Using a Wood Shed for Storing Firewood
Did you know that collecting firewood for the coming winter is best done no later than the end of May? Since it usually requires a minimum of six months for firewood to dry thoroughly enough to provide efficient, clean-burning fires, it’s wise to store the wood properly to ensure that it will be ready before the next snowflake falls.
Drying out firewood sooner rather than later requires certain conditions. There are definite benefits to doing the job right, and a quality wood shed can be a huge help in getting your firewood properly seasoned.
Our friends over at Glenn’s Sheds have been providing well designed quality wood sheds for residents of the Hudson Valley for many years. These beautiful wood sheds prove to be the best option for drying & storing seasoned firewood.
Importance of Seasoned Firewood
You can look for signs advertising “dry firewood,” but experience proves that there are different definitions of what constitutes dry firewood. For instance, is the wood dry inside and out or just on the outside? Are all of the logs for sale dry or just some of them?
The issue of moisture in the wood is an important one. In lumber, for instance, warping and shrinkage can be the result of internal moisture. When it comes to firewood, the level of dryness determines the heat output of the logs and overall efficiency of fires. When logs have too much moisture, burning them leaves a lot more creosote in the chimney. A significant buildup of creosote in the flue compounds the risk of a dangerous chimney fire.
For the earth-conscious, burning seasoned firewood is extremely important. Destructive greenhouse gases (nitrogen oxides) are released into the atmosphere when there is incomplete combustion. Another result of burning unseasoned firewood is that more particulate matter is released and can cause health issues such as lung problems.
The Process of Drying Firewood
When trees are first cut down, they are bursting with moisture due to an intricate internal system which carries moisture from the roots throughout trees all the way to the leaves. The percentage of moisture in a green tree is very high – sometimes as much as 50%. The goal for moisture content in firewood is less than 12%, and getting there is a faster process in some types of trees as compared to others. Ash, for example, is fairly quick to dry. Oak and other harder woods can take up to 7 months to be properly seasoned; fortunately, dry oak logs are worth the wait. All wood must be cut and split to start the drying process, not just brought down to the ground or cut into full log lengths. Splitting and “opening up” the wood is what allows it to dry in approximately 6 months.
It is typically a much faster process for the exterior of firewood to dry, but internal moisture takes more time to dry out. Wood must be able to breathe while at the same time being shielded from wet weather.
As mentioned before, it can take 6 months for firewood to properly dry. There are a number of different ways that homeowners may choose to store their firewood during the warm weather months. Here are the most common:
Tarps –Tarps are often a popular choice since they are cheap and easy to come by, but there are actually fundamental issues with using this method. If a tarp covers more than half of the wood pile, the firewood will not be able to air out well enough to dry. When wood can’t dry properly, it will start to decay. Decayed wood actually produces less BTUs resulting in less heat output. This is the #1 reason we don’t recommend using a tarp to dry & store your firewood.
Inside the home – Storing wood inside the home has some advantages, but it’s often a messy process. Bringing firewood inside can also mean that you are also bringing bugs, dirt, and mites in with it. If you’d rather keep this type of stuff outdoor and away from your living area, the best choice is to store your firewood in a wood shed.
Wood shed – The most effective way to season firewood is to place it in a proper wood shed built to create ideal conditions for the purpose of drying out the logs. As our friends over at Glenn’s Sheds know, quality wood sheds are designed & constructed to give the firewood exactly what it needs to cultivate a perfect drying process. Check out these features:
- There is ventilation underneath the shed and on all sides there are slats, allowing maximum breathe-ability.
- Sunlight can be a contributing factor in drying out all of the logs in the shed.
- The design of the wood sheds, in all styles, provides ideal conditions for drying the internal portion of the logs.
- In addition to adding efficiency to the process of seasoning firewood, the wood sheds add to landscaping aesthetics.
If you’d like to learn more about wood sheds or would like to view their beauty & sleek design with your own eyes, head on over to Glenn’s Sheds and speak with the true wood shed expert!