What is seasoned firewood?
Seasoned firewood is wood that has been cut and split for home heating purposes that has reached a moisture content rating below 20%.
Naturally Seasoned Firewood
Firewood can be seasoned naturally by simple leaving out in the elements to naturally shed its water mass. Naturally seasoned logs in Victoria or Vancouver Island take a minimum of two years to reach a moisture content rating below 20%.
Kiln drying firewood can speed up the process of seasoning. This not only makes firewood processing facility faster and more efficient but it also guarantees more consistent qualities of firewood and a more balanced burning rate.
For firewood to be considered seasoned it must reach a moisture content rating of 20% or less. If firewood has too much moisture, you will be wasting large amounts of the potential energy evaporating water and gases from your wood as well as lining the insides of your chimney with a highly flammable material called creosote.
Naturally Seasoned Firewood in British Columbia
New fire safety regulations have made it difficult to obtain naturally seasoned firewood in Victoria and on Vancouver Island. Although we have yet to find any information related to the subject posted online that supports this, we have heard that the maximum amount of time slash piles are allowed to be left on site are 3 months. Logs take a minimum of two years to season naturally and if they aren’t piled, will more than likely start to mold, rot and attract insects such as termites, wood bugs, beetles and hibernating bees.
How can I tell if my firewood is seasoned and ready to burn?
Their are some visual ways that can help you identify if your wood is seasoned and ready to burn however the best way to tell is by using a moisture content reader. When looking at your firewood for signs that it is ready to burn, look for cracks in the ends of your firewood, bark that is falling off with ease or has already fallen off or simply knock two pieces against each other. Unseasoned firewood will make a deep thud when struck together while properly seasoned firewood will sound more similar to the crack of a baseball bat or a higher pitch noise.