wood shed breathability

j7art2

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2014
372
Sanford, MI
This is my current 'wood shed'. It's an old lean-to stable I guess, possibly was used as a wood shed before I moved here. It faces east.

It bothers me that the sides and back are all closed in. I'm concerned my wood will not season well without a proper draft. Is this an accurate statement, or should it season normally?

I'm wondering what my options are here. Since I've already got wood leaning against the walls, I'd prefer not to remove the walls and back and install 'planking'. I'm wondering if maybe taking a hole saw to the walls and cutting holes in it will help.

Leave it? Remove and install planking (and destroy wood stack in process)?
Drill holes/slats with Skil saw?

IMG_20150315_185950830.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gboutdoors

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
18,853
Unity/Bangor, Maine
I love my woodshed . . . but I season my wood outside exposed to the sun and wind for a year prior before it goes into the woodshed. Any additional seasoning inside the woodshed is just that . . . additional.

For me the main reason for my woodshed is to avoid the hassle of dealing with a blanket of snow, ice, etc. and standing around in the rain and snow while loading up on firewood.
 

DougA

Minister of Fire
Dec 13, 2012
1,938
S. ON
I built mine last fall and used free pallets for the sides so that there would be plenty of air flow. The disadvantage of that is that the snow blew through the slats and covered the wood. My suggestion would be to put a row of roof vents and the heat will force air flow through all the cracks and out the roof vents. Same thing at the top of the sides would work just as well.

I have two garage doors on my shed and I leave the doors open when the weather is nice and close them when wet. Air flow is vital to drying wood fast.
 

Applesister

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2012
2,483
Upstate NY
Remove whole sheets of the siding. (Unscrew) Assuming they are sheet metal screwed, remove back wall 1/2 way across. Looks like the ground is wet, so NOT GOOD.
Get gravel in there and build up the foundation. Open 1/2 of back wall for air cross flow. In the winter screw the siding back on.
I would still give green wood some time outside. I loaded green in a metal building one fall and that night and the next day the entire ceiling was dripping condensation, like it was raining. (with a dirt floor)
Now I stack everything outside, I have 2 steel buildings and 2 wooden barns and multiple sheds and all firewood stays outdoors.
 

j7art2

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2014
372
Sanford, MI
Yeah, my whole county is mud right now... it's all clay and has very poor drainage. :( I have all my wood stacked on pallets. The roof itself isn't air tight (you can see sunlight where the roof meets the wall). I think I may look into adding slatted sides for better breathability. I don't mind the a bit of the elements getting on the wood, as this is all green and none of it will be burned until next year at the minimum. My outside stacks are all pine, and all of my seasoned stuff goes into my barn close to the house. This wood shed is out in my field that is inaccessible except by snow machine once snow hits. Unfortunately, I don't have one, just a 4x4 quad. On the bright side, my barn holds 14 cords of wood, and the basement can hold a cord or more. :)
 

j7art2

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2014
372
Sanford, MI
Call me a firewood snob, but I take time to sort all of my wood pretty particularly.

All green pine goes outside in full elements. (I have 3-4 cords of it)

All green non-pine/hardwood goes in the wood shed.

All dead and down, or ash that is mostly seasoned goes in the barn close to the house. Rotate as necessary.
 

Oldman47

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2015
1,011
Central Illinois
If the prevailing winds hit the back of that loafing shed I would leave the sides alone and just open up the back. That way you get good air circulation. As Applesister mentioned you could always screw the back material in place before the snow flies.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Applesister

Applesister

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2012
2,483
Upstate NY
Yes...dont damage the siding in case you choose to use the shed for something else. Dont drill holes in it.
You could put page fencing across the back opening to stack against but I would stack about 1' or 2' inside back wall and fill that puppy up...
I understand not getting around to your bldgs. Snowmobiles are expensive for the three days of the year that you can actually use them.
I cant get anywhere right now. Snowshoeing down to my horsebarn still.
With a roof over the main part of your stack, the wind blowing thru it 24/7 with the occasional rain will be an ideal setup.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,049
Fairbanks, Alaska
Can you take all the siding off one or two sides and block most wind driven precipitation with the one remaining sheathed wall? Better airflow = faster seasoning.

If that floor doesn't dry out pretty quick I would be more worried about getting the pallets off the ground than fooling with the walls. How cheaply can you get used railroad ties?
 

j7art2

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2014
372
Sanford, MI
I have no idea where I can even get railroad ties. None on craigslist by me anyway. I checked on the pallets yesterday, and they don't appear to be sinking, so that's good at least. Removing just the back should be a piece of cake, and will still give me walls to stack against. Good idea. I really have no idea what this thing was used for before I had it. If you notice against the back wall, there's plywood at the bottom. Its on a hinge, made to swing out and latch open. There's also another piece behind the stack on the right. I'm not sure what purpose the shed served beforehand. Years ago my home used to be a horse farm, so likely horse related.
 

