Green, or wet, lumber, is wood that’s used in construction that has a moisture content greater than 19%. Why would anyone want to use green lumber in construction? Ultimately, it’s because it’s less expensive, and it’s easier to cut and nail than seasoned wood. That’s why it’s still got moisture – it hasn’t been kiln-dried or otherwise seasoned to remove the moisture content. Green lumber is more often used in arid states like Arizona and parts of California since the wood will dry faster on its own. If a contractor is recommending green lumber here in Washington, though, you might want to give it some thought before making a commitment.
Green lumber can cause some issues. For one thing, mold can grow on lumber before it’s even used in construction. Green lumber is more difficult to paint or stain. It can release sap or other liquids over time, causing discoloration. As it dries and moisture is released, the wood itself will start to shrink, which can cause gaps, warping, and nail pops.