As another season of chopping firewood fades away, most of us won’t be lighting our fireplaces again for several months. But what about all of that extra firewood you have laying around? Where should you put it? How should you store it? How long will it last? How can you protect it?
These are all very common questions for people who may not know everything about how to properly care for your firewood when it is not in use. So many specific details of how to store it, right down to how to stack it correctly, depend on things like how recently the wood was cut and how wet it still is.
While this article won’t get into all of the minute details about the different types of firewood and various ways to store it, it will take the time to cover many of the basics with our readers. Follow these simple tips to keep your logs in their best shape until it’s time to throw them on the fire next winter.
Keep It Outside
The first point which must be made is that firewood is not meant to be stored inside for any reason. Yes, it might be convenient to have it right there near the fireplace whenever you get ready to light it up. And that may be ok with a few, single logs. However, multiple reasons keeping your firewood inside is a bad idea.
For starters, the interior of your home does not have the proper airflow to dry the wood. This means it will stay damp and may develop mold. Secondly, since some kinds of insects and/or animals have likely taken up residence in your pile outdoors, it might be best not to give them a free ride inside your house. If you have the room to spare on your exterior property, installing a storage building or shed might be the perfect solution.
Tip: ShelterLogic Store has several firewood racks to choose from.
Stack It Properly
The next thing to know after learning to keep your firewood outside is how to stack it correctly. If you want to make your life much easier, we suggest getting a firewood rack to place the logs on. And if you are still chopping wood with axes and hatchets, you really should look into a log splitter.
The main purpose of stacking your firewood in the correct manner is to allow it to breathe properly and dry. This is what it takes for recently cut wood to become good firewood. Also, wood chunks that are just haphazardly piled up in the yard are almost guaranteed to host an animal or insect infestation.
Stack them like bricks, as opposed to straight, vertical rows. Additionally, pack them loosely to allow for air movement and circulation. Also, do not stack them against the house or garage. Not only does it restrict airflow, but it also creates a fire hazard. Be sure to keep it off of the ground as well. This will keep it safe from fungus and bacteria which speed up decay.
Tip: Watch this YouTube video that shows you how to properly stack firewood.
Keep the Storage Area Clean and Out of High Traffic Areas
It’s also important to make sure that the place where you store your firewood is safely out of the way of any normal backyard activities. This includes children playing or energetic pets.
While a properly stacked pile of wood shouldn’t fall over on its own, even a slight bump may cause it to come down, possibly even injuring someone. That’s why it’s best to just store it away from everything else.