Winter Drying of Lumber in a Barn

      A quick description of the factors affecting drying time of wood stacked in a barn for the winter. July 16, 2012

Anybody know how low temp/low humidity conditions affect air drying? I live in West Virginia and I sure think anecdotally that any wood in my barn over the long cold winter seems to dry significantly. My barn has a concrete floor with vapor barrier under it, so is very dry in the cold winter months.

Forum Responses
From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
The average outside humidity in WV is about 65% RH (the same as in the summer actually). So the surface will be trying to reach 12% MC. Due to the slight heating in the barn during a sunny day, you can expect the barn to be around 11% EMC. The surface will get that dry, but in the cold, it will take a long time for the interior MC to achieve this lower value… Maybe 10 times more slowly, but maybe less, than summertime. As a rough estimate we say that drying will be active at 55 F or hotter. Due to the 11% EMC, it is possible to surface check oak in the wintertime.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Air Drying Lumber

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article