Although its effects are not immediately apparent on a construction site, the moisture that wood is exposed to during construction can have an impact on long term integrity of a building. If too much moisture is trapped amongst the wood components and then they are sealed in by insulation or drywall for example, that could pave the way for mold problems a few months or years down the line. It’s everyone’s responsibility on the jobsite is to follow good practices to ensure proper building material moisture control, before during and after the components are put in place and the building is closed. For this blog let’s just focus on the joists.
Preparing the Job site
Make sure that you have a clean well-drained area where you can store the joists, preferably a covered area if they are to arrive under rainy or snowy conditions. Make provisions for the joists to be stored without directly touching the ground (ideally 6 to 8 inches off the ground). A low traffic area is also preferable.
Arrival of the joists
Once the joists arrive, immediately check the protective wrapping for damage. Fix or Replace torn or absent wrapping with weatherproof quality tarp immediately. Standard polyethylene plastic sheets aren’t recommended as they may do more to trap moisture than to keep it away. Leave the original protective wrapping on the Joist for as long as possible, right up until installation, to ensure best results.
As Open Joist Triforce® is kiln-dried, it does have some natural water repellence and won’t be affected by small amounts of rain. Likewise the adhesive used in its construction is waterproof and NES and CCMC approved. However, make sure to reduce storage time to a minimum in order to reduce any risk of moisture absorption. The joists also need to be stored in an upright position. Never lie them flat or pile them on top of each other horizontally.
Closing the building
If the weather has been particularly inclement during the framing, make sure that once the building is closed that sufficient time is given for the wood’s accumulated moisture to evaporate before putting up insulation or gypsum board. Make sure the building gets a good dry start.
Although there is no trade or position that has direct responsibility for managing exposure of the building materials to the elements, the logical choice would be the General Contractor. He should brief everyone on the importance of properly protecting the materials and delegate the responsibility of the materials protection where necessary. As stated above, everyone should keep a sharp eye out for any situations that would eventually lead to material degradation.
In the end, properly managed materials on the job make for a safe dry building, free from mold or other structural issues and can certainly help contribute to years of customer satisfaction.