The handling of glulam requires great care and will not only determine the design of the construction but also the economy and planning of the project. To protect the glulam from rain or snow and dirt during the transportation, storage and installation, the glulam is always delivered wrapped in plastic film or paper, separately or in bundles. If the glulam has become moist it has to be given the possibility to slowly dry out to prevent the development of cracks. Some cracking has to be accepted though due to the dehydration that the glulam is exposed to during the building’s first year.

 

  • Protect the glulam outdoors with for example tarpaulins and place it on clean beams which are at least 250 mm high to obtain adequate ventilation under the tarpaulin.

  • Ensure that the ground is dry and flat so that the glulam elements do not move and become deformed, nor is poorly unloaded.

  • Put clean laths between the glulam elements and place the laths vertically one above the other.
  • Avoid long storage outdoors on the building site.

 

On site assembling instructions

 

 

  • Use wide slings at crane lifting and protect the edges of the glulam element with forgings or other edge protection to prevent lifting marks.
  • Ensure that work gloves, slings and other hoists are free from dirt.

  • Avoid walking on areas that are going to be visible after assembling. 

  • Take necessary actions to secure the frame against wind and other stains during the construction time.

  • Fixate the glulam elements into their right place until the wind truss is installed.

  • Let the packaging remain even after installation as protection against dirt during further construction work.

 

Surface treatment and maintenance
Glulam that is exposed to different kinds of weather needs a finishing treatment with subsequent maintenance to retain its original qualities in the surface layer. By providing the glulam components with a suitable finishing treatment the wood is protected from desiccation and dehydration which otherwise can lead to deformation and cracking. Which type of treatment that is suitable depends on the outdoor climate conditions.

  • Is the construction exposed to rain and snow?

  • Direct sunlight?

  • Mechanical wear and tear?


Glulam in a normal humid indoor environment only requires a finishing treatment if there is aesthetic reasons for it, for example to give it another color than the original one. Untreated wood which is exposed to an outdoor environment age due to the impact of weather and by time gets that velvety gray color which is typical for old timber houses. The dominating factors associated with the impact of weather are the solar radiation’s UV-rays and the rain. The changes between rain and sunshine mean great strain to an unprotected wooden construction. To prevent cracking there are a number of actions to take

  • Prevent moistening with a protective construction.

  • Protect the construction from direct sunlight.

  • Suitable treatments to avoid the uptake and release of moist.

 

Glulam elements with exposed end grains and upper sides should if possible be covered with a ventilated cover. Otherwise, the surfaces should be treated so that moistening and dehydration is slow.

For more information, see Limträhandboken.