Best way to stack and cover woodpile

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theora55

Member
Mar 8, 2008
43
Southern Maine
For this year's wood, I have some nice sturdy pallets, just wide enough for 2 rows of wood. I usually cross-stack the ends and fill in the middle, and cover with a tarp. I try to get tarps that don't go down too much on the sides, but how important is that? Should I keep it tarped over the summer, or let the wind & sun in to dry it?

Maine, mixed hardwood, if it matters. Bring on the wood-stacking/ tarping advice! and anybody bored is welcome to visit & help stack... thanks.
 

wendell

Minister of Fire
Jan 29, 2008
2,033
Madison, WI
+1

And, it is very important to not cover the sides. Always keep the air moving through the stacks.
 

CTYank

Minister of Fire
Sep 28, 2010
1,031
SW CT
I cover all stacks for coming winter, wanting it as dry as possible ASAP.
Tarp can be folded so it covers just a bit more than the width of the stack.
Small scraps of wood on top of pile under tarp, extending maybe 4-6 inches past stack make water drip clear of stack.
 

Thistle

Minister of Fire
Dec 16, 2010
4,205
Central IA
If the wood is at least 18 months old & already dry,its covered with a tarp when the shed is full.Anything cut in the past year is left uncovered
 

Thistle

Minister of Fire
Dec 16, 2010
4,205
Central IA
That's what heavy duty push brooms are for.Much less effort than a scoop shovel.Faster too.
 

Kenster

Minister of Fire
Jan 10, 2010
1,705
Texas- West of Houston
If I was going to cover my wood at all, which I don't- ever, it wouldn't be with a tarp. Even for bone dry wood. Seems like tarps will just trap moisture and encourage, mold, rot, bugs of all sorts. Corrugated metal sheets, corrugated fiberglass sheets, vinyl siding scrounged from home construction sites...
anything but a tarp unless the tarp is suspended well above the wood to encourage continued air circulation.
Me? My stay uncovered until I bring the wood up on the covered porch two or three days before burning, which is plenty of time for any surface moisture to evaporate.

Granted, I don't have to worry about snow too much here.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
I'm pretty sure the push broom wouldn't work on the 22" snowfall we had this past winter.
 

Thistle

Minister of Fire
Dec 16, 2010
4,205
Central IA
More than that here & it works best if you get to it before it melts a little then refreezes to a hard crust.
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
theora55 said:
For this year's wood, I have some nice sturdy pallets, just wide enough for 2 rows of wood. I usually cross-stack the ends and fill in the middle, and cover with a tarp. I try to get tarps that don't go down too much on the sides, but how important is that? Should I keep it tarped over the summer, or let the wind & sun in to dry it?

Maine, mixed hardwood, if it matters. Bring on the wood-stacking/ tarping advice! and anybody bored is welcome to visit & help stack... thanks.

Maybe I'm not qualified to answer this because I hate pallets and strongly dislike tarps. However, here are a couple pictures for you to consider:



This one covered with old galvanize roofing; much superior to tarps.


With snow.


We have stacked wood in many different ways and covered with different materials and have also done some a la quads; that is, uncovered all the time. We concluded that the wood dries faster if left uncovered at least the first summer and then cover the top only before the snow falls. If we have an extremely wet fall then we will cover sometimes in September but it is usually November or December when we cover.

For stacking the wood we usually cut some saplings and lay those down to stack the wood on. We've also just used some splits laid down to stack on and because we are on yellow sand, we've had many stacks with nothing under them except good ole Mother Earth. That usually means the bottom row will be frozen in until the next April but it does not harm the wood at all. That wood will be burned the following winter.

In parts of Maine we know it can be very wet with little sunshine and low humidity so some folks will cover their wood as soon as it is stacked and it works. It does seem better though to leave it uncovered until maybe Labor Day and then cover.

You will find that if you can use something that is more solid rather than using tarps it will be much better. One might even consider, if he has to use tarps, to lay down something solid and put the tarp on top of that with perhaps a few small splits under the tarp every so often to allow for some air flow under the tarp so it does trap moisture. I tried some rubber roofing once and it worked okay but I still prefer something solid.

Now if you were not so far away and if it was not so hot, I would take you up on the offer and come to help. You would have to supply the beverages though.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
22" in one snowfall. Doesn't impress the snowbelt people, but a broom won't work on a 4 deep stack.
 
D

DexterDay

Guest
Kenster said:
If I was going to cover my wood at all, which I don't- ever, it wouldn't be with a tarp. Even for bone dry wood. Seems like tarps will just trap moisture and encourage, mold, rot, bugs of all sorts. Corrugated metal sheets, corrugated fiberglass sheets, vinyl siding scrounged from home construction sites...
anything but a tarp unless the tarp is suspended well above the wood to encourage continued air circulation.
Me? My stay uncovered until I bring the wood up on the covered porch two or three days before burning, which is plenty of time for any surface moisture to evaporate.

Granted, I don't have to worry about snow too much here.
Agreed Kenster...... And Backwoodsavage would say, Use a harder cover and put it on later. Keeping it above the stacks and sightly wider than the stacks.

