Even though it feels like winter is far behind us, spring can still be the season of at least a few more roaring fires in the fireplace before we move into the off-season. Those spring nights can get pretty chilly, and a warm fire is often comforting after a long spring day. It can be tempting to use whatever wood is handy since it is the end of the season, but it is just as important at the end of the season as it is at the beginning to use proper, seasoned firewood. Using the right kind of wood improves fireplace safety and makes yearly chimney maintenance easier. Don’t cut corners by burning whatever. Always use only seasoned firewood in your fireplace.
What Does Seasoned Mean?
Seasoned wood, whether hardwood or soft wood, has been cut, stacked, and stored so that it dries to a certain extent. Typically properly seasoned wood has dried so much that it has a moisture content of between 10% and 20%. For reference, freshly cut wood typically has a moisture content of around 45%. Air-drying wood typically takes at least 6 months but typically over a year. Seasoned wood can also be kiln-dried, which speeds up the process dramatically.
Why Is Seasoning Important?
The problem with moist wood is that it is much more likely to pop and smoke. Smoking wood is undesirable for obvious reasons. Even a perfectly working chimney might not dispel all of the smoke, which can be dangerous. Aside from a smoking fireplace being dangerous for people in your home, the excess smoke can also mean extra creosote build-up in your chimney. This can become a fire hazard quickly, especially if you aren’t doing your yearly chimney sweep and maintenance. Popping is also dangerous since it can shoot off embers that can cause fires.
How Do I Know It Is Seasoned?
There are a few signs you should look for to know that your wood is seasoned. First, wet wood will make a dull thud sound when you bang two pieces together, whereas seasoned wood will sound hollow. Dry wood usually looks different, with cracks at the end (these cracks are a natural part of the drying process). Finally, dry wood is lighter in weight than wet wood.
Schedule Your Chimney Cleaning from Champion Chimneys, Inc.
When you need a trusted company for your chimney inspection and chimney cleaning, you can trust our team. Champion Chimneys, Inc. is a fully licensed, bonded, and insured chimney service company that has served customers in Baltimore County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County, Maryland, since 2001. Our team is trained and certified by Certified Chimney Professionals, Inc. (CCP, Inc.). We specialize in all aspects of your chimney system. Whether you need chimney and flue cleaning service or a full chimney rebuild or inspection, contact us at 443-Chimney today and let us fix all your chimney problems. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.