A good fire needs good firewood. That means dry, seasoned firewood that has been cut to size for your fireplace. If you’ve spent your spring and summer prepping firewood for your fireplace or woodstove, or if you’ve had a winter’s worth of wood delivered, you will need to store your seasoned firewood properly to avoid, as improperly stored firewood can absorb moisture, rot or attract rodents.
To prevent spoiling your firewood or attracting pests to your woodpile or home, there are some general guidelines you should follow when storing your firewood.
Don’t wait to stack your firewood.
Stacking firewood can be a time consuming task. If your wood has been delivered into a messy heap, or if you’ve just finished cutting logs, it can be tempting to leave them where they lie until you have more time, until the weather is nicer or until you have some help. But leaving your firewood in a heap on the ground gives it time to mold, rot or pick up pests. Always stack your firewood as soon as it is ready.
Choose a spot away from your home.
It seems to make sense that you would store your firewood near your home, where it can be quickly and easily fetched when needed. It saves you from trudging across the yard in snow or rain, or in the dark. While it is important to find a convenient spot to store your firewood, firewood should not be stored against your home or in your garage. That can introduce pests, like termites to your home, introducing a risk for home damage.
Keep firewood off of the ground.
Where the firewood comes into contact with the ground, it allows for the bottom logs to pick up moisture and rot, and it allows for easy entry by pests. There are storage racks made just for firewood, or you can place wooden beams on the ground underneath you firewood pile to keep it elevated.
Stack your firewood in a single, loose layer.
Wood takes up a lot of space. When you are stacking your firewood, resist the temptation to tightly pack it or to stack it too high or too deep. Air should be able to circulate around the wood to keep it dry and prevent rot. Making your firewood stack too large, meanwhile, can pose a safety risk.
Keep your firewood covered.
An uncovered woodpile is fine while the wood is still curing. Once it has dried, however, it should be covered to prevent it from reabsorbing moisture. A solid rain on an uncovered woodpile can make your wood unusable for weeks. Ideally, store your wood under a shelter. If that’s not possible, cover your woodpile with a well-secured tarp to keep it dry all winter.
When you properly store your seasoned firewood, you will be well set up for a season full of warm, cozy and efficient fires.