Tarps "Trap" moisture... Tarp = Trap ....... Anagram...or a Coincidence????
 

mywaynow

Minister of Fire
Dec 13, 2010
1,369
Northeast
I use a single large tarp on the top only. Have no issues with rot at all and have very dry wood to burn. Spent 40 dollars for a 15x30 and is covers around 15 cords. I have a second tarp waiting to be used now. Need to stack a few more pallets worth to even up the piles.
 

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Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
The problem is that $40 tarp usually last one season or two at best. Methinks it is better to have something a bit more permanent rather than continually throwing dollars at the wood stacks.
 

snowleopard

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2009
1,495
So I'm curious. Those of you who cover multi-year stacks in the fall, do you uncover again in the spring, or do the covers then stay on until you're ready to burn or put the wood in a shed?

hard cover = cord haver
galvanized sheet metal = evens a melts-glitz ahead

Anagram? . . . or coincidence? . . . you decide
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
I cover the stacks in the fall and they stay covered until either used or put in shed.

I do not understand folks that cover and uncover, especially the ones who cover when a rain is coming. Seems a lot of unnecessary work to me.
 

ansehnlich1

Retired Hearth.com Member
Dec 5, 2006
1,601
Adams County, PA
I have rolled rubber roofing material that has a fiber mesh in it and that stuff is near blast proof. I cut it in 24 inch widths, roll it out on top a row, use splits to hold it down. The stuff is already heavy and stays put real nice.

I cover every pile and I cover it right away, right after splitting. I never do anything else, in winter the sides of the piles may get snow on 'em during a storm but always melt/dry out in a day or two.

The key for me is to have a place near my back door that I can keep a week of dry wood under roof. Actually, my back porch gets filled up pretty good in November, I only uncover my stacks to re-supply the back porch throughout the season, which ain't often.
 

cptoneleg

Minister of Fire
Jul 17, 2010
1,544
Virginia
I think they must put tarps on woodpiles so the mosquitos can hatch their young ones in the water puddles all over the tarps :zip:
 

snowleopard

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2009
1,495
After starting out hot and sunny, this has turned into one of the wettest summers I've seen in a long time. Good thing--knocks back the spruce beetles, puts out the fires. Summers here are sizzle or drizzle, and we're turning into mushrooms here. So the cut-n-cover policy might would have been a good one here. The adventure continues.
 

mywaynow

Minister of Fire
Dec 13, 2010
1,369
Northeast
Backwoods Savage said:
The problem is that $40 tarp usually last one season or two at best. Methinks it is better to have something a bit more permanent rather than continually throwing dollars at the wood stacks.
The tarp I bought last year is still in good shape. It has been on the stack for over a year. It has eyelets which I use elastic bungee cords to hold the edges down. I put rocks in spots around the edges, especially on the sides that the wind hits first. There are puddles that develop, but that doesn't bother me. If holes develop, that isn't going to bother me much either. There is only so much water that can enter through a slit. Mostly, the draw for me is the concealment of the stack with a dark green color, and the clean, easy method of tarping. I would not get away with galvanised roofing or plywood stacked on my wood piles.
 

laynes69

Minister of Fire
Oct 2, 2006
2,484
Ashland OH
I've used tarps in the past, but they never seem to get the job done. When we moved here there was the skin of a 24' pool out beside the barn which is galvanized. I'm going to cut it in 8' sections and use that. Last year I used some 1/4" underlayment and that was much better than tarps. Eventually a woodshed will be nice and I have 22' trusses, but don't had enough money for the other materials right now. I think a harder material that does form against the wood will work best.
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
snowleopard said:
After starting out hot and sunny, this has turned into one of the wettest summers I've seen in a long time. Good thing--knocks back the spruce beetles, puts out the fires. Summers here are sizzle or drizzle, and we're turning into mushrooms here. So the cut-n-cover policy might would have been a good one here. The adventure continues.
Well it is good to hear that the fires have gone out. But one disadvantage turns to another..... Isn't the north country nice?!
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,079
Unity/Bangor, Maine
theora55 said:
For this year's wood, I have some nice sturdy pallets, just wide enough for 2 rows of wood. I usually cross-stack the ends and fill in the middle, and cover with a tarp. I try to get tarps that don't go down too much on the sides, but how important is that? Should I keep it tarped over the summer, or let the wind & sun in to dry it?

Maine, mixed hardwood, if it matters. Bring on the wood-stacking/ tarping advice! and anybody bored is welcome to visit & help stack... thanks.
First year I left my wood outside on pallets . . . no tarp until October or so right before the first dusting . . . leaving the wood exposed to the sun and the wind worked out well . . . what little moisture fell on the wood from the rain was not a big deal . . . heck, I found that typically even with a decent rain only the wood on the first 6-12 inches was wet anyways.

I didn't mind the tarps, even in the winter . . . but during the next summer I built a woodshed . . . much better than a tarp since you can stand in the woodshed and pick and choose what wood you want to burn and never have to worry about snow.
 
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