How to Store Firewood and How to Season Firewood
Knowing how to season firewood and knowing how to store firewood to keep it dry will make your wood will help provide better quality dry wood and can save you money. Dry firewood burns cleaner with less smoke and creosote and produces more heat from less wood.
One of the most important factors in drying and keeping your firewood dry is air circulation. To ensure proper drying your firewood should be stored in a well ventilated location. One of the most common mistakes people make is to pile their firewood directly on the ground and cover the whole pile with a tarp or plastic sheeting all the way to the ground. Covering the whole pile all the way to the ground just seals moisture inside and encourages mold and decay.
When possible keep your firewood away from direct soil contact to help keep it dry and clean. If you are going to store it on the ground place something on the ground first such as a tarp or plastic sheeting for a moisture barrier. Just about anything that will hold it up off the ground away from the soil will work, plywood, lumber, poles or even well drained gravel is better than soil.
If you cover your pile with a tarp cover the top but keep plenty of the sides exposed so the air can circulate under the cover to allow the moisture can escape. Some of the pieces of wood that are exposed on the sides may get wet when it rains but the wood inside under the tarp will stay much drier than if you had the pile covered all the way to the ground.
If your wood is already wet or green covering it with a tarp is usually pointless and will just encourage mold. It’s best to let it dry first in the open air or under a roof type of structure.
Covering your wood with metal roofing is a great alternative to tarps or plastic sheets.
One of the best ways to ensure air circulation is to stack your wood in a row or rows. When stacking against a solid surface such as a wall or fence stack it a few inches away from the surface. Also when stacking rows next to each other keep the rows a few inches apart. This allows space for air to circulate on both sides. Or even better just stack one row by itself in a way where the whole side of it will be exposed to the sun.
If you store your firewood inside a structure such as a shed make sure it is well ventilated so plenty or air can flow through. A lean-to, patio, carport or open walled shed is better for drying firewood than an enclosed wall shed.
If you have green firewood it is usually best to store it outside exposed to the wind and the sun until it is seasoned. If you store your firewood in a shed it is best to let it season outside in the sun before putting it in the shed.
When stacking firewood safety should be a priority. Make sure your stacks are stable so they will not tip over. Stacking firewood more than 4 feet high is asking for trouble. Keep a space between the stacks for proper drying but keep the space small enough to prevent children or pets from crawling between them, they could get stuck. Keep children away from and DO NOT let then climb on firewood stacks.