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ADVICE & FAQ
 
 
How do I pay?
 
Payment can be made upon delivery by cash, cheque - payable to "K Madge" or bank transfer

Barclays Bank
Mr K Madge
acc No 63602664
Sort Code 20--23-60
 

Do I get a receipt?
 
Please ask if you would like a receipt.  We don't issue receipts as standard
 saves on paper and printing, not to mention time, but are happy to provide them when asked.
 

What does "seasoned" actually mean?
 
Freshly cut logs have at least 50% moisture, making them heavy and difficult to light.  Burning freshly cut logs will damage your chimney, flue and appliance. 
 
Seasoning the logs means cutting and splitting them to expose the inside areas of the tree trunk, then allowing the wind and sun in spring and summer to dry them out in the open air.  
 
The acceptable maximum recommended level of moisture in logs described as seasoned is 25%.  The minimum possible level is around 16% due to the moisture present in the air.  Kiln dried logs are often advertised as lower than this, but soon re-absorb moisture from the air.  Our logs are dried naturally outside in the wind and sun.
 

Why shouldn't I burn freshly cut logs?
 
They will spit and steam, smoke, and produce a lot of creosote.

They will give out a lot less heat than seasoned logs.

This then enables the gases to cool down within the chimney where they will condense and form tar deposits, creating a fire risk and impeding air flow.

Having a flue re-lined is not cheap, and the fire risk is very real, so always stick to seasoned logs.
 

But I have heard that "Green Ash" is fine to burn... ?
 
"Green Ash" means fresh, unseasoned Ash logs.  (Maybe still attached to the tree yesterday.)  Newly felled Ash has a lower moisture content (typically 35 to 40%) than most other hardwoods. 
 
Unseasoned Ash lights relatively easily compared to other unseasoned hardwoods, and will burn seemingly fairly well. However, don't be deceived 
 
The fact still remains that the logs will spit and steam, smoke, and produce a lot of creosote.  They will give out a lot less heat than seasoned logs.  As well as giving you less warmth in the room, this enables the gases to cool down within the chimney where they will condense and form tar deposits. 
 
Many suppliers will tell you that Green Ash is no problem to burn, but we beg to differ, despite the old rhyme that is often quoted, and of course comes from the days before the existence of the modern efficient (expensive) wood burning appliances that we now use. when chimney fires were commonplace .

 
Are kiln dried logs worth the money?
 
In our opinion, no.  They are considerably more expensive to produce than naturally seasoned logs, and therefore a lot more costly to buy.
  
Kiln drying is an unnecessary expense to the environment too!  Although kiln dried logs will obviously be very dry, they will have been dried rapidly and the moisture content will probably be below that in the air around us.
  This means that they will very quickly re-absorb moisture, and will soon be about the same level as naturally seasoned logs.
 
Naturally seasoned logs are like cake ...  getting drier and drier when left out in the air.
Kiln dried logs are like biscuits ... going soft and soggy as they absorb moisture from the air.
 
 
What is the difference between softwood and hardwood?
 
Hardwood is denser, it burns longer and hotter.  Softwood is less expensive to buy, but you will get through more softwood logs for the same amount of heat.    

You could think of it as softwood being like an Aero, and hardwood a bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk.
 

What is the best way to store my logs?
 

Ventilation is the key to keeping your logs good to burn.  Logs are best stored outside, raised off the ground and with some protection from the rain, but so that the air can circulate freely around them.  Purpose-made Log Stores are of course ideal, but a good way is to use a pallet, with the top of the pile covered with plastic sheeting or similar, and the sides kept open.  If you store your logs in a shed, porch or garage, then make sure it is well ventilated - keep the windows open. 
 
Keep a small indoor log supply.  This allows the logs to warm up to house temperature, and for any surface rain to dry off, which will make them easier to light and better to burn.  We always bring in enough logs for 2 or 3 days ahead.


Where do you get your wood from?
 
We use forestry firms and contractors in the South West, and get the cordwood as locally as possible.  Recent deliveries have come from Staple fitzpaine in Somerset, and Branscombe in Devon.  
The woodlands our timber comes from are all responsibly managed.
 

I have had some trees cut down - can I use these for firewood?
 
Some species are better than others, but of course all dry wood will burn!  The important thing is that it is seasoned - this can take two years or more for some types of wood, after it is cut and split.
 

What can I do with all these wet logs that I got delivered from elsewhere?
 
Store them properly making sure the wind can get to them, and use them in a year or two! 
They will improve with age so all is not lost!
 

How do I get my fire lit?
 
Leave a little of yesterday's ash in the bottom of the grate.  Screw up a few balls of newspaper.  Add a decent pile of kindling.  Light the newspaper and let the kindling catch.  Put on a smaller log to begin with, and when that is established then add another one or two.  It sometimes takes a little patience - often an idea is to give it a poke with a poker or a puff with some bellows, or simply to add a little more kindling if the flames look to be dying down too much.
 
Firelighters (the little paraffin blocks) are often used to make the job guaranteed first time, but shouldn't really be necessary.
 
The main things that cause difficulty are of course wet logs and kindling, as well as cold logs, too little air intake, or a blocked chimney. 

 
What about burning coal and logs together?
 
Many appliances are of course multi-fuel, and both wood and coal can be used on an open fire.  While coal is not environmentally friendly, it remains popular, as is smokeless fuel. (We stock Homefire Ovals.)  Several customers have asked us for coal, which prompted us to stock it, as a bed of coal with logs on top certainly does make a fantastic fire on a cold winter's evening!
 

Do I really need to get my chimney swept?
 
Yes, without a doubt.  Once a year is usually enough, depending on the appliance, although your sweep will advise.  Chimneys with wood burning appliances need sweeping more regularly.
 
Blocked chimneys make the fire difficult to light and inefficient, but more importantly can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and are a real fire hazard. 

We would recommend http://www.jonclark-chimneysweep.co.uk/ to get your chimney swept