How to Prevent Structural Timber From Being Damaged or Stolen During a Construction Project
Loss of structural timber (as a result of damage or theft) can lead to lengthy delays and additional expenses during a construction project. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to keep this type of building material safe. Read on to find out more.
Assign specific people to handle timber deliveries as soon as they arrive on site
One of the common reasons why timber ends up being stolen or destroyed is because it is left outdoors, unprotected from thieves and from the elements, for several hours (or perhaps even days) after being delivered.
Leaving timber in a pile outdoors for long periods of time can significantly increase the risk of it being stolen (especially if it is left outside overnight when the construction site is vacant). It also increases the chances of the timber being damaged by exposure to rain or humidity (timber can develop mould and wet rot when it gets moist).
As such, the simplest way to keep structural timber safe and undamaged is to put it into a secure, lockable container immediately after it is delivered to the building site.
Assigning this responsibility to specific workers will create a culture of accountability and increase the likelihood of these workers handling timber deliveries correctly (as they will understand that they will be held responsible if the timber is destroyed or stolen because they failed to put it away promptly).
Make sure it is stored in a suitable environment
As mentioned above, timber can develop wet rot and mould if it is exposed to moisture; the latter can affect the appearance and smell of the wood, whilst the former can reduce its structural integrity.
As such, it is essential to make sure that the storage container in which the timber is kept is dry, cool and well-ventilated. The structure should be checked for leaks on a regular basis (as even a few drops of rainwater seeping into it could damage the timber).
Additionally, if the climate of the area in which the construction site is located is quite humid, it might be necessary to place a dehumidifier in the storage container for the duration of the project so that any excess moisture in the air is absorbed before it can destroy the wood.
Last but not least, the timber should be kept off the ground of the storage container (by, for example, piling it on top of a layer of bricks) so that, if the storage container floods during a period of heavy rain and its floor gets saturated, the timber will still remain dry.