If you’ve been around construction, framing or carpentry, you’ve probably heard the words moisture equilibrium. Still, you might not understand what it means, or how a carpenter’s work might be affected by it.
Steve Allen Construction of Ocala, FL wants to answer all of your construction questions. We’ve been in the business for 35 years, so you can trust what we say. Continue reading to learn more about moisture equilibrium.
What Is Moisture Equilibrium?
The term moisture equilibrium or equilibrium moisture content refers to the point at which wood is neither gaining nor losing moisture. At this stage, the wood becomes part of a dynamic equilibrium with relative humidity and temperature. Only organic materials that naturally contain water, such as wood, are susceptible to moisture equilibrium. The Hailwood-Horrobin equation is used to calculate the relationships between temperature, relative humidity and moisture equilibrium. The constant is found using the temperature of the surrounding environment.
Why Is Moisture Equilibrium Important?
Moisture equilibrium is critical to wood framing and finish carpentry. The wood used must be strong and durable, and moisture equilibrium can alter the material’s strength. In order to test its durability, the wood is developed in an environment with 60 percent humidity and an approximate moisture content of 12 percent. Any joists, rafters, studs and other structures must be able to withstand similar conditions.
When working with wood, you should have a decent understanding of moisture equilibrium. If you have wood in your home, you should know how wood can be affected by humidity and temperature. That way, you’ll be able to look for appropriate woods for your particular climate. Also, the next time you hire someone to work on your home, you’ll have a better appreciation of what they do.
At Steve Allen Construction of Ocala, FL, we specialize in the framing, exterior and interior trim carpentry industry. If you need help with a commercial or residential building project, feel free to contact us. We also encourage you to reach out to us via social media.