Unseasoned logs can take up to two years or longer to season. It is always worth ensuring that logs are well seasoned before burning as the fire will light easier, produce a higher heat, and you will prevent damage to your appliance or chimney.
How to Season Firewood
- Chop the wood into the sizes you intend to burn before leaving to season – it will dry faster.
- Always season firewood outdoors – the wind and sun will help begin the drying process.
- If you’re not using a log store, avoid stacking wood directly on the floor. Use tarpaulin, a pallet, or gravel through which water can drain.
- Allow stacked wood a degree of ‘breathing room’ between walls and roofs.
- Drying wood should be left uncovered as often as possible, but during times of heavy rain or snow a plastic sheet or tarpaulin can be used to cover the pile. Leave a good sized gap at the bottom to allow air circulation.
- Soft wood will usually season in 6-12 months, while hard wood can take up to two years.
How to tell if Logs are Seasoned
Investing in a moisture probe will ensure that you’re always able to accurately detect the moisture level of you logs. The following guidelines will also help you tell if your logs are seasoned:
- They weigh less than green logs
- The bark will be loose and should chip away easily
- Radial cracks in the log
- A light woody smell as opposed to a strong ‘sappy’ aroma
- Faded and less vibrant colouring
- Two seasoned logs will make a hollow ringing sound if hit together
How to Store Dry Firewood
Ready to burn firewood should be stored in a log store, a pile, or a well ventilated wood shed. Do not bring wood in to the house any earlier than a day before you intend to burn it. Wood should be kept at a safe distance from the fireplace and any sparks or embers.
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