Handling and storage

Wood offers good durability – as long as it is handled correctly. To preserve the high quality of the wood until it is encased in the final structure, it should be protected from precipitation, sun, dirt and ground moisture.

Plan and prepare

Plan deliveries to match the pace of production - order materials in batches and prepare for their reception and storage. Always ensure that the wood is delivered in packaging (not transparent).

Wood for exposed applications indoors, such as mouldings, cladding and floorboards, must be stored in a well ventilated space with an indoor climate.

Wood for outdoor use and encasing should be stored in an outdoor climate, protected from precipitation. Lay the wood flat in a well drained location. Always use enough battens to avoid the pack of wood bending. Use clean battens. Make sure air can circulate around the pack of wood. Keep wood-based materials at least 300 mm above the ground or floor.

Choose a storage place where water will not pool under the wood. Asphalt or coarse macadam is a good underlay, as there is minimal risk of soil and dirt splashing up.

The ground should be cleared of snow. Do not place wood where there is a risk of soiling, for example splashing from roofs or traffic. Make sure the storage place is in shade during spring, summer and autumn. Packs of wood in sunlight will become warmer than the ambient temperature, which can lead to condensation. This then increases the risk of microbial growth (particularly on the outer layer).

Reception and inspection

Inspect the wood when taking receipt of the delivery.

  • Packaging: check that it is intact
  • Quantity: make a rough estimate of the quantity
  • Dimensions: check that they match the order and the delivery note
  • Grades: check the delivery, noting any visible damage. Check the type and labelling against the order and delivery note
  • Check that the wood is clear of soil and dirt
  • Moisture content: check a number of pieces with a moisture meter to get an indication that the moisture content matches the order. See also the section Measuring average moisture content and surface moisture content.

Put in a complaint about the wood immediately if, on delivery, it has a moisture content or grade that does not match the order.

If a complaint is not registered on receipt of the goods, it can be difficult to resolve a dispute at a later date. In the event of a dispute, sampling is to be performed in line with the prevailing SIS-CEN/TS 12169, with the moisture content requirements set out in SS-EN 14298.

The whole content of the wood package must be available for inspection in the event of a complaint.

Protect the wood

Check that the tarpaulin is intact before covering the pack of wood.

Cover the wood so that the air can circulate and so as to avoid too high a temperature or condensation arising. Leave straps and packaging on the wood for as long as possible.

Ventilate between the wood and the tarpaulin and make sure that the tarpaulin ends a good way above the ground. Place spacers or similar around the pack of wood so that the tarpaulin does not touch the wood at any point.

Direct sunlight will quickly dry out the surface. Cracks will form, the wood might become deformed and it could become moister on the side in shade.

The wood should therefore also remain covered during daylight/working hours. Do not use a transparent cover.

If water has made its way into the pack of wood, the wood must be dried before use. Break open and remove the packaging. Sticker the wood. Cover and leave to dry. Place it in an open location if during the summer. Wood that has warped should be discarded.

Place it indoors with a construction fan if it is a cold time of year. Check the moisture content and the surface moisture content before the wood is to be used.

Safeguard the moisture content

Construction timber

A batch of construction timber or external cladding normally has a target moisture content of 16% on delivery from the sawmill. The wood can be stored in the packaging outdoors for a short time, as long as it is fully protected against precipitation and moisture absorption. To cover the wood, use fully waterproof tarpaulins. Make sure that moisture does not rise from the ground under the tarpaulin and that air can circulate around and over the pack of wood. Place the pack of wood in the shade.


The moisture content of a batch of glulam is usually no more than the target moisture content of 16% on delivery from the glulam manufacturer. Glulam is delivered with transport protection. If the packaging is fully sealed, glulam can be stored outdoors under a roof for a short time. If the packaging is broken, mend it (even minor tears) or remove it entirely and then store the glulam in a dry and warm place if being used indoors. Glulam that is to be used in unheated buildings or in an outdoor climate, protected under a roof, can be stored in a cold place, well protected from precipitation.

Table 36 Weight figures for handling

Use the following weight figures when handling solid wood and glulam:

Wood type Weight (kg/m3)
Spruce 470 kg/m3
Pine 500 kg/m3
Glulam  500 kg/m3
Treated glulam  600 kg/m3*
Treated wood 830 kg/m3** 

* dried laminates after treatment
** not dried


Mouldings, interior cladding and floorboards

A batch of mouldings, interior cladding and floorboards will usually have a target moisture content of 8% on delivery from the manufacturer. They should be wrapped in six-sided plastic packaging and have a moisture content that is tailored to the application in the finished building. Do not, therefore, store these materials on the construction site. Make sure they are not delivered or encased until drying of the initial moisture in the building has been completed. If they do have to be stored on the construction site, it should be in a location with an indoor climate.


Sort wood waste as a separate category that can then be chipped and burned for energy recovery. Waste from pressure treated wood must be handled in line with instructions from the municipal environmental office.


Table 37 Examples of target moisture content on delivery from manufacturer for different applications

Target moisture content (%) Use
8 Floorboards indoors in heated rooms
12 Floorboards indoors in heated rooms.
16  Solid wood and glulam for encasing and exterior cladding.