Need advice on covering wood for the winter with a tarp that's too big

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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
868
NW Ontario
Morning fellas. We've got some heavy rains coming (finally), and it's time for me to protect all the epic drying I've been able to accomplish with my firewood this summer. It has been a bone-dry, drought summer here. This big ole pile of ash will be moving into my wood shed next summer, where it will sit for another 2 years before it goes in my stove. It has been uncovered all summer, and is really coming along. I want to cover it up for the winter, so that I don't have to wait 2 months for it to reappear from under the snow next spring.

I'm covering it now, since we're getting into what is traditionally a wetter and cooler time of year here, and because i want to put it away dry as opposed to soaking wet (which it will be if I don't get it covered this morning). As you can see from my pics, the tarp hangs down to the ground on both sides, leaving only airflow on the ends of the piles (oriented N-S). It was the closest fitting tarp i could get for my pile without having to fart around with multiple tarps. There will be a couple feet exposed on the south end, but that's okay.
IMG_5311.jpeg IMG_5310.jpeg IMG_5312 2.jpeg

For the purposes of this weekend, I'm just going to tie it down as-is to keep it dry. However, I am concerned that if I leave it like this all fall/winter, I could get some moisture build-up under the tarp which is obviously no good. So, I'm looking for advice, as I've never covered a pile like this over winter before. I know that ideally it's best just to top-cover, and leave the sides open (and maybe jimmy it so that the rain isn't dripping down onto the sides off the tarp). But, the easiest solution is for me to just tie it up as is and leave it. I could try to fold the tarp to create just a top cover, but then i will have to weigh it down on top of the pile (cause I'll loose the grommets), which will be a hassle, and also will make it so that I won't be able to have things as taught to keep the snow/rain sliding off. So, if this was your pile and your tarp, how would you approach it for over-wintering?

Thanks!
 

Couver

New Member
Sep 7, 2020
16
Whidbey Island
I use ground anchors for my tarps. It pulls the sides away from the wood and allows the rain to run off. One can take multiple tie ropes. I keep my wood on racks so I get airflow underneath. This year I am going to set a couple of metal fence posts in five gallon buckets of concrete with the metal caps on them. I am trying to create a tent that keeps the tarp with minimal wood contact.

3F9CC195-7C2B-40A2-81AE-EB0993B9DDB9.jpeg 822AB67C-09EC-4C52-8B47-054752DB3779.jpeg
 
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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,037
Woolwich nj
You will not build up moisture if you leave the ends open like that in the picture. When the air moves through it at will keep it dry. As for the tarp being big thats ok. I do the same thing. I put rebar in the ground and attach the tarp to it via bungee cords keeping the tarp out on a slight angle.. Your wood and stacking is looking pretty nice I have to admit.. You should be proud..
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,842
Iowa
Old car/truck/motorcycle tires on the top and bottom edges. Works well for me. Extremely classy look as well.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,115
Massachusetts
i would fold it up if it were mine. the sun rips up the tarps or plastic in about a year so i make the plastic or tarps come down half way from the top and fold in the ends and use sheetrock screws with fender washers never ever fails. i've had the wind strong enough to blow over the wood pile but the tarp or plastic is still attached
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
868
NW Ontario
I use ground anchors for my tarps. It pulls the sides away from the wood and allows the rain to run off. One can take multiple tie ropes. I keep my wood on racks so I get airflow underneath. This year I am going to set a couple of metal fence posts in five gallon buckets of concrete with the metal caps on them. I am trying to create a tent that keeps the tarp with minimal wood contact.

View attachment 281117 View attachment 281118
I was actually going to pound a few t-posts into the ground and run a rope between them to create a ridgeline for the tarp, like you're thinking of, but I couldn't find t-posts anywhere in town.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
868
NW Ontario
You will not build up moisture if you leave the ends open like that in the picture. When the air moves through it at will keep it dry. As for the tarp being big thats ok. I do the same thing. I put rebar in the ground and attach the tarp to it via bungee cords keeping the tarp out on a slight angle.. Your wood and stacking is looking pretty nice I have to admit.. You should be proud..
Thanks!
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
868
NW Ontario
i would fold it up if it were mine. the sun rips up the tarps or plastic in about a year so i make the plastic or tarps come down half way from the top and fold in the ends and use sheetrock screws with fender washers never ever fails. i've had the wind strong enough to blow over the wood pile but the tarp or plastic is still attached
I think I saw someone on here post a youtube video of a guy who screwed his tarps into the wood pile. Looked like an interesting approach. We had some severe thunderstorms and wind here yesterday - even got into a tornado warning for about 40 minutes, and my tarps all held up. :)
 
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,730
Colorado
That's a interesting thought screwing the tarps into the wood pile---could you make wooden stacks if you cannot find t-posts--just thoughts here but I think screwing it into the wood is interesting.. clancey
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
868
NW Ontario
could you make wooden stacks if you cannot find t-posts
more work than it's worth, and i'm not supposed to use any sort of power tool that has torque (cause of my shoulder/bicep).
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,374
Ottawa, ON
I would fold and nail or screw the tarps to the splits. With a bit of overhang. Place some stones/pallets or what ever on top. Dont forget, tarps are not water proof. Water will pool and eventually drip on the splits below the pooled water. No big deal the surface water dries fast. Some of my stacks are tarpped (2019) and I have not touched or readjust them once. I will try to find a pic
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,374
Ottawa, ON
B5296373-751F-411E-B7F9-1B0DE3F2AF90.jpeg
not a good pic but you get my point. Seethe green/blue tarp
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,470
SE North Carolina
I was actually going to pound a few t-posts into the ground and run a rope between them to create a ridgeline for the tarp, like you're thinking of, but I couldn't find t-posts anywhere in town.
I either stack a row in the middle or make a few sapling poles to run down the middle for ridge. This year I saved my old gutters just for this purpose. I feel like a few criss cross splits then anchor rope low then run up and over the splits to the other end would work.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,261
Downeast Maine
I like to fold the tarp to desired size and run straps over the top to keep the tarp from unfolding. That's how I deal with storing round hay bales since I don't have a barn.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
868
NW Ontario
I either stack a row in the middle or make a few sapling poles to run down the middle for ridge. This year I saved my old gutters just for this purpose. I feel like a few criss cross splits then anchor rope low then run up and over the splits to the other end would work.
Yes!! Thanks for the great idea. I just might try this!
 
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fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,115
Massachusetts
i screw mine have way down the stack about 2 feet on each side then when i need it i get my battery drill and unscrew what i need then when my garage is full i screww back down the plastic for the next time i need some. and i never have any left over screws in the ash
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
868
NW Ontario
i haven't changed anything so far with the initial tarp set up, but i have been contemplating folding the tarp in half long ways, and then running a bunch of old fence posts through the folded side to hold weight over there, and then tie off all the grommets on the other side (so that it's more of just a top cover). I just keep flip-flopping between what is best to keep the snow out and have the pile snow free as soon as possible in the spring. I think that if I just go top-cover, then the snow will penetrate the stack more where as if i leave it all draped, i can just pull the tarp off in a kind of ta-da fashion next spring and start chucking that wood into the wood shed.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
890
Northwest Lower Michigan
I used to put some large pieces of wood on the top of the tarp. And lean pallets up against the side to hold the tarp in place.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,115
Massachusetts
I used to put some large pieces of wood on the top of the tarp. And lean pallets up against the side to hold the tarp in place.
i used to do the pallet thing also but the wind still took my tarp. nothing like fender washers and a screw