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Do I need to cover my wood?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Cross Cut Saw, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    Just had a bunch of cut and split wood delivered today and of course it's going to rain, heavy, for the next two days.
    Do I want to cover it until I stack it?
    If the rain lets up should I stack it wet?

    Thanks in advance!

    -Joe

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  2. onetracker

    onetracker Minister of Fire

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    if its in a pile and you're intending to stack it soon, i wouldn't bother covering it. there are differing opinions on this and each perspective has its merit. point is...everybody on this list survives the winter, some cover and some don't bother...so i'm wondering if it really matters? i think there was a thread last year that actually did an excellent comparison with a moisture meter and still the results were mixed.

    i personally top cover my stacks for the current year once fall rolls around.

    best of luck

    OT
    ScotO and quads like this.
  3. zeke

    zeke New Member

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    i agree with OT. on a nice dry sept day, with rain in the forecast, I cover this winters wood.Top cover, so I can shake off snow. Next years wood gets covered next year. I do stack on cedar poles off the ground. Standing dead lasts for years uncovered...
  4. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    I would not bother covering it but I also would not stack it wet. Just wait a couple days after the rain and the wind and sun will dry it out nicely. A little bit of moisture on it won't hurt but I personally would not stack it when really wet you run a chance of some mold between the pcs. I usually have at least 10 cord split and stacked and do not cover any of it. I put a cord up by the back door and cover it before winter.
  5. clr8ter

    clr8ter Member

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    Until recently, I coverd EVERYTHING, ALL the time, after it was split & stacked. Now, I have so much, I just can't. It would cost a lot of money, even scrounging materials, to cover it all up. I think I will go with the "cover up this year's wood" option. As far as stacking wet wood, I'd do it. If you stack it right in a good place, there should be no reason it will not dry out. Think about this: if you stack and don't cover, what happens when it rains and the stack gets wet? Same thing. My one concern is this will happen many times before you burn it. If it happened once, no doubt it'd dry. But getting wet over and over? I'm hoping everything will turn out OK.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    The general feeling is that in your area it very well might be a good idea to cover the wood but I would not do that until it is stacked. The rain you get in the next two days will do no harm because wood is not a sponge. The water will run off. One clear day and the wood will be dry on the exterior. After you stack, then you can cover but be sure to cover only the top of the stacks and never cover the ends or sides. Otherwise you would keep the moisture inside the covering but by leaving the sides open, the air can circulate to dry the wood. Also be sure to put something under to wood so it is not touching the ground. We just cut some saplings in the woods and lay those down to stack the wood on.
  7. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I would not cover and I would not hesitate to stack it wet. It will sit in the stack for a year or more, so a little moisture the first couple of days shouldn't matter. Your stacks should let plenty of air movement through the wood to make sure the moisture on the wood when you stack as well as any moisture that gets in there over the next year or two can readily evaporate.
    ScotO, onetracker and quads like this.
  8. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I top cover about 8 cords worth which is around 2 years worth for me. These stacks are my "close" stacks, my stacks at the back of my property are left uncovered until move that wood to my "close" stacks.
  9. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I'd cover it for the 2 days of rain. I hate handling & stacking wet slippery wood.
    I've yet to be convinced that rain on firewood won't effect the drying time, but I'm trying.
    Ever try to start a fire with wet wood in the rain ?

    It's raining & my recent stacked wood is uncovered. I'm trying to not worry about it & believe it'll still season & be dry when needed, BUT today, it's getting wetter. Gotta be.
    I'm trying to not panic. !!
    I want to go put a top cover on it but not set up with anything, maybe I need to build a long narrow shed for a "seasoning shed".
  10. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    Relax Dave it will all work out. :)
    jeff_t, ScotO and quads like this.
  11. James02

    James02 Feeling the Heat

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    Don't cover....Did the fella that split it have the wood covered before you got it? It'll be fine.
  12. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    In the pile . . . don't bother covering. We'll have plenty of nice, dry days between now and when you stack the wood (if our homes don't float away from all the recent rain.) Heck, even if you stack it wet it will dry out . . . worse part is the slimy slugs that will be all over the wet wood.

