Seasoning Firewood II

And the rest of the story. . .

We cut our firewood 6-9 months before we plan to use it so it can “season”. This means it needs to dry thoroughly before using it in your home woodstoves. After the would is split, we stack it on heavy plastic and let it air during the entire summer, only covering it when it’s calling for rain. Having it out in the open, facing north and west winds and at least 12=15 hours of sunlight on it helps it dry fast even when it’s stacked.

First load in 2021 and before it’s split to dry.

When the weather starts to change in the fall, we cover it with a 20 ft. x 60 ft. tarp. We place heavy logs around the bottom and slabs on the top to keep the tarp on as much as possible. The wind fights all winter and we do have a woodhouse to store it in, but it dries much better and faster outside in the sun. Any, if any, of the outdoor stack will be put in the woodhouse for following winters.

If not seasoned the creosote from wet wood will build up in your stove, stove pipe and the chimney and the result will be a major fire in the chimney that can burn your home down. Years ago, we had a flue fire that sounded like a freight train outdoors but was in our chimney. Luckily, I was home and called a friend of ours to tell me what to do. I needed to let the fire burn and shut off, burn and shut off. By shut off, I mean, open the stove to let air get to the fire and gradually let it burn until the creosote burnt up and burnt the fire out. I was scared out of my mind. It was a season of warm days, then cold days, and more of the same over a couple weeks’ time. We weren’t burning the stove hot enough to keep it from building up the creosote. The next warm day, Eddie got out the chimney cleaning brushes, took the stove pipe loose and worked several hours to clean the two-story chimney thoroughly. The rest of the season if we had a fire and it got too warm in the house, I opened the windows a bit instead of letting the fire burn completely out because it was very cold in the morning and late at night but warm during the day and early evening.

This is the house we had before we moved to the family farm. It was our first year there and we had lots of work to do to it and the chimney with the fire was in the front middle section of the house and went up through two stories and attic. We moved from there in 2002, I think, and have been in our existing home since then. It was long after we moved that I found out that the first house was built by John Caldwell and the date is on the chimney (1800+). John would have been Eddie’s great, great, great uncle!!!

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