How to Properly Store and Transport Wood Structural Panels

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APA-trademarked wood structural panels offer the strength and quality that home builders rely on for strong, long-lasting construction. To ensure optimal performance, wood structural panels should be stored and handled properly prior to installation.

November 04, 2014

Photo credit: APA-The Engineered Wood Association

APA-trademarked wood structural panels offer the strength and quality that home builders rely on for strong, long-lasting construction. To ensure optimal performance, wood structural panels should be stored and handled properly prior to installation. Be sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations or the guidelines below to help protect panels from damage in storage, in shipment, and on the jobsite.
 
Handling in Transit
• Protect panel ends and edges during shipment, especially panels with tongue-and-groove and shiplap edges. 
• If shipping in an open truck bed, cover the panels with a tarp to keep them dry and clean.
 
Jobsite Storage
• Whenever possible, store panels under roof. 
• Keep sanded panels and appearance-grade products away from high-traffic areas to prevent damage to the surface.
• To reduce warping from humidity, use pieces of lumber to weigh down the top panel in a stack.
• If moisture absorption is expected, cut steel bands on bundles to prevent edge damage.
 
Outside Storage
• If panels must be stored outside, stack them on a level platform supported by at least three 4x4s to keep them off the ground. Place one 4x4 in the center and the other two 12 to 16 inches from the end. Never leave panels in direct contact with the ground.
• Cover the stack loosely with plastic sheets or tarps (see figure). Anchor the covering at the top of the stack, but keep it open and away from the sides and bottom to ensure good ventilation. Tight coverings prevent air circulation and when exposed to sunlight, may promote mold and mildew.
 
This how-to article is part of the Builder Tips series of publications from APA - The Engineered Wood Association. To view more helpful strategies, visit www.apawood.org/buildertips.  

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