Fastdonzi

Member
Feb 18, 2015
208
East TN
if it swings out and latches open it seems like they were drying wood, Air flow is good, air flow at the bottom probably better...
 
  • Like
Reactions: jtstromsburg

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,079
NE Ohio
I'd pull the back siding off and put slats up like a corn crib would use. If you are not familiar with that, basically you install 1" x 3 or 4" treated planks (or you could make your own by ripping strips out of a sheet of treated plywood) horizontally but you leave about 1/2" gap between the slats. The key is to cut the top and bottom of the slats on a 45* angle. When installed with that 1/2" gap between the slats, it allows a lot of air through but not much moisture unless the raining is blowing sideways. Obviously the 45s are installed so that you can only see the ground when looking out from the inside and you can only see the shed ceiling when looking in from the outside.
I think Oldman47 is right, that was a loafing shed, cow, horses, whatever critters you have, can go in there for shade and/or shelter if they want to when they are outside in the pasture. The bottom flap opens to allow better airflow when it is hot
 
  • Like
Reactions: j7art2

aansorge

Minister of Fire
Aug 12, 2011
903
Southern Minnesota
Plenty of people on here prefer drying in a shed. A shed with open sides (hog panels to lean the wood against} keeps most of the moisture off while letting most of the sun and wind off. I do both but have come to prefer a shed due to not having to deal with snow.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
If you don't get support up for the ends of the stacks that siding will remove itself all by itself before the shed is full.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,079
NE Ohio
I would listen to firefighterjake. Sheds are for storing, not drying.
If the shed is big enough, the wood will be in there long enough to be dry anyways. Only have to move it once that way ;)
If you don't get support up for the ends of the stacks that siding will remove itself all by itself before the shed is full.
I saw that too. I'd put some pallets against the wall standing on their edge, that'd bridge the gap between the framing and still allow air flow. Price is right too...
I assume you have young daughters J7art2? Shed deco says you do...;lol
 

30cal

Member
Feb 16, 2007
32
Plenty of people on here prefer drying in a shed. A shed with open sides (hog panels to lean the wood against} keeps most of the moisture off while letting most of the sun and wind off. I do both but have come to prefer a shed due to not having to deal with snow.
Ok kewl, have it your way..
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
Those runners on the sides are a mighty long unbraced run. Just saying...
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
If the shed is big enough, the wood will be in there long enough to be dry anyways. Only have to move it once that way ;)
Something I learned by not having access to the back of the four cord shed. I burn three cord a year. And moving that fourth cord the shed holds forward every April is a royal pain in the ass. One cord stayed back there for five years.

Boy was it primo burning though.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,079
NE Ohio
Something I learned by not having access to the back of the four cord shed. I burn three cord a year. And moving that fourth cord the shed holds forward every April is a royal pain in the ass. One cord stayed back there for five years.

Boy was it primo burning though.
;lol Ok, you need to add a back door too J7
 

DougA

Minister of Fire
Dec 13, 2012
1,938
S. ON
And moving that fourth cord the shed holds forward every April is a royal pain in the ass. One cord stayed back there for five years.
That is actually what I am trying to figure out right now. I purposely left my back shed open but wasn't thinking that when there is 3' of snow on the ground with a slight slope, I can't get the tractor anywhere near it. So my driest wood for this winter sits there still and has to be moved for next winter. Dumb and dumber.
 

glennm

Burning Hunk
Dec 26, 2010
192
S Ontario
Mine is open on the front and the back. Take wood from the front one year and the back next. Good way to make sure your burning seasoned wood!
 

Oldman47

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2015
1,011
Central Illinois
It doesn't use the space quite as fully but why not run the dry wood piles across the width of the shed with a walkway between the years? 2015/16 season to the left and 2016/17 season to the right. Alternate each year and never refill a space before it is empty. Since you always have 2 years' wood to choose from, on a bad year you can get a bit ahead of your schedule and still replenish before it is needed. On a low use year you have some very dry left to start the next year before you refill from the drying piles.
 

j7art2

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2014
372
Sanford, MI
;lol Ok, you need to add a back door too J7

I thought that too. I'm not sure how I'm going to pull that one off yet. I think I'm going to end up needing to tear down these stacks. Slats are likely my best bet. :(
 

j7art2

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2014
372
Sanford, MI
I assume you have young daughters J7art2? Shed deco says you do...;lol
Left over from the previous owner of the house. To answer your question though, I'll have a daughter in 4 days though, give or take. :)