Will Wood Retain Humidity?

FavoriteTortoise

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Im making a wood enclosure for my baby sulcata, i am worried the wood will soak up most of the humidity, does anyone have experience with this?
 

yaycolin

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Im making a wood enclosure for my baby sulcata, i am worried the wood will soak up most of the humidity, does anyone have experience with this?
The wood will definitely absorb water and moisture if they come in contact, unless it is properly sealed. Is it a closed chamber or a tortoise table?
 

Tom

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I've already got most of it built, I'm going to line the interior with waterproof wood glue
Unfortunately you are going to run into problems one way or another. There is no easy-to-find coating that I've found that works to protect wood from constant moisture and humidity. I once tried non-toxic boat paint, and that worked for the short time I used it, but it wasn't going to hold up to the long term abuse dished out by a tortoise shell rubbing on it. The primer was $90 a gallon and the paint was $130.

@Markw84 has taught me about Rustoleum counter top paint, but its only available in little tiny cans for $30+. I've used this on the top of a box and it has been working great, but here are my problems with it:
  1. Its expensive. I'm going to need at least 4 cans to do the whole interior of the new box I'm building. And I'll still need primer too.
  2. The fumes were really strong. It took 4-6 weeks of running a fan on it all day and night to dissipate the fumes so that I could finally use the box, and I still propped the lid open on warm days for a month after that.
  3. I used it in an area where nothing touches it. The ceiling. I don't know how well it will stand up to a large tortoise rubbing on it. Mark has successfully used it for indoor enclosures where he was raising small tortoises.
We have all moved away from wood. Expanded PVC sheets are the material of choice now. It entirely eliminates all these problems. Since it is plastic, it never rots or degrades and never needs painting.

I seen here other members have tried Flex Seal, but I have no experience with that to comment on. Maybe one of them will see this and chime in.
 

ZEROPILOT

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If you run across one of my old posts advocating the use of FIBERGLASS RESIN, please disregard it.
I've been using it long enough now that I can say that it is not a good long term sealant because it eventually detaches from the wood, cement, whatever and cracks and crumbles. Making a bad situation even worse.
I'd look into a section of pond liner. The pond liner made by FIRESTONE is very thick. Very heavy and very flexible.
I'd lay that in and maybe attach it to the walls with some stainless hardware. At least up to your substrate line.
 

Maro2Bear

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On the other end of the spectrum, I built our Sully her fully enclosed enclosure out if kiln dried (pine) wood for all the sides & bottom. For the top i found a nice old glazed multi-window pane. I coated all of this with many (3) coats of Kilz paint. Never had any issues with any of the wood (i even ran a humidifier inside for awhile).

After a few coats of Kilz on all sides, I put down multiple layers of thick plastic on the bottom that went up about six inches on all sides. To finish it off, i added a piece of wooden trim molding where the plastic ended. Gave it a nice finished look, kept it dry & didn't catch on anything. I used about 3-5 inches of cocoa fiber & eventuslly cypress mulch as substrate.

Kilz advertises as “mildew resistant coating” - https://www.lowes.com/pd/KILZ-2-Int...ing-Primer-Actual-Net-Contents-32-oz/50252045

I was very happy with the result.
 

solidsounds17

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I used wood for my enclosure. I went from open top to closed chamber since I had no choice and didn’t want to spend another $200 on material. Just go to your local Home Depot or Lowe’s and get pond liner. I lined up about 12inches which is basically the bottom half and so far temps have been holding up. 90 F + and 85%+ humidity. You might want to get some silicone to cover any holes from the outside to keep your air in.
 

William Lee Kohler

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It was recommended to me on here to use Flexseal. I recommend 3 layers allowing time to completely cure in between layers. Also recommend before Flexseal to use good H2O proof calking around all cracks that will be down in the substrate. Recommend a couple inches higher than substrate. Reiterate letting all sealers must be completely cured in between layers.
 

William Lee Kohler

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I used wood for my enclosure. I went from open top to closed chamber since I had no choice and didn’t want to spend another $200 on material. Just go to your local Home Depot or Lowe’s and get pond liner. I lined up about 12inches which is basically the bottom half and so far temps have been holding up. 90 F + and 85%+ humidity. You might want to get some silicone to cover any holes from the outside to keep your air in.
So you recommend having them live in a CO2 rich atmosphere with decomposing substrate, stale "air" and no fresh air circulation whatsoever?
 

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