Winter wouldn’t be complete without a warm fire stirring in your fireplace, and logs neatly nestled beside it. But what does it take to get a good fire going and burning efficiently? Believe it or not, a great fire starts with effective and efficient firewood storage.
The good news is that finding the right firewood storage that works for you isn’t too hard. Once you’ve mastered the steps, you’ll be onto producing burnable firewood in no time.
Why Is It Important to Have Firewood Storage?
Properly storing firewood will help you protect not only your firewood’s lifespan but your safety too. Freshly cut firewood can have up to 45% retained water and burning wet wood can cause creosote to build up in your chimney. This is the exact opposite of how you want to spend your winter nights.
Creosote is a natural by-product that can line the walls of your chimney as a result of burning fuels. It tends to be the number one reason for chimney fires. To stay safe, always used well-aged or seasoned wood.
By storing your firewood the right way you’ll be able to reduce moisture and have more useful firewood for the winter.
Find the Right Location Away From Your Home
The first step to properly storing your firewood is to understand that placement matters. It’s not as easy as throwing your firewood in the backyard and hoping it dries up in time for burning.
Storing your firewood outdoors instead of inside is generally considered best practices. This is because you'll want your firewood to have exposure to adequate airflow.
When choosing a location to store firewood, not only should you keep it outside, but you’ll want to store it at least five feet away from your home. When you nestle a firewood pile directly on your home, you’re basically inviting pests to come inside. It’s also best to keep your firewood elevated and away from any excess moisture on the ground. An easy solution to that problem is to invest in a firewood rack. The sole purpose of a rack is to keep your firewood elevated while keeping air circulation available for each piece of firewood.
Another way to keep your stack a distance away is to use a seasoning shed. Seasoning sheds are great for drying out firewood quicker and creating wood that’ll burn more efficiently. Similar to backyard greenhouses, the polyethylene cover of a seasoning shed helps retain heat and keeps any added moisture out.
How to Stack Firewood
Stacking firewood can feel like creating a work of art. Transforming a messy pile into a neat, orderly pile couldn’t get any more aesthetically pleasing. Not to mention, this step is critical in the drying process of your firewood!
To begin, know that you should only stack your rows no higher than 4 feet. If you have firewood that isn’t fully seasoned, stack it bark-side down so moisture can evaporate. On the other hand, if you’re firewood has already aged, you can stack them bark-side up to shield from rain or snow.
As mentioned earlier, it’s good to also elevate your firewood. You can do so by utilizing a firewood rack that not only prevents moisture but adds air circulation to the mix.
Properly Protect Firewood Against the Elements
If you spend the time to strategically chop firewood, wouldn’t you go the same lengths to protect it? It may seem obvious, but extra firewood protection is a necessary step in creating better firewood.
When constantly exposed to rain or snow, firewood will reabsorb large amounts of water and become unsuitable for burning. To avoid wasting your pile, consider protecting your firewood with a few options:
Firewood Racks: Firewood racks with half covers leave a partial amount of your firewood exposed, allowing for air circulation and moisture reduction. By covering the top of your rack, less water will seep into your firewood.
Firewood Covers: If you need full coverage in the winter, think about getting a full-length firewood cover. Its UV treated fabric helps to reduce mold and mildew from growing in between your firewood, and you’ll have protection against snow and rain.
How to Stack Firewood in a Shed: With water-proof covers, seasoning sheds can provide protection against rain and snow while keeping your firewood warm, even in the winter. The vapor barrier (flooring) also helps to prevent moisture build up from the ground. Be sure to also keep your vents open for air circulation.
If you want to keep your seasoning shed even more organized, consider putting a few firewood racks or pallets inside. During the winter, you’ll easily be able to enter your shed and grab firewood quickly from your neat stack.
Keep a Small Firewood Storage Pile Inside for Quick Accessibility
With all the firewood you’ll be drying, you’ll need a place to store it inside. However, it’s not recommended to bring excess amounts of firewood into your home. Similar to the way of storing firewood next to your home, pests can be transferred in.
You should also avoid storing large amounts in your living room or garage, but keep a daily supply handy. It’s easy to do so with a log holder that rests neatly near your fireplace, providing you with a supply in reach.
Proper Firewood Storage Will Set You On The Path to Better Fires
With the right process for firewood storage, you’ll be able to maintain your fireplace all winter long or year-long depending on where you live. We hope that after reading these tips that you have a better understanding of how important firewood storage is.