Whether you need timber cladding, firewood, cedar shingles, or other timber product, some woods need to be properly seasoned before they can be used. Usually wood is considered to be seasoned if it has a moisture content of below 20%.
When wood loses its moisture it will shrink and change colour. If it loses moisture too quickly the wood can also be damaged.
Wood will naturally dry out just exposed to air, until the moisture content is in equilibrium with the moisture in the surroundings. Although leaving timber to season naturally is acceptable for firewood, it is not a good idea for timber that is going to be used for construction.
When timber is air dried it won’t dry uniformly. How it dries will depend on the air flow around the boards. If you have a big project, such as timber cladding, then air drying the timber will never get all boards to the same moisture level as air flow to each board will vary.
Air dried timber will also change again once it is on site. It will adapt to the new conditions. This means that it will also have to be stored on site for a while before it is used. It also means that it can not be painted or treated right away, as any changes in size as it adapts to new conditions will cause the paint to crack.
With a kiln timber can be dried uniformly with a regular moisture content throughout each piece. This means that timber boards will be the exact size and dimensions that is needed for your project.
Kiln dried timber has a superior finish to air dried timber and it does not need to adapt once it is on site, as it will keep a constant moisture content. This means that you don’t have to waste any time, space and money keeping timber stored on site. It can also be treated or painted straight away.
If you are looking to use timber products for construction, make sure it has been kiln dried by experts, so you don’t encounter any problems with irregularities or damaged wood that has not been correctly seasoned.