How important is top covering

Feb 2, 2020
91
Madison, WI
My stacks are top covered with tin roofing sections that were given to me by my wife's uncle (leftovers from his construction company). The sections are 10 ft long and I've just layered them over the bins that hold my cords. They are held down by wood screws as well as heavy odds and ends wood pieces that wouldn't fit good in my stacks. The wind (esp this year) has been a real PITA and I've had sections of roof come undone more than once, hence me adding the heavy wood pieces. I think I've finally got it to where it can't move, had 45 mph gusts over the weekend didn't seem to budge. I also notice with how I've placed the tin sheets over my bins the rain seems to run off the sides keeping the stacks dry. Heavy rain in the wind the wood is going to get wet no matter what and that's ok with me.
 

Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
770
Rochester NY
Any time in the past where I haven't top covered I've just ended up really regretting it once it's time to burn that wood. Yeah it may be seasoned but if its damp it just sizzles and takes forever to get going. So I guess for me I really prefer burning dry wood, as in both seasoned and not subjected to 3 years worth of rain. I guess some people do ok burning damp wood.
 
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Dabster13

New Member
Nov 27, 2018
39
CT
Depends on the season for me. Spring - Fall, Anything not in my actual woodshed is uncovered, but once winter rolls around I'll throw tarps up on the uncovered piles. Don't want snow to just hang out on top or the wood.
 

BIGChrisNH

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2015
464
New Hampshire
In Southern New Hampshire, if I didn't top cover my wood would rot. I've tried it, it doesn't work here. In a dryer climate maybe.
 
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Chris Cringle

New Member
May 11, 2020
5
Virginia
Every stack that is not in a shed I top cover, using vinyl corrugated roofing panels, 2-ft wide x 8-ft long pieces of plywood, scraps of plywood, occasionally a tarp. But only because I have to store my wood in the tree line. Rain combined with tree debris that falls throughout the year is like a bunch of continually damp sponges on my stacks. That leads to rot, mushrooms, etc. if my stacks were away from the wood line I wouldn’t cover, except for the stack I was burning through at that time.
 
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Brenda66

New Member
Apr 1, 2020
2
West Hartford
If you only burn a cord a year I wouldn’t worry about it.

The US forest service did a test in Alaska and found uncovered cord was subject to 110 gallons of rain water per year. I can only assume that would take longer to dry than wood covered from that.
For me if I don’t cover with a tarp it takes longer to get the wood hot enough to burn clean. I only have have about 4 cords of wood at any given time. Mostly hard wood but there is some pine mixed in.
 

red oak

Minister of Fire
Sep 7, 2011
1,286
northwest Virginia
Any longer than a year or two in Virginia and it should be covered. I used to not cover and had a problem with some wood rotting and leaves falling in between the stacks and trapping moisture. Wood burns much better now that it’s covered.
 

Welderman85

Feeling the Heat
Nov 1, 2017
264
Chesaning MI
I'm chesaning Michigan. I decided to try top covering I started with tarps until i come up with something better.
 

JotulOwner

Feeling the Heat
Oct 29, 2007
354
Long Island, New York
We get lots of wind, so I don’t bother top covering anymore. The wind was shredding the tarps, anyway.
Tarps are difficult to manage since most leak before long and then just trap the moisture they let in. Sometimes we still have to use them for one reason or another.
 

Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
770
Rochester NY
Honestly I don't even understand this debate. Try this experiment - Make a camp fire with wood that's been uncovered and another fire with equally seasoned wood that's been covered. Which one burns almost instantly clean???
 

Stinkpickle

Feeling the Heat
Jan 13, 2015
479
Iowa
Honestly I don't even understand this debate. Try this experiment - Make a camp fire with wood that's been uncovered and another fire with equally seasoned wood that's been covered. Which one burns almost instantly clean???
I do it all the time. Both burn fine. But I get plenty of sun and wind.