Storing firewood is an art form in and of itself. After chopping it down and splitting it, it’s tempting to just throw it into a pile and call it a day. To get the absolute most out of your firewood, however, it’s important to follow a few guidelines for stacking and storing.
Here are some tips on how to properly store your firewood.
Keep It Outdoors!
On paper, keeping your firewood stored in your house makes a lot of sense. After all, doing so would protect the firewood from the elements, allowing it all to stay dry right up until you want to use it. Then you just need to pick up a few logs before heading outside, right? There are even some websites that present ideas on how to proudly display your firewood in your living space, adding a rustic touch to your home. Convenient and stylish? Where’s the downside?
Turns out, there are millions of downsides, and they’re all living under your house. Wood already naturally attracts all kinds of rodents and insects, including termites, carpenter ants, wood roaches, field mice, and spiders. If you stack logs in a pile, you’ll notice there are gaps between each one. Consider each gap a potential home for bugs and critters and you’ll think twice before storing large amounts of firewood in your house.
If your firewood is to be used indoors for a fireplace or wood stove, experts say you should bring the logs inside no more than 24 hours before burning them. This allows for convenience while also preventing you from accidentally helping a million bugs move into your house.
Find the Right Location
If you can’t store firewood inside, where can you store it all? Let’s go over a few basics.
First, whatever you store your firewood in should be placed no closer than 5 feet away from the foundation of your home. As we said, firewood naturally attracts pests, and stacking logs close to your house is practically rolling out the welcome mat for them. If they gather near your firewood stack, they’ll eventually find their way inside.
Second, you want to keep your firewood elevated. Wood is a natural material, meaning it can and will decompose if left on the damp, cool ground. Even if it doesn’t, it will absorb any hydration it can, and a moist log is far less efficient than a dry one.
Third, if possible, you should never store your wood under a tree. Bugs are the culprit here once again. Trees make the perfect houses for bugs because they’re literally made of wood. Storing your firewood underneath a tree is like building a shiny new condo for insects.
When it comes to finding a place to house your firewood, the most important thing to look for is something that will keep your logs dry. Depending on where you live, this could be easier said than done, but you do have a few choices.
Your best option is a firewood rack, which is specifically built for this task. It keeps your firewood off the ground, and it’s designed for air to circulate throughout your stack regularly, airing each piece out and keeping it all nice and dry.
A lot of firewood racks don’t come with any lids or covers, but you can purchase a firewood cover separately for relatively cheap.
Another great option is a seasoning shed. This is essentially a tent for your firewood, with a few added perks. First, their larger size allow you to store a lot of firewood. Second, they’re great for drying out greener wood. Acting like a sort of greenhouse, a seasoning shed’s polyethylene covers help keep heat and any excess moisture out.
Keep in mind, if your logs are already seasoned and dry, you have many more options due to the durability of your firewood. You can essentially keep it in any storage unit that’s easiest for you as long as you keep it dry, off the ground, and away from nature’s elements.
How It All Stacks Up
So you have the right location, the right storage unit, and the right coverage. Now it’s time to find the right technique for stacking all of your firewood.
The general consensus is to avoid stacking your firewood any higher than four feet or so. This is more for safety and accessibility purposes; you don’t want to reach for a log and have six feet of firewood fall down on top of you.
If your firewood isn’t yet seasoned and dry, you want to stack the logs with the bark facing down. This allows for the moisture in your wood to evaporate faster, as well as air out more quickly due to a larger surface area having more impact with air flow.
If your firewood is seasoned, then the opposite is suggested: Stack the logs with the bark facing up. The bark actually acts as a shield against any stray elements that may leak through your storage unit, such as rain droplets or snow.
Firewood in Frederick, MD & Beyond
At Appalachian Tree Co., we know you want quality seasoned wood for your fireplace, bonfire, or wood furnace. That’s why we keep much of the local wood we cut down during the spring and summer and season it into dry, clean-burning firewood for your home. Need an extra cord or two this winter? Give us a call!