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Seasoning: to cover, or not to cover: that is the question

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Charlene Kravec, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Charlene Kravec

    Charlene Kravec New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Messages:
    60
    Loc:
    Eastern Tennessee
    My husband said to me that he read that unseasoned wood (seasoned wood to be) should be left uncovered if left on an exposed wood rack. That if covered, the covered portion will not season. Our exposed racks are presently covered because of winter rain/snow, except one. One rack is under a section of porch uncovered and does get wet from the elements when water drains between the flooring boards .

    What say you.

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  2. bigbarf48

    bigbarf48 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
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    684
    Loc:
    Stone Mountain GA
    Top cover only is your best bet. Seasoning is inhibited only when you cover the whole pile with a tarp because moisture can't escape
    firefighterjake and Defiant like this.
  3. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    1,977
    Loc:
    Near Williamsport, PA
    Lots of discussion here on this...and several differing opinions. I leave my stacks 100% open to the elements until we get a nice dry patch of weather maybe 2 months before needing that wood into the shed...then I cover the top only before the next expected rain. When I didn't have a shed I left them top covered until they were needed to burn.
  4. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Feb 23, 2008
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    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    Yep, with the shed being the top cover :cool:, the wood going in there stays out in the elements as long as possible. I wait for a dry spell late summer, then load the shed with at least 2 yr. old c/s/s.
    I suppose it would help if I top covered the stacks in the field, but I have 2 of those 112' long. Lots to top cover.
    I've thought of putting something nailed onto the top of the posts to cover, but nothing would work since the posts are 16' O/C.
    I think it would be a good idea to top cover as long as the wood has plenty of air, and if possible, sun.
  5. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
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    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
    My seasoning stacks are out in the open, off the ground with good air circulation. Not covered
    There for 1 year then to the shed for 2 years before burned.

    If you cover , top cover only so the ends & sides get air circulation.

    Of course the your local climate & weather & how and where it's stacked play a big role ;)
    Off the ground, in single rows or 12" or more spacing between rows, in an area with wind & sun if possible are important factors.

    Wood type is another factor (& you have Oak in your area. )
    Oak, 2+ years (some say 3 for there area).
    Most other wood types, minimum of a full year of seasoning ( 2 + years is better ).

    Seasoning don't start until it's CSS, (Cut, Split & Stacked) ;)
  6. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
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    6,400
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    I leave it uncovered until a couple months before using it, then just cover the top. Tarps degrade in the sun, and it seasons just fine uncovered.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Charlene, your husband would be correct if the entire pile was covered. Occasionally we see some crazy folks do that. By covering the whole stack, that leaves no way for the moisture to evaporate and evaporation is what we need. We usually do our splitting and stacking in the spring. Then we leave the stacks uncovered until early winter (before the snow flies).

    However, in your area, I would advise you to cover the tops of the stacks right after stacking. The reason for this is the amount of rainfall you get in your area.

    Below are 3 pictures. The wood freshly stacked, then the other two were taken the following spring or late winter. The wood is top covered with old galvanized roofing. Then we throw some of the uglies or bad wood on top to hold down the roofing. One can also screw it down to the wood pile itself.

    To dry the wood properly is it best to stack it off the ground, out in the windiest spot you have on your place. Wind is more important than sunshine but adding some sun is good too if possible. If you don't have multiple years worth of wood on hand, then stack it in single rows and stack it rather loosely. This will allow for better air getting through the stack. Leave a few feet between each row if possible.

    Now the idea too is for you to be 3 years ahead on your wood piles. You'll never be sorry for doing that either and you'll actually use less wood to heat your home.

    Wood-2009e.JPG Wood-3-4-10b.JPG Wood-3-4-10d.JPG

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