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Season in Basement or Outside?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by lumbering on, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    I just installed my first wood stove to save on oil costs, and as a long time reader, understand the need for seasoned wood. I have 3 cords of recently cut wood in the yard for 2 and 3 years from now, and am burning Envi-Blocks for this year (cheaper than kiln dried).

    Question is: I bought a cord of "seasoned" wood from a dealer for next year, knowing it would need more time, and have split it into even smaller sizes than what was delivered to speed the drying process. I have a large unfinished basement that is very dry with low humidity.

    Am I better off stacking the wood in the basement now, to dry for next year, or outside until next fall, and then bringing back into the house?

    Does the lack of precipitation exposure in the basement make up for the lack of exposure to sun and wind?

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  2. Shane N

    Shane N Feeling the Heat

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    My personal guess is that it would season faster in the winter being in the basement, but faster outside during the summer.
  3. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Outside where it can get wind and sun. Wind is most important. You said "bringing back into the house." Is it already in the basement?
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  4. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Yes it is possible to dry it faster in basement, cross stacked and a couple of dehumidifiers running and a big box fan to keep air moving around and through stacks.
  5. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    I did this last year and noticed even sitting in my basement without fans it dried faster as compared to outside.
  6. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    It's in the driveway now.

    I was hoping to not have to run fans and dehumidifiers.

    How about just stacking it and leaving it in the basement?
  7. onetracker

    onetracker Minister of Fire

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    i would not store unseasoned wood in the basement. it will evaporate quite a bit of moisture. one year i had water dripping from the ceiling in my shop cuz i stored less-than-one-year-seasoned wood in the basement. running dehumidifiers would surely help, but then you might as well turn on the heat if you're gonna run compressors 24/7. i'd say store it outside till its ready. if you have to burn it green, then that's what you have to do until you get ahead of the curve...mix some with your bio bricks. clean the chimney often and try to accumulate some faster seasoning woods like cherry, red maple and pine and next year you'll be good to go..
    albert1029 and Backwoods Savage like this.
  8. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Outside.
  9. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I would think that would depend on your basement and humidity level at different times of the year.
  10. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    I should explain that even though my firewood dried faster inside, it still didn't dry very fast. I had cottonwood and by the end of the season it dried about 1% faster inside compared to outside. But it was still too wet to burn very well.

    I'd try limping by this season by mixing your bricks and any wood scraps you can get in with your wet wood. Then plan on cleaning your creosote from the pipe next spring.
  11. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    I would save your basement area for future wood that is almost ready. Moisture on your framing and flooring, door jams and widow sills isnt worth it. Especially the glue on sheetrocking.
    Fans and dehumidifiers cost $$$$. Outside!!
  12. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    And also how seasoned the wood is now.

    If it is seasoned now (or even if not seasoned quite all the way), and assuming you don't to just leave it in your driveway all winter, and if what you say about your basment being very dry - I'd put it in the basement now at least to save on moving it any more than you have to. I don't think it'll hurt anything.

    Some like to move their wood from one side of their yard to the other, back & forth it goes. I like exercise & all, but when it comes to wood the less moving the better for me.
  13. jackofalltrades

    jackofalltrades Member

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    The basement is not a good place to put wet wood. It would certainly do better outside and protect your basement from excess moisture.
  14. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    I had a little bit of wood leftover from last winter that I had left in the basement. During the first cold night I got some up thinking it would be just great to burn. To my surprise it still gave up a lot of smoke and after splitting some pieces it still reads ~20 to 25% moisture. Thus, it had not dried at all in our dry(!) basement. I am now convinced that wind is really critical for drying wood. I would therefore recommend stacking it outside and cover the top (metal roofing, folded up tarp, whatever fits). That should give you great wood next year.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Air circulation is the important thing for drying wood. That is best done outdoors. It will also dry a lot over the winter setting outdoors so long as it has air movement. I would cover the top of the stack but never the sides. Also put something under the wood to allow air under the stack too. If nothing else, sacrifice some of the wood and lay two rows of it down to stack the rest of the wood on.
  16. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Try some;
    Take a few wheel barrow loads to the basement & see how well it does.
    May not like the odor or the higher humidity in the house. Then you have less to take back outside.

    Is the stove in the basement?

    I prefer outside. Like mentioned you can get allot of humidity inside the house from green wood.
    Plus I don't think it'll be ready much faster n the basement than if you leave it outside.

    Your just going thru the "I want to burn my wood" problem.
    We all went thru the learning curve of seasoning & drying wood.
    Getting 2 years ahead is the key. Keep CSS'ing wood, never have "too much"

    Might want to get another cord or 2 of wood stacked, seasoning & drying for next year. (other than oak)
    The 1 cord probably won't be enough for next year . Maybe some of what you have CSS will be ready then :)

    I'd use my time processing more wood than hauling & stacking in the basement.

    Look for some dead standing, the tops may be burnable now ;)
    Bacffin likes this.
  17. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

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    My vote is outside. You can get lots of bugs too!
  18. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the advice. I'm stacking it outside till next winter.
  19. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    I was hoping someone who did this would chime in. Do you think it would have worked out better the wood was around 30% instead of fresh cut which seems to come in around 40% + the times I've checked it.

    If the problem started to improve after a couple months maybe you could season for 6 mo then try bringing wood in doors?
  20. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    I don't have a moisture meter yet, but I know it's not freshly cut. It's further along than that, but not ready to burn.

    I was wondering if protection from precipitation would speed the rest of the process. The consensus seems to be sun and wind are more important.
    albert1029 likes this.
  21. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    If you are trying to get some wood ready to use ASAP then bring small amounts of the better/smaller stuff into the basement. IMO serious problems could occur when bringings large amount of wood at one time (1/2 cord/cord). A couple wheel barrows full at a time won't hurt anything and I have no doubt that if you took the same wood and seasoned outside (esp this time of year) vs some in a basement (where hot water heater or boiler is??), the wood in basement would dry much quicker. After a week or two start feeding that stuff in with your Envi blocks so your not going through those too fast and you'll get by.
  22. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I have been stacking 6 +/- cord of wood in my basement every fall for 17 years now. It always goes in seasoned.

    Never had any moisture, bug, mould etc. problems of any kind.

    YMMV, of course.
    Gasifier likes this.
  23. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    YMMV? What does that stand for? Yo momma ..?..?.... :confused: Let me know. :rolleyes:
  24. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

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    YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary
    Gasifier likes this.

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