Buying Seasoned Wood That's Stored Outside

by Sara
(Waterloo, Ontario, Canada )

Question


I am having a problem purchasing firewood. Because I am disabled I need the wood stacked or at least dumped into my garage enough for me to close the door until one of my friends can come by and stack it for me.

Because of this I am very limited on who I can purchase wood from as most providers only deliver and dump in the driveway.

I have found one provider who will stack it for me. She is selling ash and maple that has been fully seasoned and ready to burn. The only issue I have is she mentioned the wood is stored outside and will have some snow and ice on it but that will come off when it's being stacked and the wood is ready to burn immediately.

I am concerned about this. Will wood being stored outdoors in snow not be wet? Also will it not have more chance to be rotten?

I am buying 3 face cords so I wanted to make sure and check before going through.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Sara


Answer

In an ideal situation, firewood would be stacked inside a firewood crib or similar structure which has a roof and three sides sheltering it from the rain and snow.

However, this isn't always the case especially when buying wood from a supplier who is moving mass quantities of firewood. It's not uncommon for a supplier to stack wood outside without a shelter. Stacking wood inside a shelter or covering it takes a lot of time, especially if you have a lot of wood.

Without inspecting the wood it's hard to give you a definite answer, but here's my opinion....

If the wood was thoroughly seasoned (like the supplier stated) before it was snowed on it should be fine. A little bit of snow or ice on the outside edge of firewood won't prevent it from burning since it will usually just fall off when it's thrown out of the truck or trailer it's hauled in.

It's the moisture inside the wood you need to be concerned about. This moisture will cause the wood to smoke or sizzle making it difficult to burn. This interior moisture is difficult to remove and simply takes time, which is called seasoning. Since you are buying seasoned firewood from a reputable supplier, your wood should be dry on the inside and you should not have any issues.

Also, I'm assuming your supplier sells a decent amount of firewood. With this in mind, I doubt the wood was sitting outside for 4 or 5 years in the weather which could cause some peices to become "punky" or rotten, especially if it was resting on the ground. With a decent amount of turnover I would suspect the firewood would not be rotten and should be fine to burn.

So, as long as the wood was seasoned to begin with, a little bit of snow and ice should be fine. Between throwing it in the truck or trailer, plus throwing it or stacking it again in your garage, most of the snow and ice should just fall off.

Keep in mind that firewood stored inside a garage can become moldy over time if the temperatures are warm enough and it does not receive any airflow. This should not be the case this winter however, if you have any leftover wood that is stored throughout the warmer months it should receive some sunlight and airflow to prevent mold growth.

I hope this helps,

Nick
Firewood For Life

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