How Long Does it Take for Firewood to Dry after Rain?

Your perfectly seasoned wood stack recently got rained on – what now?

Well, the same way you left the wood dry after being split, now as well you have to keep it be there for longer to get rid of that rainfall.

But how long will it take? When will the firewood get dry once again?


Firewood drying time, after its been rained on, depends on a lot of factors:

The length of time it got rained on, the severity of it, as well as what kind of weather there is at the moment, location.

I’d say on average it takes about 2 days of warm and windy weather to dry out a properly built stack.

When I say “dry out”, it’s mostly getting rid of that residual moisture that sits on top. There is no possibility for the wood to soak up all that rainfall to the core.

At the end of the day, you can only find out how dry the firewood got by inspecting it. Feel the wood – does it seem damp to the touch, or dry as it should be? If not, leave it season for another day or so.

Preventative measures, for the future

If you want to prevent your beloved seasoned wood stack from getting wet, you have to cover it.

The best time to do so is in the early fall; during that time, precipitation is more frequent, not to mention the sudden drop in temperature (which can only slow down the drying process, if wet).

But you don’t have to go overboard with it – the main goal is to just cover the tops. A sheet of metal, plywood work great for this.

The best overall thing you can do is store the firewood in a shed, once it gets dry enough. This won’t allow any unnecessary moisture to get to any part of the wood, solving all the issues this article is on about.

What if I need to burn it now?

In case the supply you got has received some rain on and you have to use it, at least try to dig for the deeper layers.

The wood which sits on the outside will be definitely less dry than that deeper in the stack.

Some homeowners don’t care about the rain and burn anyway, though personally I am paranoid about this sort of thing – I make sure any sort of firewood I want to use is dry enough all around, even if it got sprinkled on by a midday rain.

Do not bring any of it inside to “speed the drying up”. I’m major against storing any sort of firewood indoors, let alone one that got wet (for obvious reasons, like bugs).

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  1. Speaking from experience when you are buying seasoned wood and the seller says it’s seasoned definitely take a moisture meter I made the mistake and bought two cords That was supposed to be 15 to 18% on the meter and it was 25 to 32

    1. That is absolutely true… You should rarely trust a firewood supplier. Their definition of “seasoned” wood can be entirely different from what it actually means.

  2. If I am cutting my eucalyptus tree down for fire wood now in winter how long will it take? Mind you I live in southern California.

    1. It will take at least 6 months. Considering it’s a hardwood, more time spent can be expected.

      But don’t take my word for it – have a moisture meter at hand to know exactly when the wood is seasoned enough to be burned!

  3. I have driveway full of white oak that needs to be split using a hydralic splitter that I will rent. It rained last night and the logs are wet. Will that make the job harder? Should I wait for it to dry, or not?

    1. A single day’s rain shouldn’t make the wood any harder to split.

      That being said, get the log splitter and try it out. If you find the machine struggling, you may want to rent a more powerful one.

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