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Seasoned or unseasoned logs?

Unseasoned logs have a high moisture content, so need to be purchased in advance and left to dry out. Seasoning logs is important for a number of reasons, as wet, unseasoned logs will:

  • Make it difficult to get the fire going and stay lit
  • Not give off good heat
  • Create smoky fires
  • Burn for only a short amount of time
  • Produce deposits and residue, increasing the risk of a chimney fire.

For these reasons, dry, seasoned logs should always be used in log burning stoves. Unseasoned wood can be used in open fires, but it will not burn as efficiently as seasoned logs.

Tips for storing logs for seasoning

From robust outdoor stores to elegant baskets, Somerlap offer a wide range of log storage.

When storing hardwood logs to season:

Split logs before storing

This will increase the surface area, allowing them to dry out more fully.

Protect your logs from rain

Although it won’t be disastrous if your logs get rained on, as they are drying out from the inside out, they do need to stay fairly dry in order to season effectively. Log stores are useful for shielding your wood from the rain.

Ensure logs are raised off the ground

Use a raised log store or a pallet to keep logs away from the moist ground and to encourage air flow underneath the logs.

Expose your logs to air and sun

Don’t pick a log store that is completely enclosed – air flow is needed to season the wood and sunshine is also beneficial.

Bring logs indoors before use

Once it has been dried outside for at least six months, storing wood indoors for a short time can help further reduce the moisture content. Create a small indoor wood store or use a log basket.

When are unseasoned logs ready to use?

Not sure if your logs are seasoned enough? Dry wood normally has several splits in the grain, but if you are unsure, use a moisture reader to test the moisture content of your logs (ensure an accurate reading by take a reading from the middle of a log, not the outside). Ideally you want it to be under 30%.

Need logs to use now?

If you need logs to use straight away, choose kiln dried logs, which typically have a moisture content of less than 20%. Buying kiln dried hardwood logs rather than seasoned logs ensures you get logs that are fully dry.

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