How To Dry Wet Firewood
Using firewood to heat your home is definitely a good idea. It might be one of the most strenuous, but this is really the cheapest way to heat your home.
As long as you get the right wood and let it dry out completely in advance, you can guarantee that the firewood is going to keep your home comfortably warm.
Just remember that it can take a long time to dry certain types of firewood. Is there possibly a way to speed up the drying process so you can begin using the firewood much quicker?
You’ll find out how to dry wet firewood in the guide below.
How Long Does Wet Firewood Take To Dry?
It is generally a bad idea to try to use firewood before it has dried completely. Doing so is going to make the wood burn horribly. In fact, it might not burn at all.
Therefore, you really have to be very patient with it. And, you have to start as early as possible. So, how long does it normally take? Well, it generally depends on a handful of factors. The type of wood in question is one thing to consider. Some wood is going to dry much quicker than others.
At the same time, the cut may have a difference. Split wood will dry much quicker than full logs.
Nevertheless, it is still going to take a little while to dry. On average, it will generally take anywhere from nine months to an entire year for the wood to dry completely. If you want the best possible fire, it is in your best interest to wait it out.
Speeding It Up
The good news is that you may be able to speed up the drying process to some degree. In order for the wood to burn well, it actually needs to be seasoned. This means that the wood needs time for all of the water to evaporate. To get the best results, the wood should have 20% or less moisture content.
This will ensure that the wood is able to burn smoothly within any issues. On average, a freshly cut log will have a moisture content of 60% or more. Therefore, you have a long way to go before the wood is actually usable. You can speed up the process a tad and you’ll find out how to do just that below.
Once you’ve compiled a whole lot of logs, you’ll want to start by cutting them up. There are two options here. You can split the wood using an electric splitter or you can use an ax and brute force.
Either way, it is vital to chop up the wood because this will allow the moisturized area to become exposed to the elements. If the bark is left in place, it is going to have a much harder time drying. Splitting the wood will greatly speed up the drying process.
Using The Sun And Wind
At the end of the day, Mother Nature can be your best friend. If you really want to get the wood dry as quickly as possible, you should use the sun and wind to your advantage. Believe it or not, these things can help the wood dry so much quicker.
The sun’s rays will increase the rate of evaporation and that will ensure that the good gets dried faster. At the same time, the wind is going to provide more air circulation. This too will help the wood dry faster. You may initially believe that it is a good idea to cover up the wood with a tarp.
This is a bad idea. It is going to prevent the wood from getting the proper amount of sunlight and airflow. Instead, you should have some type of roof over the wood. However, a tarp is a big no-no.
Smaller Is Better
It is absolutely essential to chop your wood into the smallest pieces humanly possible. If you leave the logs sitting around, they may never actually dry. Instead, you’ll want to make the wood very, very small. You’ll also want to get rid of the bark.
This combination will ensure that the wood is able to dry much quicker. The bark is actually responsible for sealing in moisture. By removing the bark, you will be able to open up the wood and help the moisture evaporate much quicker. Try to get the smallest pieces possible for the very best results.
Another thing to note is that wood can actually absorb moisture. If it has been raining outside, the wood will collect water from the ground’s surface. This is a major problem. The good news is that you can prevent this from happening by elevating the wood from the ground.
Try to create a platform. This will ensure that the wood is kept off of the ground at all times. Even if it does rain outside, the wood will not be able to reach the ground and that will prevent it from absorbing the moisture.
It will also help avoid the wood from getting buggy. Termites love firewood, I wrote a how-to on avoiding getting termites in your firewood, you can check it out here, How To Store Firewood To Avoid Termites.
Believe it or not, the way in which you stack the wood is going to make a big difference as well. If the wood is stacked in a random way, there is a good chance that you’re blocking air flow.
Each piece of wood needs time to dry. To do that, it will need air and heat. This is why it is generally best to stack the wood in lines. This will ensure that the air is able to flow through and around the wood at all times. In return, your wood will dry just a tad bit faster.
Full Sun Exposure
In order to get the wood dried quickly, you really need to take advantage of the sun. Therefore, you should go out into your backyard and look for an area that receives ample sunlight throughout the day. Make sure that the wood is placed in this area.
It is a good idea to cover the wood to prevent it from getting wet when it rains. However, you should try to avoid blocking the sun. If you do, you’re only going to defeat the purpose and make the wood dry a lot slower.
Some people actually suggest letting the wood dry without covering it first. They claim that the rainwater will actually speed up the drying time. This is questionable, but it is still something to consider in your own time.
Using Black Visqueen
Remember that the color black absorbs the heat of the sun better than anything else. With this in mind, you should consider wrapping or covering your wood in black Visqueen.
This will ensure that the material will be able to collect the warmth and distribute it to the wood. In return, this too will make things much quicker. Placing the wood on a pallet is a great way to keep it off of the wet ground too.
You can get it on Amazon for a good price, I’ll link to it, Black Visqueen.
At the end of the day, drying wood can be a real hassle. Nevertheless, it is something you’ll have to do. After all, you’re not going to be able to heat your home using wet firewood.
Therefore, you should apply the strategies laid out above. If you do that, there is a good chance that your wood will dry in time to be usable this winter.