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keeping water off woodpile

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by saichele, Nov 16, 2006.

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  1. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    I have a woodpile that is about 26ft x 12ft, and have one large tarp over the whole operation. The middle racks are the oldest and it was uncovered until a couple weeks ago, so I'm not too concerned about microclimate under the tarp. What is bothersome is the water ponding on top of the tarp.

    Anybody find any creative ways of avoiding closed low spots on top of the woodpile? I've reshuffled the wood a couple times, but can't seem to eliminate the problem. Not so much of an issue now, but in real winter I get pretty big blocks of ice forming in the depressions.

    Thanks
    Steve

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  2. ChrisN

    ChrisN Feeling the Heat

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    I have the same problem and it drives me crazy. I've scaled back my use of tarps considerably and now I keep most of my pile uncovered, and have a smaller tarp that I periodically move down the pile. My total pile is 4 rows of about 40 feet each, and I keep about 8 feet of one row covered at a time. I figure I have the wood is covered for 3 to 4 weeks before it makes it to the stove. I know in the winter I might have to knock snow off when I adjust the tarp, but it beats having to deal with those mini-lakes / glaciers that form in the tarp valleys between the rows.
  3. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    Perfectly legitimate question -

    I go back and forth about the wood stacking - I have a line of huge spruce trees about 60ft total, separated by 8-12 ft. Of late, I've gone for a rectangular pile, I suspect when I reassess for next year I'll just run 2 rows the length og the trees. Upside is the spruces keep the area underneath dry most of the time.

    Anyway, for this year I had about 2 cord that was left over from last year, and about 5 cord of "new" wood, cut last year but aging in rounds. So I got that split, and now have about 2 rack int he middle that are thoroughly done, and 2 racks on each side that are pretty dry but maybe not quite done. Most of it's prtty dry, some of it has a little way yet to go. When I grab wood, I grab it off the end, and end up with about 1/3 the dead dry stuff, and 2/3 the so so stuff. Makes for a very plausible mix to burn.

    Steve
  4. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I've never used any sort of covering on my main pile(s). If they get wet from rain, it is only on the surface of wood at best, and without the covering, the pile will dry as soon as the sun comes out anyway. I only use a cover on the "house" woodpile when it looks like a heavy storm coming in. If it is a light rain, I can always shuffle a few logs to get to some dry wood, or they dry out within a few hours of coming inside anyway.

    Bottom line, you may want to consider going tarpless.

    Corey
  5. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Same here, except that my house pile is on the porch and about one month's supply. I might add that I feel the rain/dry cycle helps to "season" the wood.
  6. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I put roll fencing on the pile under the tarp (I use clear 6mil plastic), but it creates a sort of arch and water just runs off. You have to tie it all down though I just tie the corners to the pallets with nylon string.
  7. DriftWood

    DriftWood Minister of Fire

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    Bluewater Area, Great Lakes
    I have used thin plywood sheets on the wood pile, worked great. They were the sides of ski doo shipping crates just them and some long branches to keep the wind from blowing them off. Now I do not cover the main pile at all. I have a covered porch by the south door 20 / 8 / 9 foot, poured concrete floor, I could move the whole pile there but we use it in the summer and "can it be stacked closer, I see the wood from the window" " OK (yes dear) ", I keep about 1/2 cord there . The wet stuff on top or facing to sun drys before I burn it and not cold walks to the pile at midmight..
  8. MarkM

    MarkM New Member

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    Orange, Massachusetts
    I've pretty much given up on the whole tarp thing. Besides the ice blocks in the winter, they are constantly blowing off. We live in the middle of a 5 acre field on top of a hill--can you say wind tunnel? I've tried everything from bungees to screws with fender washers.
    Now I just keep the last 6-8 feet covered. The wood is seasoned so a little rain doesn't hurt it.
    My father-in-law has a bunch of 4 foot wide aluminum roofing that he took off his old barn. I was thinking of trying that with some 4 foot logs on top to hold it down.
    Someday, I'll have time to build a woodshed............
  9. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I've covered individual rows in the past with plastic, but then the snow falls in between and gets the wood wet.
  10. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    Think sandwich.
  11. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    I live on the southeast corner (the coldest winds here in the winter come from the northwest) of a one mile long by half mile wide field. Needless to say, tarps would never last very long on my wood anyway. Heck, the shingles on the roof don't last very long! Or the TV antenna, or the lawn furniture, or.............
  12. Mike

    Mike New Member

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    Toronto
    You could try making the center row higher than each succesive row.
  13. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    If you have trouble keeping a tarp on, I think you would have similar problems with the metal roof sections. I get a similar wind tunnel effect, and I cover the wood pile with tin roofing from an old barn. I use extra pallets to weight it down, and it still blows off from time to time when a good wind storm blows through.
  14. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    Loc:
    Billerica, MA
    long, thin tarps (3' x 16') work well for me, as they have grommets and are therefore easy to bungy to the endposts. They seem to withstand the worst winds. For racks that Im not actively taking from (also the solution for tarps w/o grommets), wrap some light string every few feet across the tarps, so the wind cant really get underneath and make your tarp into a sail. Very light string is all that is needed.

    As for the original question about water in low spots, if you have multiple racks there is an easy solution. When you are stacking and get one row from the top, put small spits or kindling perpendicular to the rest of the splits on one edge (e.g. like the edges of a holz-hausen). Then place the last row on your stack, which will have a small incline to one side. Water runs off and doesnt accumulate in the low spots.

    It's a little extra effort when stacking, but it's an easy way to use kindling without it taking valuable rack space. You also get to choose your runoff if you live in a wet area.
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