Picture this, spending weeks or sometimes months preparing your firewood only for it to go bad because of a poor storage decision—seems heartbreaking, right?
To avoid such scenarios, you've to exercise extra care when it comes to storing firewood. Remember that wood is susceptible to rain, snow, and other extreme conditions that can easily affect its quality and ability to burn well. Therefore, when storing firewood, your goal is to keep it dry and free from decay (mold) and bugs.
In this article, we'll discuss everything you need to know regarding how to store your firewood. Read on.
One of the most critical things to consider when it comes to storing your firewood is the location.
When choosing your location, you should keep convenience in mind. Remember that firewood can be heavy and time-consuming to carry from the storage area to your fireplace. Therefore, your storage location shouldn't be very far from your fire pits.
Besides, you shouldn't seek a location too close to your living space to avoid nasty rodents and bug infestation. But all other factors remaining constant, your preferred location should be close enough for convenience.
The size of the firewood plays a vital role in its storage and use. Therefore, before getting your firewood, whether you are cutting it on your own or buying from the yards, it's advisable to have an ideal length in mind.
The length here is determined by the size of your fire pits and the storage area. However, larger wood logs harbor a lot of moisture and take twice as long to dry out, making them less efficient than the short ones.
But here's a handy tip to go by, if the wood log is too big to hold with one hand, then it's too big to dry and burn well. If possible, keep your logs at 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) diameter.
If you're going to cut the logs on your own, it's good to know where to target to achieve seamless splitting. In this case, always seek for the hairline cracks, and if possible, avoid the knots.
Another important step when storing firewood is seasoning. Typically, freshly cut wood, often referred to as unseasoned wood, has a high moisture content, making it hard to ignite. Such wood burns with a lot of smoke that can damage your fireplace either indoors or in a mancave backyard.
So, to derive the most from your firewood, you should use seasoned wood. Seasoned wood means dry wood or that with lower moisture content.
Generally, the process of seasoning fire wood involves allowing moisture to evaporate, producing wood that burns efficiently and safely. Depending on where you live, this process can take between 6-12 months.
However, certain factors such as splitting the fire wood, proper stacking, air circulation, and prevailing weather conditions can speed up the process.
Once you have identified an ideal storage location and have your wood perfectly sized, the next thing is stacking it.
While tossing your firewood haphazardly may appear like a simple and convenient option, it reduces efficient air circulation, promotes breeding of bugs and rodents, and increases the risk of accidents.
Therefore, it's advisable to do the stacking in an orderly way. And regardless of where you're stacking your firewood, you should leave the cut ends exposed. Exposing the cut ends releases moisture from the wood, speeding up the drying process.
When stacking your firewood, avoid going for the straight vertical rows, which could topple easily. Instead, try interlocking or overlapping your wood rows to increase the woodpile's stability.
However, your storage pattern may vary depending on your preferred storage method, such as if you're using firewood sheds, fire wood racks, firewood boxes, etc.
But regardless of your storage pattern and method, avoid stacking your firewood tightly. Keeping the woodpile loose allows sufficient air circulation needed for drying and keeping the wood in good condition.
And if you are making several side-by-side stacks, leave a significant space between the stacks to promote airflow.
Firewood Storage Tips and Tricks
Here are a few firewood storage tips and tricks you can use to save the day:
- Stack your firewood a few inches above the ground to speed up drying and reduce decay. You can also place gravel on the ground below your woodpile to enhance drainage.
- Avoid storing large stacks of firewood indoors. Storing firewood indoors doesn't allow it to dry properly and also increases the risk of rodents and bug infestation. Additionally, this can increase the risk of fire accidents if the woodpile is close to a fire source.
- When leaving your firewood outdoors during winter or the rainy season, ensure you cover it up to keep off unwanted moisture. And on the other hand, keep it uncovered during summer or dry periods to avoid trapping in unwanted moisture.
- Keep children and pets away from your firewood storage area. Although the risk of your firewood toppling when properly stacked is low, it's better to be safe than sorry. So keep your firewood storage area restricted for pets and toddlers.
- Keep your firewood storage area clean. Ensure your firewood storage area is clean and free from grass and foliage. Maintaining cleanliness helps promote sufficient air circulation, reduce decay, and control the breeding of rodents and bugs.
We believe this run-down offers an insight on how to go about storing your firewood the next time you're faced with the task!