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.
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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