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Stacking wood in the cellar?

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by iburnpine, Aug 11, 2006.

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  1. iburnpine

    iburnpine Member

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    Hey guys, I've decided to stack some dry wood in my cellar this year. This will keep me from going out in the snow come winter time and would make my life a lot easier. We didn't get too much snow last winter up here in Maine but the year before we might as well lived in an igloo. Just never know what we'll get so I'm trying to plan ahead.

    So, any tips for stacking in the cellar? Does anyone else do this? I'd like to keep the bug population down and here's what I'm currently doing - as this is the first year I've done this sort of thing.

    I try to clean off each piece that I bring into the house beforehand. I smack a few pieces together and brush them off quickly with my gloves. Not a big deal really, I just do a quick once over for any ginormous spiders or other nasties. I also spray some Orange Guard around the stack in the cellar to keep the bugs in check :) I also store the wood off of the floor on some pressure treated boards. That's about it.

    Note: I also have a dehumidifier going.

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  2. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Our rule of thumb for moving wood into the garage is to wait until a few good hard frosts have hit. This way, all the bugs are already dead or dormant. Or at least we believe that to be the case.

    Never had much of a bug problem ever, by using that rule. I personally would be terrified of moving wood into the house at this time of year, but that might just be me?
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    The key to successful basement wood stacking, in my experience, is to wait until you have a heat source going in the basement. This will drive out the moisture and keep the wood from getting mold and other unpleasant things growing on it. When I had a wood-fired boiler in the basement, I would aim to fill it up (8 full cords) by around Columbus Day. That way, you've got very dry wood by January 1, even if it's not completely dry when you stack it down there.

    I've never had a problem with bugs, other than the occasional spider--but nothing destructive to the house.
  4. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    The reason we developed that rule is because the shed and the woodpiles which are stacked adjacent to the shed were completely infested by carpenter ants about 8 or 9 yeras ago. WE treated for them, but threw away a lot of lumber because they had infested everything so badly.

    After that, we collectively decided to wait until the bugs were not moving to bring the wood anywhere near the house.
  5. iburnpine

    iburnpine Member

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    My cellar is rather dry to begin with and with the dehumidifier I'm fairly confident that mold/moisture will be a non-issue. Interesting take on the frost comments. I'm sure we've all seen bugs come out of their 'hibernation' when bringing cold wood into a warm house. I recall seeing several mosquitos and other things over the past winter after bringing some wood inside. I can't imagine having 8 cords down there...that must be cool to look at. Do you still stack wood in your basement?

    Thanks for the comments......
  6. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    No, I sold that house and bought another place that I still heat with a wood-fired boiler, but the boiler and the wood (10 cords) are now located in the barn. I fill the barn up as soon as possible in the spring, so that the wood has all summer to get really dry. The guy I sold the old house to still does it that way. One of the selling points of the place, I guess. If it wasn't 3 years ago, at any rate, it is now.

    One nice thing about wood in the basement is that as it dries out in the winter, it adds mositure to the atmosphere in the house, which is nice.

    Another nice thing about having your entire fuel supply under cover and easily accessible is that after Columbus Day, you can step outside whenever you like, face the Northwest and (with a goofy George W. Bush accent) scream "Bring it own!" at the top of your lungs. That's satisfying.
  7. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    I stack a little over a face cord and all the kindling in my basement on two racks. That way I can deplete one and use the other while the dampness of snow, etc. are drying on the newly refilled one. Each stack lasts me about a week of light to moderate burning.

    I like to have a cardboard box top (big one from my stove) under each rack so as to catch the enormous amount of debris that seems to fall off the wood regardless of my best efforts to knock it off outside.

    This year I'll add some borax into the box tops to kill the rare bug that might come in or out of there.
  8. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    we keep just under a cord in the basement with associated small pieces and kindling..it is approximately 2 weeks worth of wood it is the garage section no bugs but it is cooler in there then the finished part..A couple buddies and neighbors have separate concrete rooms on their basements where they can keep 3-4 cords..they will get a few bugs but nothing to worry about most fill early october, the frost tip is a good one..
  9. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Corie, I'm with you!

    About 6 weeks ago, a tree guy was wacking several huge oaks around the corner. I asked for the wood, and he delivered everything. I split it in the back yard, about 40 feet from the house. Stack it about 75 feet away. The base of the tree was rotten and hollow;loaded with carpenter ants. A week later the carpenter ants are cruising through the house.

    Then again, I have brought in cold wood in the middle of winter, and within a couple hours, have moths flying around the house.

    I do like Corie logic.
  10. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    We rented an old farm house years ago when we moved to different state ( was looking to buy wile we rented ) This old farm house had a full basement with a wood furnace . We would cut wood in the winter - spring , let the wood dry all summer and spray for bugs twice in the summer. About September - October we would load a 12' X 12' room in the basement full of wood through a basement window. No stacking , no waiting for the wood to frost , real easy ( if you have a single room to put it all in ) The freezing of wood sounds like a good idea . Not once did we ever have a bug in the basement wood pile . Of coarse i think all out side wood piles need sprayed twice a year when drying anyway ........ basement loading or not .
  11. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    This year I'm bringing in .10 cord of wood at a time. I made a rack just the right size so I can figure exactly how much wood I burn. Should be enough to last 5 days or so, and also to make sure all the snow and moisture is gone. I also think you should wait till there is a good freeze to kill the bugs before bringing any wood inside. I've done it early in the past and had too many bugs.
  12. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Truthfully, and I'm not saying this to support my reasoning, but I've honestly never had an insect come crawling out of my wood once it gets warm. Don't know if it's luck, or if I'm an idiot and have just never noticed, but I've honestly never seen it.
  13. PAJerry

    PAJerry Member

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    I've stacked in my unheated breezeway between the house and garage for many years. We have a rack in the living room next to the fireplace that holds about 25 good sized splits. We have never had a any major bug problems but occasionally have a spider show up next to the ceiling, since they used to like to hang out in the breezeway. This year I sprayed the area with Ortho Home Defense stuff I got at Lowes and no spiders have shown up at all. Hope this also helps keep things out of the wood.
  14. martel

    martel Member

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    roos, what do you spray with? is there any concern about fumes coming off when burning (i realize it is well dried by then- strange question?)
  15. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    I will spray termite control on the ground and pallets before the wood goes down split and stacked . Once split and stacked i normally use SEVEN like you use in the garden . You can spray SEVEN on your garden and days later eat what comes out of the garden . I spray the wood pile at least 3-4 times a year with SEVEN and treat the ground / grass around the wood piles with a noraml bug spray.
  16. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Seven is pretty awesome stuff!

    I try to stay away from pesticides in the garden, regardless of whether or not it says it is safe to consume treated veggies. However, when you have to use the stuff, seven is really where it's at.
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