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Why shouldn't I cover newly split wood?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by marsfarmer, Sep 11, 2009.

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  1. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Still seems like there is some confusion. Of course having wood top covered or in a well ventilated shed won't hurt, but it hardly makes any difference if wood you intend to burn in two years is getting rained on today, either. If the humidity is 100%, the wood can't be drying covered or uncovered. Now if it's wood you intend to burn in a couple days or a week - yes, it makes good sense to cover it - or if ice / snow is going to be an issue - even I cover mine in these situations. But trust me, most every forest floor is littered with crackling dry wood which has never been covered a day in it's life.

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  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Have you ever run under a tree to get out of the rain? Why is that? (rhetorical)
  3. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Actualy, whenever I find wood lying on the forest floor, it is wet, and starting to rot. Any other ideas?
  4. marsfarmer

    marsfarmer New Member

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    Everything you say is sensible and you definitely have years of successful woodburning to back up your points. I also agree that you shouldn't worry about a "sponge effect." But I don't think a top cover would necessarily slow down the evaporation of moisture. It would if you wrapped the top tightly in plastic or covered the sides, but if the cover is elevated a few inches above the top of the stack, it should allow any rising moisture to move on out. And if the cover is clear or dark in color, it can heat up in the sun and actually increase evaporation.
    In keeping with your roof analogy, I agree that a good roof sheds water and gets dry again fast, but if there's a little leak in that roof, water can get into your framing and do a lot of damage. To me, the top of a woodpile is like a roof with lots of little leaks. Bugs like water, mold likes water, and I hate those things in my hard-won fuel. I guess I don't have enough of a firewood stockpile at this point to risk losing any of it to the elements.
    Anyway, I'm not trying to be persnickitty, just trying to make sure my winter stash is safe and sound, and get a sense of what everybody thinks. Can't wait til I've got enough cordage to experiment with this issue.
  5. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    Good idea. (That would also reduce any condensation forming under the cover, not that it's much of a concern.)

    For two-year wood, I like single-row stacked for sun exposure in year one. But it just occurred to me that the sun, during the course of daylight hours in different seasons, will reach the sides of a well-positioned stack whether it is covered or not.
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Take note that Backwoods Savage just leaves it uncovered the first summer. Top covered from then on.
  7. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Covering in the average climate just makes people feel better. The drying that matter comes from the center out. The little moister from rain evaporates in a few days... If your going to use the wood in the next 2-3 mos I would cover it. I don't like to bring wet wood into the house.
  8. marsfarmer

    marsfarmer New Member

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    Alright, I think I've got it. Most say the cover is a toss-up but inoffensive if done right in that 1st year of seasoning. Once you've reached the Fall before the winter you want to burn, everyone seems to say COVER. Get all that slime out of the bark etc. Better still put it in a shed. And of course wind and sun = good firewood.
    Whew. Now I can get back to those hops. What's the point of stacking wood if you can't have a beer afterward?
  9. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Wood is made up of straw like fibers which soak up water up to the leaves. When you cut and split it the outside ends will start to dry up and shrink. If the wood is left uncovered and occasionally gets wet, this will speed up the drying process by leaving the fibers open drawing out the inner moisture. If covered the outside ends may shrink so much the inside moisture will have a harder time escaping.

    Took this from an Australian firewood article.
  10. JoeyD

    JoeyD Minister of Fire

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    I'm not in the position to tell anyone how to store firewood. I've only been at it one year now. But maybe cross stacking wood like mine is is not the best way to stack wood. Monday with a week of rain and showers coming I covered all the wood that is going to be used between now and the end of the 2011 heating season. This years was covered 2 feet down the sides and every thing else just top covered. On one stack I fell about 3 feet short and left it. Today I took about 3 layers off the uncovered section and the wood was wet. Now almost all my wood is red oak which everyone seems to think takes 2 years to season and my supply is about 15 months ahead so I'm glad everything was covered. I feel I'm that much ahead. The outside of my stacks at least appeared to be dry. Over time my system might change but for now I don't think top covering hurts anything. Like others have said "only dry your wood once".

    Oh BTW we did have one God-awful rain this week. Several inches on Friday and I'm not sure what the rest of the week brought.
  11. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Yeah it rained a bunch here, but the wood in my woodshed is still dry. And if it gets warm and sunny or windy, the only moisture available to leave will be that which is deep inside the logs, since the surface is already dry. My outside, uncovered stacks will waste the first few drying days just shedding the rain that fell for 3 days. Of course that doesn't really matter since the seasoning process will continue nonetheless. Next year though, I will cover it so it gets dry enough to burn well.
  12. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    Here is a link. Link did not work and just took it down.


    Zap
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