Drying wood in airing cupboard??

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in LPG, Heating Oil, Solid & Other Fuels
13 replies 14.1K views
malidmalid Forumite
360 Posts
We had a wood burner installed in the autumn and a load of logs delivered. For the time being, we have stored in the garage but intend sorting out a wood storage 'bunker' in the spring - we have sufficient space outside so this is not a problem. We were assured it was seasoned but found it very damp and did not burn well. We assumed it was not seasoned but after reading posts on MSE think that maybe it was just damp??

We bought a moisture gadget and hubby started 'drying' the logs out in the airing cupboard. Success -moisture content reduced and wood has burnt well.

I have now been told that we should not dry logs in the airing cupboard as it will cause dry rot.

Any views on this/advice would be welcome. To be honest, I would love to reclaim my airing cupboard.

We are novices with this wood burning and appreciate any advice.



  • No Way !

    Depending on the source of the wood it could be full of creepy crawlies!
  • I've stuck logs on top of our radiator to dry out, seems to help.:)
  • Just don't store them in the space around the stove !

    Friend of mine in the same business as me, fitted a stove in a customers house in posh part of Merseyside in Nov last year. Happened to be at the end of the road he lives in.

    Over Christmas, he saw fire engines at the end of the road, went out to look and saw it was the house they fitted in. He was terrified it was something they did wrong, spoke to Fire inspector afterwards and was told the owner had been storing and drying logs in the inglenook by the stove and they had caught fire from the intense heat only.

    They lived in a posh house, spent £2k+ getting stove fitted and didn't have house insurance !
  • suisidevwsuisidevw Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    Buy properly seasoned wood - just leave your current stuff to 14-15 Winter.

    Even if it's damp, it can still be seasoned, surface moisture will soon dry off and you'll get a good burn off it. Especially if in a basket by the fire for a day or two.

    As said, DON'T put them by the stove - a neighbour had his house ruined by this!
  • It's pretty common that purchased logs, despite claims of being well seasoned, actually have a high moisture content. Unless you go the expensive kiln dried route.... the question there becomes is the extra expense of the logs worth the improved efficiency your stove will run at.

    I have found success by splitting the logs further and then drying on the top of an Aga. I wouldn't store logs in your house... they'll be a source of water vapour, which you don't want unless you have some way of ventilating. They're also a fire risk.

    A word about your "log bunker"... how well ventilated is this? We were using one too until one of the log delivery people pointed out the ventilation wasn't good enough and any water vapour getting in will penetrate the logs over a long period (generally, seasoned logs take a while to make-damp again). Our one was about 1m cubed with ventilation holes covering about 15cm sq. We changed to storing them under cover but subject to wind and rain from one side (also the side where the sun shone). Perversely this worked out much better.
  • edited 19 February 2014 at 2:53PM
    RobwizRobwiz Forumite
    364 Posts
    edited 19 February 2014 at 2:53PM
    It doesn't make sense using heat to dry fuel. Covered in a good breezy location outside for a year will get them dry.

    If you're buying wood for a stove you get better quality (and lower cost per kW of heat) by buying briquettes with guaranteed low moisture content.

    In my opinion, the best value is Verdo briquettes from Home Bargains at £2.49 for 10 kilos. They often don't have much stock instore, so it's better to buy online using their 'collect from store' option. The briquettes work out at 5.2 p/kWh – a bit more than gas but I get no pleasure from sitting watching my central heating boiler working whereas the log burner is a focal point in the room.

    A dumpy bag holds about 225 kg of loose logs but if they are too wet to burn then between 30-50% of that weight will be water. The Verdo briquettes are guaranteed less than 10% moisture content and they are shrink wrapped in a plastic film.
  • GloomendoomGloomendoom Forumite
    16.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Wasps and hornets would be a concern.
  • SG27SG27 Forumite
    2.8K Posts
    Split a log in half and check the moisture level in the middle to see if they are seasoned. If not they need storing outside in the sun and wind. Better off out in the open than in the garage.
  • Also don't do what one poster on here used to do and that is dry some logs in the oven, whilst he was doing his casserole ! lol
  • Hi,

    Valid points from all other posters. The other thing to seriously look out for is woodworm. Ash logs, for one, seem to be full of the things. I don't keep logs anywhere that could be blighted with woodworm. Once in the house they can cause expensive damage.

    Just dry your logs outside in a roofed log store and let nature take care of thing for you. If the store is constructed from tanalised timber it will last for years and woodworm don't like the preservative.
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