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Can You Leave Pressure-Treated Lumber in the Rain?

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Can pressure treated lumber be left in the rain?

Over the years, custom home builders have asked us hundreds, if not thousands, of questions about particular projects and general lumber knowledge. A common question that we get asked because of Florida’s inclement weather is, “Can you leave pressure-treated lumber in the rain?” Instead of giving you a yes or no answer right away, it’s important you understand as much as you possibly can. So, let’s break this down into a series of related questions…

Can You Leave Pressure-Treated Lumber in the Rain? 

The effect of leaving pressure-treated wood in the rain depends on whether or not it’s already been stained. If it has, then it’s no different than rain on a wooden structure. However, if it hasn’t been stained yet, this causes a problem because you won’t be able to stain it properly until it’s dried out. That being said, any type of pressure-treated wood should be off the ground so that it doesn’t sit there soaking in the wet dirt or mud.

How Long Does Pressure-Treated Wood Take to Dry?

Just like the answer above, the length of time that it’ll take for wood to dry depends on whether or not it’s been stained. If you’re dealing with wood that’s already gone through the staining process, then it’ll only take about four or five days to dry out. Unstained wood, on the other hand, can take weeks or months to dry and may become damaged during that time. To prevent this, your best bet is to get it kiln-dried so there are no lasting effects.

Can Wet Pressure-Treated Wood Be Used to Build?

It should come as no surprise that you can build with wet pressure-treated wood if it has already been stained. This isn’t really preferable, but you do have that option. Just keep in mind that wet wood will expand a bit, so your original measurements may be off. If you don’t want to pay for professional kiln drying, then you should at least ask a professional for further advice.

Why Should You Hire a Professional Dry Pressure-Treated Wood Company?

As we mentioned above, leaving pressure-treated wood in the rain can cause a big problem if it hasn’t been stained because you can’t stain it until it’s dry. Some people will use a do-it-yourself kiln technique that will dry the wood, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could damage the wood and leave it unusable.

To avoid this problem, you should reach out to a professional to do the kiln drying for you. You can also have them stain the wood while you’re there, just to save a little time and make sure that it’s done properly.

How to Protect Building Materials from the Rain

No matter which point you’re at in your custom home building project, you should always try to protect it from the elements when it’s sitting out in your yard.

Here are a few tips to help you make that happen:

  • Know the Threats: Take note of impending storms and potential flooding issues.
  • Timing Is Everything: Plan your project during the summer months or other times when rain is unlikely.
  • Construction Envelope: To protect the wood in long-term projects, you can invest in construction envelopes.
  • Have an Action Plan: Create a plan that takes unforeseen weather changes into account.

Contact Peninsular Lumber for Pressure-Treated Wood Assistance.

Peninsular Lumber Company in Tampa can help you make your home improvement project a success. If you have any other questions about leaving pressure-treated wood in the rain or would like to order any of our building materials, reach out to us at (813) 875-8805 today or come visit our store.