Tips for Storing Lumber in Self-Storage Units


Lock Box Self Storage
July 20th, 2023

storing lumber in self storage
Maybe you’ve come across extra lumber, or you need to keep some stored away until a project in the future. Whatever the case, it might seem easy to toss the product in a locker - but it’s not so simple. If you want to use a self-storage unit to keep your wood, there are several items you should consider keeping it in the best shape as it sits inside the room.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to properly store lumber in a self-storage unit, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about five of our best tips for keeping your material in one piece, even if you need to store it for an extensive period. The more you know, the more likely you will keep your product in good condition until the end.

How Should You Store Lumber in Self-Storage Unit?

Get Climate Control

The very first thing you should do is look for a climate-controlled self-storage unit. Wood is a very particular material, and that’s especially evident with lumber. If the air is dry, it may suck the moisture out of the wood and cause it to crack. If there is too much liquid in the air, it may fill the material and cause it to swell up and warp, rendering it unusable.

Look for a storage unit that is:

  • Controlled to fit a comfortable climate, preferably inside a building
  • Off the ground floor
  • Not humid or dry

If there’s any time to be picky with your locker, it’s with your wood.

Ensure your area is cool and dry, but not too dry. It needs a particular location to remain in the shape you want for your future project. If you’re careful, a storage unit with climate control is one of the best places for your lumber. It will keep it safe and secure for as long as you want.

Consider Your Wood Category

Consider the category of wood you have purchased. There are two types of this material in the world of lumber, and each will require different care from you when putting the product inside a self-storage unit.

Lumber typically falls inside one of these two categories:

  • Seasoned wood: This material is kiln-dried and ready for use, whether for building or firewood. Keep this product away from moisture, or it will ruin its use. If you keep seasoned wood in a storage unit, do not mix it with unseasoned wood.
  • Unseasoned wood: Unseasoned wood must be kept from seasoned wood and is best stored outdoors. It should be in your workshop because unseasoned wood in a storage unit will have a tough time drying out without exposure to the air.

One is dried, while the other is in the process of drying.

You could be air-drying the lumber on your own. If you have a mix of seasoned and unseasoned wood, ensure you keep the wood that isn’t dry away from your seasoned wood. If you have any product meant to go inside a fireplace, keep it at least three feet away from any buildings.

Consider the Layout of Wood

You may put your lumber in the storage unit vertically or horizontally. It does make a difference. One will save space, while the other will effectively keep the moisture content in your wood at an ideal level to keep it in quality condition.

There are two ways to store your lumber:

  • Horizontally: This option is best if your wood isn’t completely dry. Support it at the top and bottom to prevent bowing, then space the wood out to allow proper drying.
  • Vertically: Keeping your wood vertically might make more sense to save room in your storage unit. However, it is only a good idea if you’re storing completely dry lumber.

It’s up to you to determine what you prefer.

If your wood is completely dry, keep it vertical to save room for other items. If it still needs time to release moisture, support it and keep it horizontal for the best results.

Support the Lumber

If you store lumber, it’s necessary to provide support to ensure the wood does not warp in the unit if it isn’t thoroughly dried out. You should have a support measure under every foot and a half of the wood to keep the integrity.

Failure to support the wood may lead to bowing. Once the wood has bowed, it's impossible to get it back to its original position, and you will have lumber you cannot work with for any project that requires flat wood to complete.

Don’t Stack the Wood

It’s possible to stack lumber - but it must have room to breathe. If you pack multiple pieces on top of each other without any location in between, the lumber could suffer damage. The ones on the top will suffocate the ones on the bottom, compromising it in every way. It isn’t worth it to save room.

Stacking could also cause warping to occur in the material. If you want to stack wood on top of each other, keep it to only two or three pieces. Ensure your wood is as dry as possible before attempting this technique.

Storing Lumber in Self-Storage in Mount Juliet, Tennessee

There are several things to keep in mind when storing lumber in self-storage. You should invest in a location with climate control, consider the type of wood you have, and consider the direction it will sit and how much you need to keep. The more you plan the storage process, the more likely your lumber will survive the overall experience.

If you want an affordable storage unit to keep your lumber, look no further than Lock Box Self Storage in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. We offer small, medium, and large units, each intended to cater to whatever you need. Whether you have a few pieces of lumber or an entire home’s worth, we are ready to make it easy to keep your material safe and secure. Book a unit online or give us a call at (615) 758-3433.