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The Difference Between Drying Wood and Seasoning Wood

Drying and seasoning wood can be puzzling. Both processes involve making the wood more resistant to rot and decay, but they are different ways to achieve the same goal. In this post, we’ll look at the differences between drying and seasoning wood and explain why you might choose one process over another.

What Is The Difference Between Drying Wood and Seasoning Wood?

Wood drying and seasoning are two terms often used interchangeably, but they are different. However, both processes are essential to creating high-quality wood products. Whether you’re building furniture, looking for firewood, or crafting a new outdoor structure, it is necessary to know the difference between drying and seasoning wood to select the best type of wood for you.

Drying Wood

Drying wood involves reducing the moisture content of the wood to below the amount that would allow wood-killing fungi or bacteria to grow. Wood naturally contains water in the cells caused by the growth process and from the plant hormones that regulate growth. 

When wood is growing, it takes in water from the ground and the surrounding air. This water is stored in the cells of the wood. When you cut a piece of wood and remove the bark, you also remove the barrier keeping the water in the wood. 

The amount of water in the wood is called the “relative humidity”. When the wood humidity is reduced to below 10%, the wood is considered to be dried. 

Seasoning Wood

Seasoning wood is a process that uses airflow to change wood’s chemical makeup over time. Seasoned firewood is easily identified as it is grey-brown, and the logs’ ends cracked. Unseasoned firewood is darker in colour, and the ends of the logs are not cracked. The length of time for seasoning firewood depends on the size and type of wood. 

In dry climates, firewood may take as little as six months to season, while in wetter climates, it may take up to 2 years. Therefore, storing firewood in a dry area, away from direct sunlight and moisture, is essential when seasoning it. 

For wood to burn satisfactorily, it must be at or below the fibre saturation point, which varies for different species but is typically around 25% moisture content.

Which Process Should You Use?

The seasoning process is ideal for getting the most out of your firewood, whether you use it for a fireplace or outdoor burning. Seasoning wood is a process of reducing moisture content and is achieved by air-drying or kiln-drying techniques. 

Does drying wood produce better results than seasoning? In some cases, but with unsuitable conditions, such as high humidity during the drying process without proper monitoring, drying just makes the wood more combustible, resulting in unwanted smoke production from incomplete burning and loss of energy output. 

On the other hand, seasoned wood can be consistently used for optimum heating efficiency since most of its moisture content has already been reduced. Although it takes significantly longer to properly season wood than drying it, investing extra time will enable you to get the most heat out of your firewood while minimising smoke pollution.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know the difference between drying and seasoning wood and which process best fits you. If you need more time to season and dry your firewood, consider buying from your local firewood supplier

Sydney Firewood can offer different kinds of dried and well-seasoned firewood, ready to be used anytime. You can also buy bulk for a cheaper price and get your firewood delivered.

Do not hesitate to contact us at (02) 9631 9850. We are willing to help you with your firewood needs. Visit our website for more information about our products. You can also place your order directly from our website.  

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