Q. We are getting ready to ship some wood that was sourced from Southeast Asia to the U.S. The wood has been cut and stacked in an enclosed and covered free air circulation warehouse for five years now.

My question is should we dry it in Southeast Asia and then ship to the U.S. or dry it here?

 

A. In much of Southeast Asia, the outside environment protected from rain will result in 16 percent MC in the lumber. We call that 16 percent EMC air, where EMC stands for Equilibrium Moisture Content. Here in the interior of a home or office, we have 6 to 7 percent EMC most of the time. Hence, your wood is going to dry 10 percent MC more. It is unlikely that the wood can be dried to 6.5 percent MC and then wrapped or stored in SE Asia to prevent moisture gain. So, you will need to dry it here in the U.S.

Also, note that after five years of storage, it is likely that the wood will have some insects in it and they may have caused some damage. At the least, you will need to have a commercial company fumigate the wood upon arrival to kill the insects and their eggs.

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