. But the problem is it takes too much time to process. There are lots of ways and techniques to solve this problem. Let me know about the drying of pressure-treated wood.
What Is Pressure Treated Wood
Pressure-treated lumber is wood that is processed with various chemical preservatives to upgrade wood features. Wood preservatives contain chromate arsenic including chromium, copper, and arsenic. The preservatives make the wood stronger and increase its longevity for decades. Also, it protects wood from rotting and insects. This treated wood can bear a more harsh environment than untreated wood.
Pressure-treated wood was invented in the last century. This process is a manufacturing process that results in a long and durable building solution for all types of construction projects. There are 12 different levels of wood treatment available for this. The treatment is highly recommended for outdoor projects.
Why Should We Speed Up The Drying Of Pressure Treated Wood?
There are several reasons to speed up the drying of pressure-treated wood. Pressure-treated wood is a long-term method. This wood must be out of moisture before use, if moisture bends up on the surface it is still not ready yet. So the drying process needs from four weeks to 4 months at least. This time is too long for wood sellers.
There are also important reasons to dry up fast to reduce warping. Warping can happen when the outer layer of wood is drier than the inner level, which causes the wood to twist or bend. If we speed up the drying process it can reduce the amount of warping. There is another problem which is mold and mildew. Pressure-treated wood is often wet when it is first installed. So there is a high chance for wood to be affected by mildew. Speeding up the drying time can prevent the growth of these.
Tips On Speeding Up Drying Of Pressure Treated Woods
There are several ways to speed up the drying process. But one of the most famous ways is kiln dried. It is one of the fastest ways among all because they need just one to eight weeks. But it is important to do every step correctly to get perfect treated wood. Here are the important steps.
Step 1: Let the wood air dry
Air drying is one of the most important processes. Start by air-drying wood for a few months. Wood is a sensitive material so it can’t take high pressure at first. Using machinery or chemicals directly can damage your wood. So it is important to dry naturally first. It can lose eight to ten percent of water.
Take your wood to a clean outdoor space. To allow good airflow, stack the wood up with some spacers or stickers. It is important to put a piece of plastic on the ground. The plastic piece will prevent humidity effects on the wood. To minimize cracking and twisting, bind the wood with a tie down. Also, try to find a windy area.
Step 2: Take the Lumber to the Kiln
The kiln is the process of drying wood. in a certain place air circulation, humidity and temperature are controlled to reduce the moisture content at a target point. This process is the safest way that can be done without any drying effect. All we need is a room, a heat gun or heater or fan, and a plastic sheet.
First, take all the wood indoors after drying for a month. First, lay the poly then build a frame or rack. It is important to leave enough space between every wood piece to pass air equally. Now warp ply all around the rack. Make sure that the poly is warped in every section perfect to hold the moisture in. use a vapor barrier tape to seal every side.
Step 3: Use Heat Gun
A heat gun is a must for the kiln dry process. You can use either fan or heater as an alternative. But a heat gun is the most effective and fastest way. You can use both a heat gun and a fan either. But using a heat gun on the kiln dry can be a little bit risky, as there are plastics. But it can reduce the moisture of wood fastly.
First set the gun on the front of the kiln. Set the gun according to the angle, so that air can be blown all around. Now set the temperature according to the room’s temperature, wood type, and amount of wood. But the temperature must be around 120-190 degrees F. This process can be run for 4 weeks to 2 months.
How Long Will It Take To Dry Pressure Treated Wood?
There is no specific number to tell how long the pressure-treated wood will take to dry. There are several types of wood that are used as lumber. Every wood has a different level of moisture content, strength, and way of drying. The environment of a certain area will also affect the drying time.
For example, if you choose air dry it will take one year per inch of thickness. But kiln dry is a more complex and faster way. This method can 1-inch thick pieces of lumber in less than 12 hours to an 18% moisture level. This only happens on green lumbers. But if you use real oak wood then it will take up to 30 days for 1 inch at the 8% moisture level.
Can I Use Pressure Treated Wood Immediately?
Pressure-treated wood can be used immediately. Pressure-treated wood has gone through many processes to be done. So it will be a little bit weak. Also if the wood has been dried in any other ways there would be some chemical effect. So using pressure-treated wood immediately can damage or break it.
After the wood has been treated, it should rest for some time. It should be dry in the air another time. It will help the vanish the water or moisture if there is any left. Make sure that the wood is fully dry before use.
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What are the Steps of Drying Pressure Treated Wood
Drying pressure-treated wood is too simple as it looks. Sometimes after being kiln-dried, some moisture can be left a bit. So it is important to dry it again after the kiln dries. You can use natural sunlight or air drying. Also, there is chemical treatment available for this.
If you want to air dry the pressure-treated wood then take the woods outside again or choose a shaded place. Make sure the place is not too sunny. Direct sun can damage the wood. Now make a rack and place each board in place. Use a barrier or plastic to prevent any rain. Now dry it for at least 3-4 months. Then use it for your purpose.
How To Understand If The Pressure-Treated Wood Is Dried?
There are lots of ways to check if the wood is fully dried or not. It is important to make sure the wood is dry before using it. Unless it can cause issues later. There are three tests to define wood dryness.
- Feel test
- Water test
- Digital test
The first step is you can feel it with your hand. Rub your hand or paper towel and determine any moisture. But this step does not give you an exact result. The next step is water. Take some water and drop it on the surface. If wood soaks all the water it means it is ready to use. The other way is you can use a moisture content meter.
What Is The Best Place To Store Dried Pressure Treated Wood?
You can store pressure-treated wood indoors or outdoors. But it is best to store it in a shaded area. Use a spacer to keep the distance between each lumber. Use anything to trap the top to prevent rainwater. Also, the humidity can affect the place so the place should be dry and cool.
How Long Should You Wait Before Painting The Pressure-Treated Wood?
It is important to wait for some time to paint the pressure-treated wood. After the kiln dries the wood, there can still be some moisture residue. So it should rest for at least 3-4 months before use. Painting in wet wood can cause many problems. The project should be ended by warping or peeling paint.
Is It A Good Decision To Build A Deck With Pressure Treated Wood?
It’s not only good but also the best and most logical decision to build a deck pressure-treated wood. Pressure-treated wood gives the wood more longevity, and prevents insects and rotting. Also, it is suitable for outdoor projects. While the deck is also an outdoor project. It has to face humidity, rotting, insects, and many other things. This is why pressure-treated wood is a perfect choice for a deck.
We have presented you with information about how to speed up the drying of pressure treated wood. All the information is collected from authentic sources. Exploring options on how to dry pressure-treated wood faster will aid your woodworking project for sure. There we also mentioned definitions, meanings, types, and ways.
Always know that kiln dry is the best for wood drying. And make sure that the equipment should be ready before starting the project.
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