How to Properly Acclimate Decking and Siding

All wood breathes, no matter what kind it is. The fibers that make up the wood absorb and release moisture. It’s required that before you begin installation, you allow the decking to acclimate to your local environment. This helps prevent large expansion and contraction of the wood once it’s installed.

The proper way to acclimate wood is to let it sit in the area where it will be built for a period of at least 7 days. Depending on your climate, and the time of year you install your deck, this acclimation period can be anywhere between 7 – 14 days. Never let your wood sit directly on top of the ground or concrete.

Both the ground and concrete have high fluctuations in temperature and humidity and can adversely affect the decking. Do not store your material for more than 30 days before installing it. If you have to store it for a period longer than 30 days, consult with someone from to find the proper way to install during long periods of time.

During the storage process, the deck must be elevated at least 12″ off the ground and stickers (small wood pieces) must be placed between each row of wood. This spacing will help with the ventilation in each board and helping it acclimate evenly. Last, but not least, do not cover your wood with any tarp/plastic.

Covering it with a tarp will trap moisture and cause the wood to warp and twist. If you foresee rainfall, cover the wood with a sheet of plywood to shed the water. Always keep your material as dry as possible prior to installation.

Following these simple rules will ensure that your siding will perform as you expect it to. Not only will the boards last longer, but it’ll be free of imperfections and future defects. We encourage you to watch this video to see how not to store wood decking or siding:

How Not to Store Hardwood Decking

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