    In the stack . . . I would say you could go either way . . . as long as you top cover when you get closer to the Fall. In my first year of burning I left everything open until September or so and then top covered. The wood burned fine.

    Nowadays I don't bother top covering my wood at any time . . . then again . . . my wood is only outside for a year or so before it gets moved to the woodshed for another year and then in Year 3 it gets converted to heat.
  13. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    I would stack it ASP wet or not it will dry in the stacks, I never cover my stacks, but I do not burn out of my stacks either, but when I did I would top cover the wood that I planned on burning that winter in Oct. now I fill my woodshed with dry wood.
  14. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I top-cover this years burning wood in Sept. as others have mentioned, but I have a big part of my stack still top-covered from last winter (didn't use NEAR the wood I expected to thanks to a mild winter). I'll just leave the cover on that wood, it'll be super-dry come winter. I leave the rest uncovered. But you do want it to be split ASAP if it is in rounds, the sooner it gets split, the sooner it seasons.....
  15. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Nice sunny day today. Just think how much drier the wood would be if I'd covered it on the rainy day.
    I'm trying to believe it don't need covered, just goes against my "hillbilly logic".
    But I'm gonna leave it out there & stack it in the shed this fall. It's not easy though. :)
    2014 wood & have more to get.
  16. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    Well, all the woods stacked, I'm pooped, goodnight...
    firewood cottage.jpg
    Realstone and Locust Post like this.
  17. onetracker

    onetracker Minister of Fire

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    bogydave -

    well its been POURING here in rural NY. not torrnetial rain, just a long steady soaking rain with no change in its consistency. for hours and hours. so yesterday i could see this coming and i covered all my stacks except 2014/15. for 35+ years i have always top covered my stacked firewood and when big rains like this come in i just can't leave them uncovered. i hear what dennis and others say about 'wood is not a sponge' but logic tells me otherwise. i guess i'll need a moisture meter to find out for myself.

    OT
  18. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    A couple days in the sun and wind and your wood would be fine . . . that said . . . if it makes you feel better covering them certainly cannot hurt things.
  19. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    It seems clear that covering wood on rainy days is better than not covering it (provided your cover actually keeps the rain off the wood). It also seems clear that on a sunny day it is better to have the wood uncovered rather than covered so that maximum sun and wind can get to the wood. So to decide if covering is better than not covering you need to decide if you gain more on rainy days than you lose on sunny days. This will depend on how you cover and on the weather. If, on a sunny day, wood is covered with a tarp or plastic that hangs down the sides or completely covers the stack then that is a lot worse than no cover, and overall you'd probably be better off not covering. If the wood is top covered only and some air can some under the cover then that is almost as good as uncovered on a sunny day, so you are probably better off overall with the wood covered. If you can cover on rainy days and uncover on other days, then you are certainly better off covering. The problem with covering on rainy days only is the work involved.

    A fair number of wood burners around here seem to have achieved the worst possible situation by covering the wood with a sagging, leaky blue tarp. When it rains, rain pools on the tarp and leaks into the stack, then when it is sunny the tarp holds the moisture in the stack.
  20. sbohlen

    sbohlen Member

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    I would cover your wood. You don't want to catch anything!
    Bath Maine Burner likes this.
  21. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    It's very rainy again today and I need to be able to burn this wood in February so it is top covered with a tarp, pretty simple to do and I can take it off when it's nice out again...
  22. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    And the tarps and other things you cover with are ugly and mosqutoes breed in the little puddles of water.
  23. mecreature

    mecreature Minister of Fire

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    No covering here. I have a shed that holds 1.5+ cord that I fill in Sept or Oct after a good dry stretch.
    that is the only cover it gets.

    Honestly it will dry in the shed by the time I need it even if its wet from rain.
  24. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    Last answer is the most logical. Use the wood shed for wood that will be used that year.
    Now BogeyDave has to go build a shed and pronto....lol
  25. 3fordasho

    3fordasho Feeling the Heat

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    This.
    I have a wood shed that holds enough for a season and a half worse case - that's about 4.5 cords. Everything else is uncovered, around 25 cords. The wood shed gets filled by about now or before, so even if it got soaked right before it went in, it has plenty of time to dry back out. The only wood that soaks up rain water like a sponge is punky wood, and why are you saving that anyway?

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