How To Dry Firewood
Most people would rather have their own firewood instead of having to go out and buy the equipment for a good fire each and every time they want to light one.
With the weather turning colder, an increasing number of people are stocking up on firewood so that they can keep a warm roaring fire in their homes.
But nevertheless, colder weather frequently brings more freezing rain and sometimes even snow, which can seep into any firewood you may already have sitting out in your yard.
Firewood that has been left outside can easily become wet. This can be due to rain or even just morning dew.
Either way, it’s a huge inconvenience when this happens. This is because damp firewood doesn’t catch fire as easily as dry wood.
Wet firewood can also be a great hiding place for bugs and other critters that you probably don’t really want to end up inside your home.
Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to dry out your wood so that it lights easily.
Does Damp Firewood Dry Out On Its Own?
Depending on how chilly it is outside, you may be in urgent need of a huge fire in the fireplace.
As a result, it is critical to keep track of how long it typically takes for wood to dry completely so that you can either take the necessary precautions to wait it out or find another way to stay warm.
In most cases, chopped firewood will take roughly 9-12 months to dry completely.
This statistic often takes some people by surprise, but it’s important to remember that you’ll have to consider your firewood options months in advance in preparation for the winter months if you want to make sure that you’re warm enough.
Also, not all firewood dries out at the same speed. How the wood is cut as well as the variety can have an impact on how fast it dries. This is why firewood logs are often much thinner than typical logs or pieces of wood.
If you want the best results and fastest drying time, you should do your research into how the different types of trees and cutting techniques can affect them.
Start by cutting your wood to the ideal length for you. You can do this by measuring the fireplace or fire pit you plan to burn the wood in.
Your logs should be almost the same length, but be sure to leave enough room for a small gap at either end. You don’t want to have to force your wood inside.
If you perfect your cut the first time around, it’ll ensure you won’t have to go back and trim every log again.
You can measure them carefully with a tape measure and pencil, or you can make a small reference point on your chainsaw or alternative cutting tool.
Next, you’ll need to split your firewood. If you make an effort to split it along the grain, it is likely to dry much quicker than wood that has bark still attached. The more splits you create, the more air can flow through it, therefore drying it much faster.
Even if stored in a warm place or in direct sunlight, unsplit wood can hold dampness for months. The smaller you split the wood the better. For best results, aim for wood that is 10cm or 4 inches in diameter.
Now that it’s time to stack your firewood, you need to make sure you do so properly. You need to make sure that each log has enough space surrounding it for air circulation.
If you stack your logs too tightly, some moisture may still remain. Consider making air circulation holes in your woodshed to improve drying speed.
You may also want to consider keeping your firewood stored under a shelter. If you live in warm climates, stacking your wood in direct sunlight is a great way of getting it to dry out more quickly.
However, if it begins to rain, it will become soaked in no time and you’ll have to start from scratch.
If you’re expecting a rainstorm, you can cover your woodpile in a waterproof tarp. If you live in an area where it rains often, consider creating a wooden roof.
Ensure that the sun and wind can reach your firewood. You should do this before piling it into a sheltered woodshed, and let the sun do as much of the work as possible. This will save you time later on.
Consider leaving your woodpile open to the elements during the summer months. While it may seem counterintuitive, if you do this, it can actually help to season your wood.
This is because rain can wash away damp buildup and green spots on your wood. Once fall rolls around, move your wood to your covered woodshed solution so it can dry off completely in time for winter.
As mentioned before, you need to plan in advance when it comes to seasoning your own firewood at home. If you’re planning on seasoning wood for next winter, you’ll want to start in early spring in order for your wood to dry properly.
Never underestimate the length of time this takes, as even wood kept in a dry woodshed may still harbor some moisture deep inside the logs.
When piling your logs, try to keep the stacks small and thin. If you form a huge woodpile, the air circulation is unlikely to reach the very middle.
Consider piling them in single file and in direct sunlight with plenty of space for air and wind to reach every log.
Be sure to pile your wood away from any barriers, such as large garden furniture or outside walls.
Doing so can prevent the air and sunlight from reaching every log. You can do this during the summer months and then move it to your woodshed in time for winter.
Don’t allow your wood to touch the ground, as this will prevent it from drying fully, especially if left to sit on the grass. Consider laying down a pallet board or plank of wood and building your woodpile on top of it.