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Mold on my supposedly drying wood

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wahoowad, Jul 30, 2006.

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  1. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I guess the humidity is causing mold to form on the end of some cherry and poplar in my woodpile. This was freshly split and stacked late this winter (Virginia). I'm not that worried but still wish it was so dry that mold wouldn't grow on it. Do you think it is from the humidity or the moisture leaving the wood?

    I was worried some rain was splashing up on it and keeping it wet so I lowered down the sides of my tarp about half way (previously I just had the top and a bit over th edge covered).

    This is my first batch of my own splits I am trying to season. Should I be concerned?

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  2. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Here's a better shot of the stack

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  3. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I've never seen that on wood that's stacked, only on the ground. May sound odd, but try taking the cover OFF.
  4. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

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    I would double or triple the tarp on top and NOT let it hang down on sides, just get some small sticks and stick in between logs just under tarp edge and sticks will keep tarp edge out futher keeping wood rain free all the way to the bottom unless it's windy.

    I think your wood was trying to dry and you covered it up causing it to sweat and just deposit evaporated water right back on wood in the form of mold.

    Fresh air should cure this quick.

    Note: if you want to know what a completly covered wood pile might be doing under tarp (especially in hot sun), then just cover a small spot of ground with a clear sheet of plastic held up slightly, or dig a hole and cover (survival method for obtaining ground water) and notice water beaded up under plastic.


    I'm sure this is a much talked about topic concerning wood piles.



    Robbie.
  5. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I had some of that spotty mold on my firewood last year. The wood was completely covered from the weather under my deck. Didn't seem to effect the drying process, the wood burned great?
  6. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    dont smoke that stuff.....
  7. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    I have seen that many times . 95% of the times i have seen that is when the wood pile is up against the side of a house , garage or such building NOT letting the air go through the pile like it should . 4 of the piles i had seen i told them to move the pile away from the building so the air can go through it and on all 4 piles it went away and didnt happen to there piles in the future . I would leave it untarped until fall . Make sure you get a lot of air flow & a lot of sun .
  8. ChrisN

    ChrisN Feeling the Heat

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    I've had great luck in simply leaving my wood pile uncovered until early October. it really loses any rain moisture very quickly. I'm convinced that if the pile is in a reasonably sunny and airy location the best technique is to leaved it completly exposed to the elements, and then cover it with a tarp about a month before burning.
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I have been stacking wood sixty miles North of you for twenty years and have never seen mold form on the wood. Raise that tarp up or just get it off of there all together. I used to just cover the tops but now I have a tarp suspended from poles a foot over the pile with a slope to let the rain drain. Lots of room for the moisture to get blown away. Also it is one of the cheap blue jobs. They let the ultra-violet rays through when the sun is shining. Stuff looks like the day it was cut but has a nice ring to it.

    Of course the 12 X 24 wood shed I built fifteen years ago is so full of junk there isn't any room for wood!
  10. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    After reading the advice I'm inclined to move the whole pile away from the side of the house, then leave it exposed or just a top cover. Not looking forward to it as I have rebuilt this pile twice already...once when it started leaning physically against the garage siding, then months later when I painted the garage. Hmmm, 3 reasons not to build it up against the side of a building.... I'm still limited on where I can put it though.
  11. skypager

    skypager New Member

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    I recieved a phone call once from someone with the same problem. Husband and Wife needed me to settle the debate of weather they should bleach the wood or not. :ahhh: Of course I told them no and gave them suggestions very simular to what is being said here.
  12. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    I've never been a fan of covering wood until late inthe season (halloween or so) 1) to keep the leaves out of it and 2) to give it a final 'dry' run into burn season. Of course, I probably have modl forming now too - it's been over 80% rel. humidity for 8 straight days, and raining about every 18 hrs. And Hot.

    Even the vegetables are starting to fungus up.

    Steve
  13. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    You could always go with Eric Johnson's idea of stacking wood . http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/2239/
  14. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Roo.

    How did I miss that thread!

    Great job Eric, think I can use that idea next year.
  15. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Some of the real sugar maple will get some spot mold on it my pile..I thought it was due to time of year when cut and the sugar content of the sap...It is under trees and covered with tin and on pallets..am sure the high humidity has helped this year..It never gets more than dime size... the poplar is stacked under trees, with no covering the ends do turn black.
  16. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Note another suggestionis cross stack that pile, to allow more air exposure, Amoung all the other observations, to me it seems to be tightly stacked. This being so, is not the fastest way to dry wood. Another hint is the mold is on the bark and not on the ends, that indicates the middle of your pile is not drying as fast, and that moisture is being trapped in. Softer hardwoods like birtch maple are more prone to develop mildew than oak, part is the nature of the wood. I think you need to re stack, cross stack, in an open sunny as possible enviorment. Loose the tarp top as much as you can, only put it in position before a soaking rain. To me that wood is about 1/2 dry, where it is usable. My recomendations may accelerate the drying process the next 3 months, to where it could become useable..
  17. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    That's a good point Elk, especially when the stack is next to the house like that. That is a very tight pile. I usually only pile like that if the wood is already dry. Plus, I usually only put plastic on top of my piles. The sides usually get wet if it's really windy and pouring, but dry out in a day or so. Put something stiff on top of the pile too, so that the tarp can act like an eve on a roof helping to protect the sides from rain. 'Sun is a HUGE impact to drying. I don't have as much of that as I would like.

    an interesting thing I noticed the other day when I was splitting a few to get heated up to jump in the pool, I noticed that the inside of even good size logs (say 12" diameter rounds) were warm to the touch inside when I split them. This in 90+ degree heat, so the inside of the log must have been warmer than my hands, so 98+ degrees, or more likely over 100 inside. That will certainly drive out moisture. I may have to rethink my stacking to be more like Eric. My piles are typically 4' wide, so the interior may not dry as fast as I'd like. but I'm close to 2 years ahead on my gathering, so I'm not too worried. Point here for the question is that stacking technique and sun exposure is key. Note that Eric and others who stack similarly do stack quite tight, but only stack two logs deep, vs my technique which is usually 4 logs deep.
    (But I don't have a stove that will handle 24" lengths!)
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