Q&A Wood drying time and conditions

QandA Posted By QandA, Nov 17, 2007 at 8:58 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    I have to give you some background on my wood pile... I've a 14'x14' deck off the back of my house. On the under side of the deck I've geared up a tarp. The tarp doesn't hang down very much on any of the 3 open sides of the deck. the ground is covered with pallets. This enabled me to put about 4 cords of wood in there... the rows are about 13' long, about 4 and a bit high... the rows are about 11 feet deep (6 or 7 rows). That wood has been there since early June of this year. I have another 1/3 cord (that I couldn't fit under there) on the side of my yard (3 rows about 6' long, but not quite 4' high) covered with a tarp. that little pile is free standing and wide open... I don't suspect that pile to have any drying problems. Do you think that this is to confined for adequate drying for the stuff under the deck? I'll know myself when I go to burn the stuff standing by itself compared to the stuff under the deck) As an indication, the logs under the deck around the perimeters seem to be starring well... and he weather has been quite hot and dry for our climate. The reason for asking is I burned some last week and it seemed a little wet. Now, mind you, it was damp and humid (not always raining, but usually cold and icky if it wasn't) most of that week, and most of the wood around the perimeter was damp from rain. I picked the stuff that looked like it hadn't been rained directly on. During a mostly damp week like that, would the wood absorb moisture? i.e., could the wetness of the logs I burned have been from moisture dampness, or greenness? Do you think my stack might not get enough ventilation to dry well enough by the time I need to use it (early/mid October) Just to know for sure, I think I'll try burning some from each pile after it's been in the sun has driven away this humidity. How long do you season your wood for?


    Correct drying of wood depends on many circumstances. In almost any case, early June to Now (Sept) is not long enough. However, all is not lost. The coldest part of the winter is a few months away and I think a lot of your wood will be ready by then. Here's some variables and tips.

    1. Different woods contain different amounts of moisture and seasoning time can vary.

    Splitting the wood and proper stacking (with more air spaces) will help accelerate the seasoning.

    2. Wood soak up moisture from rain and even outdoor humidity

    Store some wood (maybe 1-2 week worth) inside in a heated area before burning. This can be the basement, or even a garage, however in very cold weather the garage is not as good.

    3. Certain Stoves and Chimneys make your wood burn better

    A good draft helps in burning wood with a little excess moisture. Various stove and fireplace designs also tolerate damp wood differently.

    Ideally, wood should be seasoned about a year, but with proper stacking, splitting and storing as little as 6-8 months can result in wood which is OK to burn. However, wood that is allowed a full 9-12 months will still burn easier and hotter.
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