As the heating season approaches, many homeowners are beginning to stockpile firewood for the home. As you start hauling and stacking log after log, it is important that you know how to safely store the wood. Well-stored firewood not only ensures that your wood is dry and ready to burn but also keeps your woodpile free from pests and rot.
At Lindemann, we’re experts on firewood storage. We will guide you through the process of choosing the right location, selecting appropriate storage solutions, stacking firewood correctly, and maintaining your firewood stock for optimal burning and safety.
Choosing the Right Location for Your Firewood Storage
Selecting an appropriate location for your firewood storage is essential. You’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of outdoor versus indoor storage. Key factors to consider when choosing the right location for your firewood include:
- Accessibility and convenience: Choose a spot close to your home for easy access during winter months. However, avoid placing the woodpile too close to your house to minimize the risk of pests entering your home.
- Protection from elements: Ensure that the storage location is sheltered from direct sunlight, rain, and snow to keep the firewood dry and ready for use.
- Pest control: Keep the firewood off the ground to deter insects, rodents, and other pests.
Types of Firewood Storage Solutions
There are various firewood storage options to choose from, ranging from DIY firewood racks to purchasing pre-made storage solutions. Here are a few popular choices of firewood storage solutions:
- Firewood racks: These can be made from metal or wood and provide a simple, open structure for stacking firewood. They elevate the wood off the ground and allow for proper airflow.
- Firewood sheds: A shed offers more protection from the elements and can accommodate a larger woodpile. It also helps to keep your firewood organized and neatly stacked.
- Firewood carts: These mobile storage solutions are great for those who need to transport firewood from the storage area to their home or fireplace.
Stacking Firewood Properly
Proper stacking is crucial to ensure that your firewood remains dry and burns efficiently. Keep these tips in mind when stacking your firewood:
- Stack firewood in a crisscross pattern, allowing for airflow between the logs.
- Leave some space between the woodpile and any walls or structures to promote circulation.
- Keep the top layer of firewood covered to protect it from rain and snow, while still allowing airflow.
Seasoning Your Firewood
Seasoning refers to the process of drying out freshly cut wood before burning it. Seasoned firewood burns more efficiently, produces less creosote, and is easier to ignite. To determine if your firewood is seasoned:
- Check for signs of drying, such as cracking or splitting ends.
- Knock two pieces of wood together; seasoned wood will produce a hollow sound.
- On average, firewood should be seasoned for at least six months to a year.
Regular Firewood Storage Maintenance
To ensure your firewood remains in optimal condition, follow these maintenance tips:
- Inspect your firewood regularly for signs of pests or decay.
- Rotate your firewood stock, using the oldest wood first.
- Keep the storage area clean and free from debris.
- Discard or replace firewood that has become infested or rotten.
Firewood Storage: Dos And Don’ts
When it comes to properly storing your firewood, there are a few general dos and don’ts to keep in mind. Here are some of the most common tips that we recommend to our customers.
- Store firewood a safe distance from the home and other structures when possible. A typical safe distance is five feet or more.
- Store firewood on a concrete slab, asphalt, or even a tarp.
- For outdoor storage, stack firewood away from other structures. Leaving both the front and back open allows for proper circulation of air allowing the wood to dry. Dried firewood can be stored inside against a wall or other dry place.
- Choose a sunny spot to store your outdoor wood stack. You also want to consider a convenient spot for hauling wood inside.
- Don’t store firewood too close to the home. This is not only a fire hazard but can also lead to termite infestation within the home’s foundation.
- Don’t store firewood directly on the ground. The wood absorbs moisture from the soil leaving it damp and useless. Also wood can stick to the ground and leave clumps behind when you lift it.
- Don’t stack firewood against a wall or fence if it is still damp. This stifles air flow and makes it more difficult to get the wood dry and ready for the fire.
- Don’t cover completely with a tarp. This reduces the air circulation needed to keep moisture at bay. If you feel it necessary to cover, place the tarp only on the top of the wood stack leaving the sides open.
By choosing the right location, selecting appropriate storage solutions, stacking your firewood properly, and seasoning your wood, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying efficient, safe, and cozy fires during the cold months. Implement these tips to improve your firewood storage and usage experience, and you’ll be ready to face the winter months with confidence.