European Journal of Wood and Wood Products

, Volume 77, Issue 4, pp 681–689 | Cite as

Influence of surface checks on wood moisture content during wetting and re-drying

  • Tomoko OsawaEmail author
  • Kei Maeda
  • Yuko Tsunetsugu
  • Satoshi Shida


Wood decks are popular outdoor wood products in Japan, and their durability is the most important aspect for their long-term use. To prevent decay, wood members should be maintained at a low moisture condition. However, surface checks occurring during long-term use may make the moisture content inside the wood members high, causing decay. In this study, water absorption and drying tests of flat grain redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) specimens with or without a sawed slit of 10 mm or 20 mm depth were carried out. Sectional moisture content distributions of the specimens were examined in detail with an X-ray densitometry method. Consequently, the influence of slit depth of an artificial surface check on the water absorption and drying processes was revealed. Moisture content mappings at 1 mm resolution around the slit showed that the water absorption region along the tangential direction from the slit was approximately 1 mm wide after 24 h, regardless of the species and slit depth. On the other hand, high moisture content after the drying period was observed only in a specimen which had a 20 mm depth slit. For the 20-mm depth slit specimens, the moisture content at the bottom of the slit remained more than 30% after drying for 8 h, which is a moisture level sufficiently high to cause decay. The results of the tests indicate that checks that reach 20 mm in depth from the surface may increase the risk of decay.



