how to dry firewood after rain

Learning how to dry firewood after rain is important. You need to know how to dry it quickly if you want to get the maximum heat out of your firewood.

Ensuring that firewood is dry after a rainy day may seem like a challenging task, but it is crucial to guarantee that the wood burns safely and efficiently.

It can be quite challenging to light damp wood, and it tends to create an excessive amount of smoke that can have negative impacts on your health and the environment.

But, how to dry out firewood after rain?

In order to dry firewood after rain, you can try natural air-drying, kiln-drying, forced air drying, and utilize a dehumidifier or heater.  

The Idea of Keeping Firewood Dry

the idea of keeping firewood dry

During the colder months, we rely on our wood stove to keep the house warm, cook our meals, and provide hot water.

As a result, there will be fewer issues in the event of a grid outage and smaller electric bills.

However, this implies that we need to stock up on dry firewood every winter.

There are proper and improper ways to prepare firewood, and you need to learn about them, especially when it gets wet. 

Why is It Bad to Burn Wet Wood?

negative consequences of burning wet wood

If you burn damp firewood, you may end up with a chilly space, excessive smoke, and a buildup of sticky creosote in your chimney.

This can lead to a dangerous chimney fire, so it is best to avoid burning wet wood.

However, remember that it is possible to season various kinds of wood within 6-12 weeks, provided they are dried properly.

How Long for Firewood to Dry after Rain?

If you want to naturally dry out freshly cut ‘green’ wood, it can take at least six months to do that.

Many factors have a role to play. For instance, it dries in six months provided the wood has a low initial moisture content.

And of course, you need to ensure you stack it in an appropriate environment.

wet firewood drying time

However, if the conditions are not ideal, it may take up to two years for the wood to season.

But in the case of firewood getting wet after rain, it may take a few days to a week for wet seasoned firewood to fully dry out.

The duration required for moist seasoned timber to become dry can be influenced by factors, such as:

  • The length of time the firewood has been left uncovered.
  • The frequency of rainfall.
  • The present state of the atmospheric conditions
Fact: Dry seasoned firewood can be dried out faster during warm and windy weather compared to rainy weather with no wind. 

An Important Thing to Remember

It is important to acknowledge that wood inherently contains moisture, and you need to bear that in mind before trying ways to dry firewood.

Typically, wood that appears to be “dry” still retains a moisture content of approximately 15-20%.

15% - 20% moisture content

Having some moisture in the wood can actually be beneficial, as it aids in maintaining a consistent and prolonged burn.

Nevertheless, if the level of moisture exceeds 20%, complications begin to occur.

When the firewood is difficult to light, it burns inefficiently and creates more smoke than heat.

Fact: Wood that has been drenched in the rain may contain a moisture level of over 60%, which can make it challenging to burn efficiently.

How to Dry Firewood After Rain?

drying rain-soaked firewood

Properly drying firewood that has been soaked by rain can be a challenging task that demands patience and a good grasp of the drying procedure.

It is essential to know how to properly dry firewood after it has been rained on to ensure efficient heating and cooking. 

Natural Air-Drying or Seasoning

Air-drying is the most popular technique for drying firewood. The drying process, though essential, can be time-consuming.

The duration of the process varies from six months to two years and usually depends on the type of wood and the weather conditions.

Here is what to do to dry your firewood naturally: 

Stack it Properly

stack it properly

Arrange the logs in a manner that promotes optimal airflow to stack the wood effectively. One popular technique involves arranging it in a diagonal crosshatch formation.

To prevent moisture from the ground, it is recommended to stack the firewood using wooden pallets or 2x4s and keep it off the ground. 

Cover it In the Right Way

Once you have stacked it correctly, you need to find a way to keep it covered, which will protect it from getting wet in the first place.

To keep your firewood dry during rainy days, it is best to cover the top of the pile while leaving the sides open.

cover it in the right way

Nevertheless, it is important to keep the sides unobstructed to promote proper air flow.

Fact: It is recommended to place the pile of wood in an area that receives ample sunlight throughout the day and allows proper ventilation.  

Kiln Drying

Drying wood in a kiln is a speedy process that can be completed within a matter of days.

The drying process of firewood involves placing it in a drying chamber or kiln, where hot air is circulated to remove the moisture content.

Although this technique can be efficient and speedy, it typically necessitates specific tools and is often infeasible for the majority of individuals. 

Forced Air Drying

forced air drying

Drying with forced air is a technique that can be employed in a residential setting, utilizing tools such as a standard fan or a specialized fan designed for drying firewood.

Here are the guidelines for air-drying your firewood using forced air:

  • Begin by organizing your drying area. Ideally, you should locate a dry area, such as a sheltered porch or a garage, to prepare for drying.
  • Arrange your timber in a manner that facilitates proper airflow, similar to natural air drying. Create space between the wooden pieces.
  • Position your fan in a way that directs the airflow straight onto the wooden surface.
  • In case you possess a considerable amount of timber, it may be necessary to use multiple fans.

Start the fan and allow it to function for the maximum duration possible on a daily basis.

Fact: Using a fan ensures better air circulation, which accelerates moisture evaporation from the wooden surface. 

Use a Dehumidifier

use a dehumidifier

In case you possess an enclosed space that is protected from rain, such as a garage, you can accelerate the drying process by utilizing a space heater or a dehumidifier.

To make it work, begin by arranging the firewood properly and placing the heating device in the right way.

Now, use the dehumidifier or heater for an extended period every day.

The functioning of these appliances involves either heating the air (heater) or eliminating moisture from the air (dehumidifier).

Both these methods aid in the quick drying of firewood.

Fact: Typically, firewood is considered suitable for burning when its moisture level is at or below 20%. 

Other Tips to Remember When Drying Firewood after Rain

tips for drying rain-soaked firewood

Other than these methods to dry firewood, you should also remember the following to get the best results: 

Split the Wood

Splitting wood along the grain can accelerate the drying process by up to 15 times compared to wood still covered in bark.

Wood dries quicker with an increased number of split surfaces.

split the wood

Even under ideal drying conditions, green and moist unsplit wood can remain wet throughout an entire summer.

Try to divide the logs into tinier sections. For optimal burning, it is recommended to use wood that measures 10cm/4 inches in diameter across the end. 

Maintain Air Flow

Ensure there is enough room for air to circulate around every piece of wood while stacking it.

maintain air flow

Firewood that is stacked too tightly may appear aesthetically pleasing, but it is not as effective in the seasoning process.

Fact: It is advisable to construct your woodshed with slatted or half-open sides to ensure proper ventilation. 

Keep Your Stack Small

A compact and slim arrangement of wood dries out quicker compared to a bulky and broad stack of timber.

Arrange the firewood in a straight line above the surface to allow the air and sunlight to remove the moisture from the cut edges more efficiently. 

keep your stack small


There are several ways to learn how to dry firewood after rain.

You can always begin with air-drying, which is the most efficient option, but kiln drying and even using a dehumidifier may also help.

Although certain techniques may be more efficient than others, every approach has its own set of pros and cons.

It is essential to keep in mind that the appropriate drying technique is vital for the efficient and effective combustion of firewood, irrespective of the approach you opt for.