Treating wood in damp weather

1 Sep 2008
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United Kingdom
Is it possible to apply wood preservative to damp(ish) wood? I'm thinking about the solvent-based fungicide stuff rather than the waxy sort.

We had a shed to assemble, and unfortunately missed the weather window so ended up finishing it in the rain. The wood has (as expected) swollen slightly but the shed is not visibly warped.

What I am considering is that tomorrow, after the outer wood surface has dried in the windy dry weather, I could apply some Ronseal "rain resistant within 1 hour" preserve to the outside, leaving the inside untreated. Over time, with the concrete slab still curing and an amount of ventilation, the wood should dry out from the inside of the shed. Next summer in the hot weather I could apply a fresh coat to inside and outside to properly preserve it.

Does that seem correct? I'd rather have some protection on the wood than none at all, but don't want to seal in damp. Do the "soak into the wood" preserves displace water? Or am I likely to be trapping moisture that's going to bite me later?

Thanks in advance for any help! I've never done this sort of work in cold wet weather before but presumably sheds and fences are built and repaired 12 months of the year!
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