Are you looking forward to cold nights in front of the fireplace or toasting marshmallows around a fire pit? Properly seasoned firewood is essential to make this happen. Once you have the right firewood, you need to store it correctly to keep it dry, away from pests, and ready for use at any time. This article provides a comprehensive guide on the dos and don’ts of storing firewood, including how to store it, where to store it, why it needs to be covered, and how to properly season harvested wood.
How to Properly Store Firewood
To store firewood correctly, it needs to be kept on an elevated rack that is covered yet slightly ventilated to allow airflow. The rack should be at least three feet from your building’s exterior to keep pests out of your home. Firewood racks are special because they provide a ventilated waterproof cover to keep the rain away. The racks are high enough to keep all the wood off the ground and combine airflow and water protection, which is not typical of ordinary storage racks. This solution protects seasoned wood by keeping it dry and in optimal burning condition while also safeguarding it from common wood-boring pests.
Where Should You Store Firewood?
Firewood racks should be placed at least three feet from the home and never inside, as this attracts pests into your home. Placing wood too close to the house or trees may invite pests to tunnel from the wood into the house. Placing your rack away from any structures or trees makes it easier to find a place where your wood rack can get proper ventilation. It is also important to avoid any areas with poor drainage, as this can spell trouble for your wood during a storm.
Avoid the temptation to store firewood in a garage, basement, or attic. Whenever wood is stored inside for a long period, insects and rodents are attracted to the stack. So, avoid any potential pest remediation fees by keeping wood stacks outdoors and away from your home. You should only bring in the required amount of wood for your indoor fire and not keep wood indefinitely inside your house.
Use a Foundation
To keep your wood dry from all directions, you need to use a foundation. There are several methods to keep the ground free from excess moisture, such as putting a vapor barrier underneath your firewood rack, placing a few large patio stones under your firewood rack, or creating a concrete slab foundation. Any of these foundation options can be good deterrent to ground moisture.
Use the Old Wood First
It is important to use the oldest wood first. This rule is called “first in, first out.” When stacking wood, put the newest seasoned wood on the bottom and the oldest on top, so that you can use the right selections. This method mitigates pests, preventing infestations that typically happen in wood that has been sitting too long in a stack.
How to Properly Season Firewood
When you decide to light a fire, it is important not to burn wet wood. Burning wet wood increases the amount of creosote that accumulates in a fireplace and the amount of smoke. However, properly seasoned or dried wood will be significantly cleaner and burn better too.
How to Dry Firewood Properly
You can dry your firewood in a seasoning shed during the summer for use in the fall and winter. These structures are designed to dry wood more quickly than leaving them outside. Depending on how much wood you need, there are various shed sizes to meet your wood quota.