Perhaps for the first time you’ve purchased or leased a new home with a gorgeous fireplace and you are ready to buy firewood and get yourself prepared for a warm winter season. The days of toasty living rooms and cozy evenings are wonderfully stretched out before you. At first glance, there does not seem to be much one needs to know and do for proper firewood storage. You cut it down yourself or purchase bundles from a dealer or your local Home Depot, crisscross on the ends, pile it up according to what “looks right,” cover it up to sufficiently protect it from the elements (should it be outdoors) and that about sums up firewood storage.
Unfortunately, firewood storage is not quite that easy. If your firewood is not appropriately cared for, stacked well and stored properly, there are many hazardous issues that can occur. Piles that are not arranged efficiently can certainly tumble and fall, causing damage to surrounding structures or even you, your family, or pets. Unkept piles can attract house ants, termites, or other perilous insect infestations. And let us not forget, quality firewood is quite the financial investment. You obviously do not want to lose money due to negligence.
“many states have rules and regulations about distances from which firewood can come”
First and foremost, you need to know what type of firewood to buy and the terminology. Going to the time and effort of firewood storage won’t even matter if you’ve not acquired the best firewood for the job. You should always buy wood from a local dealer, within 10 miles or less. Almost all experts will tell you that moving wood from another area or state will increase your chances of the aforementioned risks (bugs, infections, etc.) In fact, many states have rules and regulations about distances from which firewood can come.
Once firewood has been cut, it’s considered “green.” Green firewood is extremely wet and its weight is mostly moisture and sap. Wood needs to be low in moisture, roughly a quarter of its weight, to be used as firewood and burn properly, which means it is “seasoned.” Seasoned firewood happens naturally once it has been cut, stacked and stored accurately. It has to be kept out of the elements (rain especially) and kept in an area that is well circulated, so air can play its part. The more air circulation available, the quicker the wood will dry. Contingent upon your local environment (temperatures and humidity) and the species of wood you’ve purchased, wood takes six months to a year to be suitably seasoned and ready to use.
Firewood should always been stored at least 10 feet away from your house or any other structure. This way, if the firewood does become infected, it will not spread. Many experts agree that wood should also be elevated at least six inches, keeping it protected from the ground’s moisture content. Be sure to keep the area well kept and clean of leaves and/or weeds, which will help deter rodents, snakes, and insects.
Perhaps Firewood Storage is best accomplished with the use of an outdoor firewood rack, a firewood shed, and/or a firewood cover?
Many people like storing wood inside the home, not only for convenience, but also for aesthetics and environment. Wood looks nice and smells good, after all. A quick search on Pinterest or DIY blogs provide numerous attractive and handy storage tips and tricks for indoors. If you do choose to bring a stack of wood inside, make sure it is a small amount, as a larger quantity can encourage fungi and insects.
Firewood storage, albeit not as simple as it may appear at first, is not overly complicated. Just follow these easy to follow tips and never hesitate to ask local experts or employees at the hardware and home stores.