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Firewood Stuck with Ice

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by Oskarr, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. Oskarr

    Oskarr ArboristSite Lurker

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    I always stuck my firewood outside against the garage wall and uncovered, been doing this for 20+ years with no problem (about 6-8 cords per year), but this time for some reason I got this thick ice layer at the top and I can’t break it loose.

    Was thinking to use a small propane torch I have to melt the ice, good/bad idea?
     
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  2. farmer steve

    farmer steve outstanding in my field, 5150

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    I wouldn't use a torch if you value your garage. Bust it up with a maul or hammer then put it in the sun to melt. Welcome to AS
     
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  3. md1486

    md1486 ArboristSite Operative

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    i would take a big hammer/axe. IMO torch would take way too much time for me.
     
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  4. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Bring it in, it'll melt.
     
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  5. Natster

    Natster ArboristSite Operative

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    Don't let your montherin law park close to your firewood. It'll suck all the heat out, and cause ice to form on it.
     
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  6. Oskarr

    Oskarr ArboristSite Lurker

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    If I was 10 years younger no questions asked I would have used my axe/sledge hammer, but now I just don’t have the strength for it……..

    Since it was not explained why not to use my propane torch, I will not do it that way since I don’t want to take any chance but I just had another “bright idea”, I just put some salt (like I do on my driveway to melt the ice) on the top and will see soon if it works or not. It is -3C outside and it should work if not by tonight the temp. will go down to -20’s and it will stay there for the next few days.
     
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  7. farmer steve

    farmer steve outstanding in my field, 5150

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    The torch could leave a glowing ember you may not see and some wind comes up and woodpile and garage are gone. :blob2: Even a small claw hammer should work to chip away at the ice.
     
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  8. Oskarr

    Oskarr ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks Steve for your time

    Now I can see what it means however I find it unlikely this could happen, logs are soaking wet and cold and I was not planning to heat the log anyway, just enough to melt the ice. However there is a slight possibility for a glowing ember to get going and so it is not worth to take the risk.

    Anyway it looks like the salt did its job and I was able to pull out about 20 logs. I can see the ice is melting and given enough time I’m sure it will melt all the ice and free the remaining logs. I will go back just before dark to see the results.

    BTW a small hammer will not do the trick, I have a good size hammer and hitting the ice is like trying to cheep away concrete, darn ice is solid and only cheeps away a bit.
     
  9. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    It's logs or firewood?

    If firewood, just bring it in, it'll melt.
     
  10. Oskarr

    Oskarr ArboristSite Lurker

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    They are 16” long logs and yes I want to bring them inside but the top row of the pile is all stuck with thick ice. The salt I put on top looks like it works and perhaps by tomorrow they will be ice free
     
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  11. Nick Kent

    Nick Kent ArboristSite Member

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    Anything other than hitting it with a hammer, ax, sledge, maul, pipe etc is a waste of time and energy. Get someone else to smack it if you can’t
     
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  12. Oskarr

    Oskarr ArboristSite Lurker

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    Not very convenient to get someone else to do this work. In any case the salt worked very well and the logs are free now. I will get some tarpaulin to cover the rest since in the next couple of months we normally get a lot of freezing rain + lots of cold which is a recipe for more ice accumulation on top of the remaining firewood.
     
  13. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    What I was thinking, or pull down the top of the pile and bust up whatever is froze together if it doesn't come apart.

    I suppose a pic or two would help to understand. I can't think of when I've had a pile of stacked wood froze rock hard where I couldn't get it apart without at the worst a BFH. Have had pieces froze into the ground that were not coming out anytime soon though!

    Decided to move the F550 today, it'd been sitting since about October and had ice almost up to the rear hubs. I expected it to be stuck hard, but it popped right out.
     
  14. Oskarr

    Oskarr ArboristSite Lurker

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    As I mentioned I been doing this for 20+ years and never seen wood stuck with ice like I have now, perhaps a combination of crazy weather? Yes I also get the bottom row stuck to the ground every year until the spring and this I understand. Will try to get some pictures tomorrow of Monday but I dont know if the build up ice will be visible, we will see.
     
  15. Little Al

    Little Al Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If you can source it at reasonable cost a length of bubble plastic sheet (big bubbles 1inch dia) under your tarp help
     
  16. Oskarr

    Oskarr ArboristSite Lurker

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    Good idea man, I will try to find some. Thanks
     
  17. Oskarr

    Oskarr ArboristSite Lurker

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    Here are some photos from the logs. Ice at some places is 1" thick and tonight the temp. will go down to -21C so salt will not work. I take another big log and swinging at the logs by the end and it is like hitting concrete. I have logs inside for about 2 weeks and hopefully by then we might have a warmer temp.
     

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  18. Woodchuck71

    Woodchuck71 ArboristSite Member

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    Think your wood had moisture in it,got really cold,moisture pushed out and froze.
    Sounds reasonable?
     
  19. Oskarr

    Oskarr ArboristSite Lurker

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    Never thought about it but I think you are right. I always buy my firewood semidry from the same vendor and never had any problem before. I used to reserve it by August for October delivery but I forgot about it last August and when I called the vendor last October he was sold out.

    So I got a new vendor and never saw such clean and neat cut firewood before and with no insects at all! Almost all logs were identical in size and quite heavy. I know nothing about firewood except one type which I happen to have one in my yard and it is softwood and used to get a lot of that from my old vendor. With the new vendor I had none of this softwood and all logs looked like their bark was identical, perhaps from same trees. Later I discovered that these clean logs were burning quite fast, perhaps my imagination?

    So I assume the new logs were pressure washed and contained a lot of moisture and that’s why they were (are) so heavy and now stuck with ice.

    As I mentioned in my first post, I always store the firewood at the same spot and we had before worst weather than we have now so it makes sense that the firewood had a lot of moisture in it and so it got stuck with ice.
     
  20. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I highly doubt a firewood vendor is going to pressure wash logs unless they are completely full of mud. Either way that wouldn't make the wood freeze together 4 months later to the point that you need to dump salt on it.
    Even if the wood was piss wet, it wouldn't be stuck together that bad 4 months later!

    Uniform wood is what a processor does.

    Those pics look like what my stacks end up when we get snow and it rains/melts. Sometimes I have to spend a few mins with a 30lb hammer or just pull sections of the stack down to break it apart. No big deal really. Whatever ice is on the wood melts either in the house or in the stove.
     
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