Wetting season firewood is a common practice in the Northeast and Midwest, but there are some people who believe that wetting seasoned firewood can cause it to burn too fast. There’s not much evidence for this fear, as wetting wood usually only makes it more difficult to light. In this article, we’ll explore whether or not intense rain should affect your choice of whether or not you want to wet firewood before burning it.
Rain can cause moisture to build up in seasoned firewood?
This is a common question we receive. Seasoned firewood should be able to withstand most light rain and even moderate rainfall, depending on the type of wood you are burning. Intense rains can cause moisture to build up in seasoned firewood, which could lead to smoking or creosote buildup when burned.
This isn’t too much of an issue for outdoor fires that aren’t enclosed like chimneys/fireplaces; however, it’s important not to let your indoor firebox get too full with water from wet logs as this will result in smoke building up inside your home!
How Do You Dry Firewood After Rain?
After intense rain, drying firewood can become a difficult process. Water is an antagonist to seasoning. It makes firewood rot faster and reduces the potential energy of wood as a fuel source.
What Is Seasoning?
Seasoning, also known as curing, is the drying process that seasoned wood goes through before it becomes useful for burning purposes. The more time spent in a dry state, generally speaking, the better its quality will be when used for kindling or heating. Because water decreases this length of time needed to cure properly, any rain after cutting affects how well your logs season.
How Does Wet Firewood Affect Burning Ability?
If you attempt to burn wet firewood instead of allowing it to dry out first, there are several negative consequences:
- Potential Energy Loss: Green wood has much less potential energy than properly seasoned logs.
- Smoke: Moisture makes it difficult to get a fire going and creates more smoke when you do.
- Soot: Firewood that is too wet will produce soot in your chimney, which can be dangerous if allowed to build up or go unnoticed for extended periods of time.
So the next logical question becomes how long does it take for rain-soaked firewood to dry?
The amount of time needed depends on how absorbent your species of wood is, along with the environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity after cutting & before burning (seasoned vs unseasoned).
While all types require some degree of airflow, woods with denser cellular structures take longer to dry than those that are more open. A good rule of thumb is the wider your pieces, the better they’ll season. So if you want quick firewood for immediate burning purposes, try cutting them thin and wide rather than long & fat (think logs vs split wood).
It’s also important to note how drying times can be affected by geographic location as well as local weather conditions.
If you live in an area where humidity levels drop significantly after rainfall or other wet conditions persist, then it may not matter what type of log cutters go out into the field because none will properly cure before their first use due to lack of time.
However, if you live in an area where airflow is high and humidity remains fairly consistent after rainfall, the wood will dry much more quickly than it would otherwise.
For firewood to properly season before burning, be sure to consult your local weather conditions so that you can estimate how long this may take based on what has fallen around your home or property.
If all else fails, remember “wetter” isn’t necessarily “worse.” Seasoned firewood takes time; if rain catches you by surprise while cutting trees down for winter needs, then simply stack up whatever pieces are still somewhat wet (keeping them off of the ground if possible) to allow proper drying over time instead of trying to rush the process.
How Long Does It Take Wet Seasoned Wood To Dry?
- The length of time it takes wet seasoned wood to dry can vary between a couple of weeks and several months.
- As the wood dries, it should be monitored for dryness.
- If the wood is still wet after four weeks, it may not be seasoned well enough to burn.
- Even when dry outside, firewood can harbor moisture pockets that keep it damp inside.
- If it is a measure of time, an average person can estimate that four weeks would be the minimum amount of time required for wood to dry.
- It will take significantly longer if you live in a humid area or there was significant rainfall during the drying process.
How Long Does It Take Wet Seasoned Wood To Dry?
It really depends on the air circulation and climate. If you live in a dry area with low humidity levels, it may take less than one year to season your wood properly for burning purposes. However, if there is high humidity or dampness where you live then that can slow down the process of drying out wet seasoned firewood by months until all moisture evaporates fully from inside it leaving behind only matured wood perfect for use as fuel during cold winters.
If you plan to burn wet wood in your fireplace, it will only contaminate the chimney and smoke coming out of it. This is because damp or wet firewood can emit smoke full of tar particles that may be harmful to the lungs if they are inhaled during the burning process inside home hearth stoves. That’s why seasoned dry wood must always be used before winter comes knocking at your doorsteps with chilly climate conditions outside.
Does Rain Help Season Firewood?
In some cases, intense rain can actually help season firewood by allowing the wood to absorb more water. This is especially true with denser woods such as oak and hickory that are less likely to soak up moisture from rainfall alone.
However, in a majority of cases, soaking wet seasoned wood will not burn well due to its high moisture content. In fact, logs soaked through after an intense downpour may have so much water they cannot properly dry before winter comes around!