Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.14 – Got Wood?

by Erik North on September 1, 2012

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I’ve written before that Maine is known for a lot of things: Lobster, autumn foliage, when the spring rains turn the state into a county mud derby. In fact our whole tourist industry is based on the idea that you’ll come to see the foliage, eat some lobster rolls and maybe get stuck in the mud. Fun times.

Maine has foliage in abundance, meaning we also have fire wood in abundance. And with heating oil swirling around $4 a gallon, heating with wood has rocketed in popularity again (it previously being the main pre-oil heating source in the state).

Some folks store their wood in the basement and some dry the wood out there as well. Why is this a not so great habit? Because green wood contains a ton of water. No, seriously…a literal ton of water.

Water content varies wildly by wood type but the difference between a cord of green and dry wood can be up to 2000 pounds (more typically around 1200). Water weighs a bit over 8 pounds a gallon.

If you’re drying out wood indoors, you’re effectively dumping the water on the floor. Imagine dumping 150 or 200 gallons of water on your basement floor…Yeah, I wouldn’t do it, either.

Wood pile

Would you dump 200 gallons of water on your floor?

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