Stocking the Woodshed Before Winter
Woodshed looking a little bare? The Firewood Company takes a look at the importance of getting your winter supply early. PLUS; top tips on stacking wood and the benefits of storing gum outside.
It’s not uncommon for many fireplace lovers to be desperately scrambling for their wood supply with the initial cold snap of winter. As the bitter air bites for the first time in the season, many are left gazing upon their bare woodsheds in dismay. For this reason, it is imperative to get sorted with your wood supply early. Having ample wood available for those pre-winter cold snaps will ensure your family is kept toasty and warm with the build-up to the cold season.
Benefits of early orders include:
Timing – getting in early on the wood order also allows for time to safely load the woodshed out of the cold and rainy weather. There is nothing worse than battling the crisp air desperately trying to stack your wood while mother nature is at its most furious.
Stacking – with more time up your sleeve you will be able to correctly and safely stack your wood. Taking the time will allow ease of access to your firewood during the winter season.
Planning – with no pressure you will be able to correctly plan your firewood storage. Choosing carefully organised areas for kindling, and additional chopping, while also separating your wood for use. Fast burning woods are great to help start fires, while slow-burning hardwoods are perfect for longer burn times. Knowing which pile is for what use will ensure your fire is roaring with ample heat that will last through cold evenings.
Demand – it’s no surprise that during the cold season, firewood is in high demand. Noticing on a Friday evening that you are in desperate need of supplies could see you waiting a few days for delivery in your area. Getting organised early can prevent any stress and worry around how you and the family will be kept warm while you are awaiting your delivery.
Seasoned wood – early orders allow clients to season their wood so it’s 100% ready for burning. Stacking wood and allowing airflow will increase the ease of burning for your winter stock. Wood releases most of its moisture content through its end grains. Stacking ensures these grains are exposed to the heat of the sun and air exposure.
It’s all about stacking! Tips on how to correctly stack your wood.
There are certainly two types of wood stackers – the impatient, chuck it in a pile and hope for the best, and the meticulous show-home stackers. It is advised for all wood, that you take your time to correctly stack to ensure dryness and safety. It is not uncommon to hear of poorly stacked wood toppling down and causing injury. Or wood incorrectly stored and being deemed useless when needed.
Woodsheds should be positioned in a warm dry area that has access to the sun all year round. Good airflow is crucial to keep your wood stored and kept moister-free. Wood stacks should have gaps to allow airflow to easily penetrate during storage months. For fire safety reasons, many councils advise not having your woodshed connected to the outside of your house. A nice covered location, that has access to warmth from the sun and fresh air is ideal for storing wood.
Gum/hardwoods – if you have ordered a good load of slow-burning gum it is advised to stack this outside for a few weeks before moving it to a covered location. Along fence lines and in a sunny area is preferred. If your gum is reasonably fresh, popping a sprinkler over the gum during a warm day will help pull the moister from inside the wood. As the superficial water dries (from either a sprinkler or a drop of rain) it will entice the deeper moister to pull to the surface and dry.
Pine/softwoods – with all softwoods, getting them well stacked and out of the weather is recommended. Softwoods can act like a sponge when it comes to water and quickly become sodden and wet if left to the elements. Stack in neat rows in a well-covered, ventilated, and warm area.
Research suggests that wood can be happily burnt at a 20% moisture level. Stacking wood is essential to allow good airflow and to allow your wood to be ready for burning. With all burning, The Firewood Company advises an 80/20 collection of softwoods and hardwoods for ease of lighting and a longer burn time. Softwoods should always be used for kindling and to guarantee the fire is roaring hot before adding your heavier hardwoods like Gum.
Firewood should be:
· Dull or grey
· Not overly heavy (remembering that hardwoods will naturally be heavier than softwoods)
· Not overly smelly. Most of the smell can be caused by moisture.
· Ends have cracks and bark easily falls away from the wood.