Does wood continue to dry when it is freezing outside?

pearsall Posted By pearsall, Dec 6, 2005 at 9:11 PM

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  1. pearsall

    pearsall
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    Dec 5, 2005
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    Hi--All of my firewood is still outside and I am wondering if it is still drying when it is below 32 degrees outside. (I live in New Hampshire and it is cold now!) It is properly stacked for airflow etc, but I am wondering if the moisture in the wood freezes and is unable to evaporate in sub freezing temps. I would like to let it dry out a bit more as I was late splitting it this year.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III
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    Nov 20, 2005
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    Hi:

    In short, wood dries in freezing weather.

    Ever see an ice cube change shape while in the freezer? Well, if not, they do lose substance and will evaporate totally in time.

    Why do you think people want "humidified" (read: water vapor) air in their homes in winter?

    Cold air cannot contain as much moisture as warm air, all else equal. If your wood is "green" (read:wet) and stored in winter below freezing, it will still dry out but not as fast as in warmer weather in sun and wind exposures.

    Aye,
    Marty
     
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson
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    Nov 18, 2005
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    If you put it into a warm environment during the heating season, say in the basement, it will really dry out quickly. Another advantage is that it puts moisture into your household air in the process. I know people are concerned about bugs, but in over 20 years of doing that, I've never had a problem. Other people who do it have told me the same thing.
     
  4. JAred

    JAred
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    Nov 18, 2005
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  5. woodpile

    woodpile
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    Dec 6, 2005
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    Water can evaporate from the wood directly, wothout melting first. This is sublimation, and as a prior poster noted, is where your ice cubes go when your not looking. Sublimation happens at a surface, and there is nothing to move the frozen water from inside the log to the surface, so the process is very slow - that of water vapor diffusion out the wood. Commercial freeze drying usually involves reduced air pressure, so that's not what you're getting in your back yard.

    Leave the old nasty wood outside, but invite the clean stuff in to dry. It will add humidity. I don't know if any wood releases alergens when drying. I know some people are alergic to walnut, but that is probably just the dust.
     
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart
    Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division 2.
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    Nov 18, 2005
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    Unlike the time I came across free wood in the summer on the way home and just had to have it. I was driving my wife's station wagon and loaded it up.

    The next week I caught hell when a spider crawled up on her sholder when she was driving to work.
     
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