  1. Bornemann T, Brischke C, Alfredsen G (2014) Decay of wooden commodities—moisture risk analysis, service life prediction and performance assessment in the field. Wood Mater Sci Eng 9:144–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brischke C, Melcher E (2015) Performance of wax-impregnated timber out of ground contact: results from long-term field testing. Wood Sci Technol 49:189–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brischke C, Meyer-Veltrup L (2015) Moisture content and decay of differently sized wooden components during 5 years of outdoor exposure. Eur J Wood Prod 73:719–728CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brischke C, Rapp AO, Bayerbach R (2008) Measurement system for long-term recording of wood moisture content with internal conductively glued electrodes. Build Environ 43:1566–1574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brischke C, Meyer-Veltrup L, Bornemann T (2017) Moisture performance and durability of wooden facades and decking during six years of outdoor exposure. J Build Eng 13:207–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. De Groot RC (1992) Test assemblies for monitoring decay in wood exposed above ground. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 29:151–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Doi S, Saito M (1982) A study of growth conditions of Serpula lacrymans. Mokuzai Gakkaishi 28:733–739 (in Japanese with English abstract) Google Scholar
  8. Gellerich A, Brischke C, Emmerich L, Meyer-Veltrup L, Kaudewitz P (2017) Evaluation of surface cracks on wood—physical assessment versus subjective sensation. In: IRG/WP 48th IRG Annual Meeting, Ghent, Belgium, 17-20617Google Scholar
  9. Isaksson T, Thelandersson S (2013) Experimental investigation on the effect of detail design on wood moisture content in outdoor above ground applications. Build Environ 59:239–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. ISO (2007) ISO 21887 Durability of wood and wood-based products—use classes. International Organization for Standardization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  11. JISC (2009) JIS Z 2101 Mokuzai-no-shikenhou (methods of test for woods) (in Japanese). Japanese Industrial Standards Committee, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  12. Kalnins MA, Feist WC (1993) Increase in wettability of wood with weathering. For Prod J 43:55–57Google Scholar
  13. Kanai T (2009) The state of exterior market and wooden exterior products (in Japanese). Mokuzaihozon (Wood Prot) 35:96–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Li W, Van den Bulcke J, De Windt I, Van Loo D, Dierick M, Brabant L, Van Acker J (2013) Combining electrical resistance and 3-D X-ray computed tomography for moisture distribution measurements in wood products exposed in dynamic moisture conditions. Build Environ 67:250–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Matsuo Y (1990) Shin-kentikugaku-taikei vol. 10; Kankyoubutsuri (Environmental Physics) (in Japanese), Shokokushya, Tokyo, pp 36–40Google Scholar
  16. McDonald KA et al (1996) Wood decks; materials, construction, and finishing. For Prod Soc, Madison, pp 3–17Google Scholar
  17. Metsä-Kortelainen S, Viitanen H (2017) Durability of thermally modified sapwood and heartwood of Scots pine and Norway spruce in the modified double layer test. Wood Mat Sci Eng 12:129–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Meyer L, Brischke C (2015) Fungal decay at different moisture levels of selected European-grown wood species. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 103:23–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mizumoto S (1964) Relation of moisture content of wood and relative humidity in an atmosphere to the decay of Japanese red pine wood, due to the attack of four species of Gloeophyllum. J Jpn For Soc 46:9–13Google Scholar
  20. Niklewski J, Brischke C, Hansson EF, Meyer-Veltrup L (2018) Moisture behavior of weathered wood surfaces during cyclic wetting: measurements and modeling. Wood Sci Technol 52:1431–1450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Osawa T, Maeda K, Shida S (2018) Effect of water absorption from surface checks on the moisture retention in wood deck exposed outdoor. Mokuzaihozon (Wood Protection) 44:67–80 (in Japanese with English abstract) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Råberg U, Edlund ML, Terziev N, Land CJ (2005) Testing and evaluation of natural durability of wood in above ground conditions in European overview. J Wood Sci 51:429–440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rapp AO, Peek RD, Sailer M (2000) Modelling the moisture induced risk of decay for treated and untreated wood above ground. Holzforschung 54:111–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sakai H (2009) Fungal resistance test for non-treated and treated wood in the field. J Soc Mat Sci Jpn 58:271–279 (in Japanese with English reference) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sandberg K (2008) Degradation of Norway spruce (Picea abies) heartwood and sapwood during 5.5 years’ aboveground exposure. Wood Mater Sci Eng 3:83–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sandberg K, Salin JG (2012) Liquid water absorption in dried Norway spruce timber measured with CT scanning and viewed as a percolation process. Wood Sci Technol 46:207–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schultz TP, Nicholas DD, Ingram LL Jr (2007) Laboratory and outdoor water repellency and dimensional stability of southern pine sapwood treated with a waterborne water repellent made from resin acids. Holzforschung 61:317–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Siau JF (1971) Flow in wood. Syracuse University Press, New York, pp 15–34Google Scholar
  29. Stirling R, Morris PI (2015) Factors affecting performance of preserved wood decking against decay fungi. In: IRG/WP 46th IRG Annual meeting, Viña del Mar, Chile, 15-30663Google Scholar
  30. Suzuki K (1986) Moisture content levels and decay of hemlock. In: IRG/WP 17th IRG Annual meeting, Avignon, France, 1287Google Scholar
  31. Suzuki K (2002) Mokuzoujyuutakuno-taikyuusekkeito-ijikanri-rekkashindan (durability design, maintenance, and inspection for wooden houses). Japan Housing and Wood Technology Center, Tokyo, pp 146–147 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  32. Tanaka T, Avramidis S, Shida S (2009) Evaluation of moisture content distribution in wood by soft X-ray imaging. J Wood Sci 55:69–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Van den Bulcke J, Van Acker J, De Smet J (2009) An experimental set-up for real-time continuous moisture measurements of plywood exposed to outdoor climate. Build Environ 44:2368–2377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Viitanen HA (1997) Modelling the time factor in the development of brown rot decay in Pine and Spruce sapwood—the effect of critical humidity and temperature conditions. Holzforschung 51:99–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Watanabe K, Saito Y, Avramidis S, Shida S (2008) Non-destructive measurement of moisture distribution in wood during drying using digital X-ray microscopy. Dry Technol 26:590–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Watanabe K, Lazarescu C, Shida S, Avramidis S (2012) A novel method of measuring moisture content distribution in timber during drying using CT scanning and image processing techniques. Dry Technol 30:256–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Japan Housing and Wood Technology CenterTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations