Does Frost Damage Wood?

January 3, 2020 12:12 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Winter weather can be traumatic for wood if it’s not properly cared for. Whether you’re burning a fire in your stove or you’re worried about the condition of your wooden deck, it’s only natural to wonder about the relationship between frost and wood in Utah as the cold weather sets in.

What happens to wood when it’s cold?

As the temperature dips closer to freezing, the humidity in the air drops, too, leaving your wood shrunken to its smallest size. When the air warms up again, your wood will swell as it soaks up the returning humidity. This process can be especially brutal on wood when it’s subjected to rapid fluctuations in temperature. When the temperature of wood rises, falls and rises again in short order, the wood itself can expand and contract, which can cause problems with its structure.

Even wood that has been shaped and treated is at risk during a cold snap. Not to worry, though! Here are some tips to fight back against the ill effects of winter weather on all your wood.

How to protect outdoor wood

Even after it’s dried and cured, outdoor wood on decks and other structures still contains a little bit of moisture. So, when the weather turns frigid, the moisture within the wood can freeze and expand, compromising the structural integrity of the wood itself.

Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to prevent your outdoor wood’s exposure to the elements. The best thing you can do is move wood indoors during the winter, if possible. Even moving it into a garage can be a huge benefit.

If you don’t have the storage room to move your outdoor wood, covering it is the best alternative. Make sure it’s draped from top to bottom. Limit its exposure to the elements, and it stands a better chance of making it through the winter.

How to ensure your firewood works

Cold temps and wood in Utah can be a disastrous combination. That’s why the most important rule of keeping your firewood in good working order is ensuring that it stays dry. Not only is wet firewood more difficult to light, but it burns colder as well. When using damp wood, you’ll inevitably need to use more logs to accomplish the same task.

What’s more, damp wood will only smolder, which can cause maintenance issues in your oven or fireplace. That’s why the first rule of maintaining firewood is to keep it off the ground and under a cover. If you can store it in a garage or shed, that’s ideal. Otherwise, it may be wise to cover your wood with a secured tarp.

Utah’s wood expert

At Huberwoods, we have more than a decade of experience in the logging industry. That means we understand how to treat frost and wood in Utah. We’re proud to lend our expertise to commercial and residential clients throughout the state. When you need firewood, fence posts, tipi poles and so much more, the pros at Huberwoods are here to serve you.

Visit us online or give us a call today to find out what Huberwoods can do for you.

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