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Why Chopped Wood Should Be Season & Dried

Chopped wood dries far more quickly than whole logs, which can take many more months to season. Even properly dried logs need a long time to season. In just one day, chopped wood dries between 10-40% of its total moisture content. This drying rate is far faster than whole logs, which take anything from 6-24 months to season. Chopped wood can be thoroughly dried in 3-6 months if you choose the right type, take the right amount of care, and provide the right amount of airflow. You should take extra precautions during wetter months to ensure that your chopped firewood dries thoroughly.

Chopped wood is typically made from smaller branches that are more likely to dry quickly. On the other hand, large logs are more likely to remain damp and can take far longer to season. Chopped wood produces quick heat with little maintenance. However, it must be prepared properly before burning to achieve these benefits. Chopped wood is at a higher risk of emitting harmful and toxic fumes than whole logs. When firewood dries, it is naturally eliminated through evaporation. These fumes are typically either hydrogen cyanide or carbon monoxide. When hydrogen cyanide is emitted, it can be extremely dangerous to humans, especially to children.

Risk of Flaming with Unseasoned Chopped Wood

Unseasoned chopped firewood is more likely to catch on fire than seasoned wood due to its lower moisture content. Unseasoned firewood is like a flame-spitting, unpredictable and potentially dangerous. If chopped firewood is not dried correctly, it is more likely to ignite spontaneously. It will also produce sparks while it is drying. Hence, these sparks are a fire risk that must be taken seriously. Sparks can ignite a nearby combustible material, such as a rug, curtain or loose paper. Sparks can also be blown outside, like at outdoor fireplaces or campfires, where they can ignite anything flammable in the yard. 

The Drying Process for Chopped Firewood

Chopping your own firewood will produce a drier product than buying logs. However, if you want your firewood chopped to be safe to burn, it must be appropriately dried first. With sufficient time to dry, your wood may burn properly, emit harmful fumes, and even catch on fire while still in the logs as mentioned earlier. Therefore, chopped firewood should be dried until it is safe to burn. It is typically dried using one of two methods: indoor and outdoor drying. Chopping your firewood indoors requires much attention and effort to get the desired results. 

Chopped firewood drying requires that you:

  1. Select the suitable types of wood for indoor drying
  2. Take care to minimise water content and insect infestation.
  3. Provide adequate airflow to the wood.
  4. Regularly turn the wood to ensure even drying and minimal chance of rot.
  5. Allow time for the wood to season correctly.

How to Ensure Properly Dried Wood Before Burning?

Chopped firewood must be properly dried before it can be considered safe to burn. It  should be dried until it reaches a moisture content (MC) of about 20%. This can be achieved by measuring the dryness of the wood using a moisture meter. A moisture meter is an easy and accurate way to determine if your chopped firewood is dry enough to burn. Make sure that your chopped firewood is dried properly, it is also essential to remember that different wood species take different amounts of time to season.

To ensure that you are using the right firewood, it is highly suggested to just consult with your local supplier. They are more knowledgeable when it comes to things like this. Sydney Firewood offers chopped and well-seasoned firewood ready to be used anytime. Consider consulting them for your firewood needs. You may send them a message through their email address admin@tree-services.net.au or contact them at (02) 9631 9850. 

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