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Covered Woodpiles

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by woodjack, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. woodjack

    woodjack Minister of Fire

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    Woodstock, NY
    I used to be in the "Don't cover it unless you're going to use it soon" camp. One day late last summer I'm looking at my six, moist, cords of wood that never seemed to get a chance to dry (I live in the NY summer rain forest). I covered everything in September and it was a great move. The moss and mushrooms have turned crispy and all my wood is bone dry and burning bright.

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  2. k9brain

    k9brain Member

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    Jersey Shore
    Sweet. I just covered my wood piles after a year of worrying. Feels good knowing they're dry.
  3. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    After getting a moisture meter a few weeks back and measuring the moisture of wood pieces that were exposed to rain at the ends of the piles versus those that were under complete coverage, I'm in the keep it covered crowd for the first time. I was amazed how much more moisture those exposed pieces had irregardless of size or shape.

    pen
  4. Catspaw

    Catspaw New Member

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    Northern Vermont
    If i didn't cover my wood, I think I'd have several large piles of compost - and a very cold house!

    - Rich
  5. Jaugust124

    Jaugust124 Feeling the Heat

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    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    A quick question here about covering wood. I am several years ahead and have NOT covered the wood I will be using next year, the year after, and so on. Is this a mistake?
    It is all stacked in single rows.
  6. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    oak seems to stand up pretty good left out in the weather, but I have a small (1/5 cord) stack of birch and cherry that was left out in the woods where I cut it up hoping to have a road to get to it by now and it is rotten. To be fair it has been there since 2004, but it is not even good for a bonfire. I have some hard maple near that that is three years old and I'm going to have to get that up the hill with multiple trips with the wheel barrow or some other somehow.
  7. woodjack

    woodjack Minister of Fire

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    Woodstock, NY
    My wood doesn't get a lot of sun and fungus was growing on it. It was going to rot away. Now, it's nice and dry, begging to be burned. I can tell you that from now on I'm going to keep most of my wood covered most of the year.
  8. woodjack

    woodjack Minister of Fire

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    Woodstock, NY
    As Thoreau said, "that wood will heat you twice."
  9. steeltowninwv

    steeltowninwv Minister of Fire

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    west virginia
    im still undecided on covering or not covering...but i did have about 3 cords that i was certain needed covered{punky}...so i ordered firewood tarps from maynards.....i was trying to figure out the best way to keep the tarp secure..here is what i did...i went to lowes and bout some eye screws......i layed the tarp out and where i had a grommet i screwed an eye bolt in about a foot and a half down ..right into a piece of wood..then took a cable tie and ran from the eye hook to the grommet...has worked well so far.
  10. CTYank

    CTYank Minister of Fire

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    It's funny (to me) how some will tell you that rain falling on uncovered stacks will evaporate shortly, ASSUMING that warm sunny days will not drive water back into the wood. To me, a silly presumption. Especially with summer/fall like the last in the NE.

    Lumber manufacturers are strongly advised in professional guides to keep lumber being air-dried covered from rain and protected from splashing. Enough said for me.
  11. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    West Sunbury ,Pa.
    I always cover my stacks as soon I'm finished making them . I'm fortunate to have an almost endless supply of cover sheets from doing pole buildings . I've always thought it better to cover the wood and be done with it .
  12. woodjack

    woodjack Minister of Fire

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    I cover my stacks with old aluminum roofing, tarps, 6 mil plastic sheets, plexiglass . . . whatever I could get. I find that even if it's not 100% water proof (i.e. screw holes in aluminum roofing), as long the wood is covered, it's vastly better off. Tarps over something rigid on the wood works particularly well. It gets more air and has a double layer of protection.
    For stuff that I'm going to burn soon I (try) to make sure it stays completely dry.
  13. steeltowninwv

    steeltowninwv Minister of Fire

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    i will have to admit...if i had the good stuff to cover my wood piles i probably would....but man if i bought tarps for all the wood...that wouldnt be cheap...im gonna do some asking around and try to get some materials to cover the wood with...at least next years wood...the year after that can wait...
  14. woodjack

    woodjack Minister of Fire

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    It may be cheaper to buy a 6mil (or 4mil) plastic roll. Also, more waterproof than tarps . . . but rips easier in the wind. Put that over some scrap wood or anything rigid and you'll be in great shape. I use rocks to hold everything down.
  15. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    Building supply stores and places where they sell lumber generally throw the used lumber tarps in the garbage when they are done with them. If you ask them they'll usually give them away to people rather than throwing them in the garbage. They can be cut to size, are UV and wind resitant, and last for years, and the best part is they are free.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  16. Grannyknot

    Grannyknot New Member

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    East Tennessee
    Last winter I split up a maple log, stacked it neatly, and covered it with a waterproof tarp for the entire year. Started burning it last month and it's sizzling and blowing bubbles out the ends like I just cut it.
    I asked my neighbor and he said if you plan on burning in December, don't cover until October. He has a theory that when the moisture evaporates from the wood, it gets trapped under the tarp and drips back down on to the wood, not to mention the amount of humidity that a waterproof tarp can retain. Just one mans theory, but definately not the wood burning gospel.
  17. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Not an issue . . . I don't cover the wood I have outside seasoning in the first year . . . In Year 2 it goes into the woodshed to season at a slower pace . . . And in Year 3 it meets its maker. No issues.
  18. Brewmonster

    Brewmonster Burning Hunk

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    Loc:
    Central NJ
    My wood is stacked on pallets, then I put more pallets on top, turned ninety degrees, so they give an overhang of four inches on either side, then cover. I used to use 4mil poly but have switched to recycled billboard material. More expensive but much more durable. This arrangement sheds almost all the rain and allows good air circulation. I'm lucky that my workplace generates a constant supply of pallets.

    Attached Files:

  19. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    I cover the tops of my woodpiles with rubber roofing material as soon as I get 'em stacked and they stay covered for 2, 3, or 4 years until ready to burn. Just the tops though, not down the sides. I cut 24 inch strips and roll 'em right out across the piles, my splits are cut to around 20 inches in length. Throw cement block or some locust or cedar rounds on top to hold the rubber down and that's how my piles roll :)
  20. woodjack

    woodjack Minister of Fire

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    I like that idea.
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I still like old galvanized roofing for covering. I split and stack in spring and never cover until late fall or early winter. Then cover the top only. This has worked well for us for many, many moons. Last year we put up a new barn so in October I move 3 cord of wood into the barn and that is what we use for the winter's heat.
  22. coverdome

    coverdome Member

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    Loc:
    North Central Maryland
    Cover my stacks with a 20 -22 inch wide strip of 6 mil plastic. Put one or two rows of wood pieces on top of plastic
    to keep in place and keep the sun from degrading it.
  23. woodjack

    woodjack Minister of Fire

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    That sounds like a perfect system.
    Only thing for me is, I'm in the forest, so I have to cover the piles before the leaves fall. They act like a big sponge.
  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    No problem. Just go out on Labor Day and cover. ;-)

    EDIT: We live in the woods too but don't have problems with the leaves.
  25. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    We live on rainy Northern Vancouver Island , here wood that is not covered just rots! Carbon Liberator and Brewmonster have shown the correct way to cover with Traps or Plastic. If the covers go all the way to the ground the moisture can not escape , the open ends on these piles allows the wind to blow through taking the moisture with it.

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