Can Plywood Get Wet? (Here’s What I Learned!)

Plywood is the term used for manufactured wood that helps make furniture and walls. It is one of the most popular types of wood, with quality features that make it a perfect pick to use in making doors, roofs, and even the floor.

Many homeowners ask, “Can plywood get wet?”

To answer this question, plywood is not waterproof and can get wet. To save it from rot occurring due to moisture, use a waterproofing sealant on areas where you can’t resist it coming into contact with water, such as on doors, windows, and walls.

Read this article to know more about what happens to plywood when it gets wet, what methods you can apply to keep it dry, and much more. Take a sneak peek to more information:

Does Plywood Get Damaged by Water?

It depends on how you take care of the plywood; since plywood is a strong material and does not get affected very easily. However, if you need to store plywood in wet conditions for a very long period, there are chances of the plywood getting damaged. Here, taking measures to protect plywood from moisture is important.

How Much Water Can Plywood Take?

This is a very common question among homeowners and DIY enthusiasts. However, there is no specific amount of water that plywood can absorb; it just does. If you don’t seal the plywood, then there’s a risk of it absorbing more water and thus, rotting at a faster rate.

If you don’t take proper measures at first, then your plywood can get completely submerged and rot. When it becomes soft, you can’t use wood for any project. Therefore, you must take care of your plywood as soon as you get it for your projects.

Will Plywood Warp in Rain?

Generally, it does. Plywood is not waterproof, so there are high risks and chances of warping due to rain exposure. However, if you use a waterproof seal on it, you can still use it for your construction project.

Leaving plywood wet for a long time causes it to lose its original shape because it swells up. Consequently, you can’t use it for any kind of work. This is because the plywood layers ultimately start separating and rotting.

Of course, if you don’t leave plywood wet for long, the risks of warping reduce. Similarly, if you use effective methods to dry the plywood, you can use it in other construction projects. So it mainly depends on how you treat your plywood. To summarize, leaving plywood wet for a little time won’t cause any long-term effects if you take measures to dry it instantly.

How To Manage Wet Plywood?

If your plywood is already wet and you need to fix it before using it for construction, you need to follow some major tips. Firstly, you need to dry out the plywood completely. Then, you should smoothen and flatten your plywood if it’s warped.

When it comes to drying your plywood, the first thing you need to know is that it can take a few days to a few weeks to dry out completely. One of the most common tips includes lifting your plywood sheets off the floor. This is because it allows the air to reach the bottom side, too, and helps dry the plywood from every side equally.

The easy way for this is to take out one sheet from the downside and place it on the top, then repeat the stacking process again. This will help cool and dry the plywood quickly. However, to speed up the drying process, you can use a cloth to absorb excess water and wipe each sheet as you stack it on another.

This will speed up the drying process, and you can even use an air dryer to give it a final warm touch and dry fast. After you finish this, leave your plywood so it can air dry. But do check them after short intervals to see if they are drying out properly or not.

How Do You Save Plywood From Water?

It is very important to save plywood from water. Otherwise, it will swell up, and you can’t use it. So, taking effective measures to protect it from rotting and becoming soft is highly beneficial. Most people do not use these techniques and, therefore, suffer from damaged plywood as they fail to make them waterproof or even dry them up immediately.

There are many ways you can save your plywood from excessive water. One of the most highly used examples includes spraying a seal on the plywood. You can coat it with linseed and Tung oil. First, you should sand the wood for a smooth surface that’s free of imperfections or gaps. Then, wipe away dust with a dry cloth.

Then, brush some pre-blended Linseed and Tung oil onto the wood and let it soak into the surface. Apply more oil to any spots that look dry and uneven. Remove excess oil with a dry rag, and then leave the wood to dry completely overnight.

Finally, lightly sand the wood with fine-grit sandpaper. Simply repeat the entire process to apply more coats to reach your desired finish. Also, you can seal it with polyurethane varnish or lacquer.

However, the most important thing is to make sure that your workspace gets proper ventilation. These are highly proven and highly recommended methods of making your plywood waterproof.

For much better results, you add several coats to reduce even the slightest chance of the plywood absorbing water and causing it to rot.


It is a proven fact that plywood is multi-purpose construction material and is the best among all kinds of wood. However, it is very important to take proper care of it, or else it can get wet and may rot. It is not important to use these techniques every time; you can also just dry it and paint it well.

So to ensure your plywood is highly waterproofed and there are fewer risks of it absorbing more water, you must use different techniques such as paint, seal coating, spraying oil, and brushing and laminating by smoothing it out and making it waterproof. All these techniques are highly useful and will help you in preserving your plywood.