I will (hopefully) be traveling to Nicaragua this winter to help my in-laws saw up some boards to build a small house on a piece of property my mother-in-law is acquiring from her family.
It's in a pretty remote town so shipping in lumber is pretty expensive. We will be falling a few trees and using a mini mill to dimension everything, probably peel some poles for the uprights. We will not be using the wood for at least a year and during that time it will be pretty much unattended. There is family that could keep an eye on it but my in-laws live a five hour's boat ride away.
So what I am looking for is advice on building a temporary storage for the pile. I'm comfortable stacking wood properly but am unsure of how much air space should be left between the pile and the roof. Also, should the roof be painted white to reflect the heat? All four sides will just have chicken wire to keep out the big critters. Are there any ideas or potential problems that can be avoided?
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Termites and theft will be two big issues. A watertight roof with a two foot overhang will prevent decay. The roof needs roughly the same space as two stickers. End racking might be best with a roof, but the bottom ends need to be elevated so they are not excessively wet.
You need to spray heavily if you’re going to leave unattended - stickers too. Don't spray the layers in the pile after you lay down the next set of stickers, they will crawl under every sticker and there will be severe damage 1" wide x 48" long every 18". Spray the stickers too. They only cost about .30 each, about 80 per 4x8 sheet.
Mulching and slash piles are bug havens. I would keep the area clean and dry, if not on a slab then crushed stone, and with or without that still juice the whole area under the pile with the same Home Defense. It will kill most every crawling bug and its family for four-six months between treatments. If you can edge your material and discard your sap wood/bark you may be ahead of the game with bugs. The latitude where you’re going is similar to me. The wood will dry quick 4/4 AD in four months, 8/4 in twelve months (plus) 16/4 eighteen months and counting, for hardwoods that is. If you can keep it out of the sun with big overhangs, and maybe put a layer of plastic on the ground that might help too.
The subterranean termite needs a water source. They also can make mud trails and crawl up other materials to get to what they like to eat. At a lumber mill I frequent they have a table with Eucalyptus Robusta legs and a top from a softer local wood. The mud trail went from the ground right up the side of the legs and into the underside of the tabletop. This was under a cover on a slab with a moisture barrier. I believe there was a leak in the structure behind the table. I replace half my house due to Fromosian termites, the other half because of dry would termites. I had mud trails all the way up on the rafters. They treat them with Fripinol and other similar chemicals that can affect the entire colony. The dry termite or "flying" can re-inhabit because they do not communicate with a colony like the Fromosian do. There’s also some bug, beetle, or worm that gets into Spanish cedar and mahoganies as I have seen some sparse insect damages in lumber I have worked in the past.