All winter long you used your fireplace for warmth and comfort. If you cut your own firewood, you know how satisfying it is to be able to head outside and bring in the fruit of your labor and build a fire. Now that summer is here, it’s time to think about replenishing that supply of wood. There are certain rules you need to remember to make sure that you can use that wood in the fall and that the fire you build is hot, efficient, and as smoke-free as possible.
One thing that it’s important to think about when it comes to firewood is moisture level. When you cut down a tree, the wood will have a very high moisture content. This is one reason that it’s so important to cut the wood early in the summer. The longer firewood is allowed to sit after it’s been cut, the better. This is called the curing process. The recommended curing time for firewood, in general, is six months. Some types of wood require longer than six months, so make sure you research this when picking out what type of tree to cut for firewood.
Protecting and Storage
Once you’ve gone to the trouble of cutting down the tree, trimming the branches, and cutting the wood into usable chunks of wood, it’s important that you store it correctly. You don’t want to waste all of that effort and then have wood that isn’t usable. One important thing to remember is that green wood splits easier than cured wood, so the sooner you split the chunks, the easier a time you’ll have. It’s important to split the wood so that more surfaces are exposed to the open air, which will speed up the curing time and also discourage insect infestations.
To stack your firewood, you’ll want to use pallets. Placing the wood on the bare ground keeps that surface from the sun and wind, and that will impede the drying process. If you don’t have pallets, at least put a tarp under the wood. You don’t want to store the wood too close to your house, because sometimes critters can take up residence there and you don’t want them to be tempted to come into the house. On the other hand, you want it close enough to be easily accessible on those cold, blowy winter nights.
When you stack the wood, make sure there’s a space between the structure the pile is against and the woodpile itself, and don’t stack it too tightly together. You’ll want space for airflow so that the wood can really dry out. Additionally, make sure that you cover the top and part of the sides with a tarp or plastic sheeting to keep the rain off. Don’t tuck it in or you will keep the moisture inside.
If you have questions about your woodpile, give SirVent Chimney and Venting Service a call and ask our experts for advice!