Firewood Storage

Wood burning is a great way to heat your home or for outdoor fires, but firewood is bulky and can take up a lot of space. Fortunately, firewood storage is not very complicated. It may seem like storing wood is a no brainer, you just put it somewhere, cover it up, and be done with it until it’s time to burn it. It actually is almost that simple, but there are a few things you should know to avoid potential problems and to have the best quality wood.

The main objectives, when storing firewood, are to keep your wood safe, clean, dry and convenient.

First you should check with your local government bureaucrats and/or the fire department to check if there are any zoning laws or recommendations in your area regarding storing firewood. In some areas, firewood is required to be stored certain distances away from structures. The idea is if the wood was to catch fire, it could be a danger to nearby structures. In wildfire prone areas this is especially important.

Drying Firewood and Keeping it Dry

For proper wood burning, your wood should be dry. If you have wet or green wood, you are going to want to store it in way that helps it to dry. The most important thing you can do to allow your wood to dry is give it plenty of air circulation.

I see people making this common mistake. They get a load of wet or green wood and the first thing they do is cover the whole pile with a tarp. In trying to keep it dry, what they are actually doing is inhibiting air circulation and ensuring it will stay wet. If your wood is wet or green, leave it uncovered out in the sun, if possible. This way the sun and air can dry it. Learn more about drying firewood.

Once the wood is dry, you will then want it covered if it there is going to be wet weather. Storing wood in a shed is great, or any covered area. That will be drier and more convenient than leaving it outside under a tarp. But if you don’t have an appropriate structure, you can leave it outside and cover the wood with a tarp.

Stacking Firewood

Should you stack firewood or leave it in a big heaping pile? That is up to you. I leave most of my wood in a pile. But then I produce wood commercially so it becomes too big of a job to stack that much wood. But for what a person would use to heat their home, it is often worth stacking the wood.

Stacking firewood can help the wood dry faster. It helps to keep it off the ground and up in the air where it can be exposed to better air circulation and sun, where available. Stacked wood also looks nicer and takes up less space and has a smaller footprint.

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8 thoughts on “Firewood Storage”

  1. Reading my way around the internet, there are innumerable admonishments NOT to store wood near the house–not because of fire, but because insects will migrate from the wood into your house. Nobody gave an example of this actually happening but they were saying things like 20 feet away from house etc. Hmmm. I have a carport. It makes sense to store it there. I wouldn’t actually lean it against the walls of the house, but several inches away. What do you advise?

  2. A lot of people advise a lot of things based on government recommendations, regulations or worst case scenarios. It’s the unfortunate result of an over litigious society. But as you said, I too have never heard any catastrophic example of insects invading a house because firewood was stacked too close, and I see people stack wood close to their house walls all the time. I am sure it could happen. If the wood is full of carpenter ants or termites, maybe not such a good idea. I can’t recommend you violate any local government regulations or building codes, but I can see how a carport would be a tempting place to stack wood. Maybe someone else can post any experiences they have had with this.

  3. What would cause stacked firewood to catch fire; no it wasn’t arson or a wayward spark. The fire started in the center of the stack that was approximately 4 feet high and 8 feet wide.

  4. I have used a fully made metal carport for storing wood, worked great for me. 3 rows deep on each side with walkway down the center. Keeps the snow off. I would recommend burning from one side then next year burn the other side of wood. This allows all wood to dry well and not get punky. I also installed tarps around December on the sides and front to keep out drifting snow.

    Personally I would not recommend if the carport is made of wood. insects might invade the structure.

    Highly recommend placing the wood up on pallets to promote air circulation.

    When cutting the wood who is going to pick up a log full of carpenter ants and take that home??? Spiders and other bugs maybe. I just spray in the fall and create a dead zone and insects go the other way away from the home.

    Stay warm
    martin

  5. I burn about 3 cords a year and run into carpenter ants frequently among other pests. When I am cutting,splitting,hauling and stacking I keep Ortho Max (Lowes,HomeDepot,Menards etc)handy and use it liberally. Stuff lasts a long while and really keeps the bugs off. I like it better than the powders because of my dogs.

  6. I LIVE IN NORTH WEST FL AND HAVE USED WOOD FOR HEAT FOR 30 YRS I STACK IT IN A WOOD RACK ON THE BACK DECK NEXT TO THE HOUSE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH BUGS OR ANTS

  7. I liked that you had mentioned that leaving wood in a large stack can help it dry easier. I’ve been looking into buying firewood for a pit that I have in my backyard and I wasn’t sure how to store it if I bought a large amount. It’s good to know that if I buy in bulk that I’ll be able to store the wood in a large pile and in the case where it gets wet that it’ll still dry relatively quickly. https://ryansn..resolut….

  8. Actually that’s not what I said. You made this whole thing up so you can try to sneak a link into your website, which I have disabled. Comments are always welcome but please don’t spam the site.

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