My handyman just laid salt-treated plywood on a wheelchair ramp. He said the wood was very wet and would need several days to dry out. How long should I wait to install the adhesive non-skid strips?

  • Can air get to the underside of the plywood, i.e., the side that is down on the ramp? Is the ramp a continuous surface or is it a framework? Can the plywood dry from both sides or must it dry from the surface facing up? How long is the ramp? What I am wondering about is whether drying could be hastened by blowing on it (maybe from the underside) with one of those high velocity fans used for drying the inside of a house which has flooded from a burst pipe. Even blowing with the output of a shop vac might speed up drying. – Jim Stewart Jul 27 '17 at 19:40
  • You're not going to like it, but at the wood shop, our rule is "an inch a year". So a 1/2" plywood would be 3 months (allowing it to work from both sides). – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 28 '17 at 0:30

Have you read the instructions? I'd start there, especially since you haven't told us what product we're talking about.

In reality the plywood will take weeks or longer to truly dry out, and depends heavily on your weather and sun exposure. The answer to your question partly depends on the size and shape of the tape. If it's composed of narrow strips, I'd wait at least a few days (in the sun) or a week (in the shade) so that the surface is noticeably dry. If it looks dark and damp or feels cool, your adhesive probably won't bond well.

If the tape is wide or a full sheet, give the wood much longer to dry out. You'll effectively seal in the water, and it may collect beneath the tape and cause it to release.

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