For the warmest, cleanest, and longest lasting fires, you should only burn seasoned firewood, which is wood that has been allowed to dry for at least six months after it has been cut. To keep your firewood sufficiently seasoned, it is important to store it properly. You can completely undo all of those months of seasoning by not following some simple firewood storage guidelines. When you do not properly store your supply of firewood, it can become wet, grow mold and other types of fungus, and even rot. All Seasons Chimney & Masonry wants you to be able to keep your firewood seasoned and ready to provide warm and cozy fires all winter long, which is why we would like to tell you how to properly store this fuel if you do not have a storage shed.
Keep your firewood off the ground.
Stacking your firewood directly on the ground is one of the best ways to ruin your fuel supply. The wood easily absorbs moisture from the ground, and this can make your seasoned firewood useless. The ground moisture also increases the risk of mold and other types of fungus growing on the wood, and burning moldy firewood can be extremely hazardous to your health. You may think that if you do not have a firewood storage shed that your only alternative is to store the wood on the ground, but there are a couple of easy and inexpensive ways to keep your firewood off of the ground. Old pallets make excellent surfaces for stacking firewood, and you can stack your wood on top of gravel or concrete blocks.
Make sure air can circulate around the stacks.
Covering your stacks of firewood with a tarp is crucial to protect your fuel from rain and snow, but you should only cover the tops of the stacks and not the sides. Air needs to be able to circulate through and around the stacks to keep the wood dry. Covering the sides with your tarp will trap moisture inside, which can ruin seasoned wood. Forestry recommends alternating the direction of the logs for each layer to increase the flow of air through the stacks.
Choose a location at least ten feet away from your home.
While you may want your firewood as close to your house as possible to make the chore of bringing in firewood easier, you will want to keep your firewood at least ten feet away from your house, especially from the foundation. The reason for this has to do with the fact that insects and rodents tend to live in wood piles. While most of these critters are just annoyances, some insects like termites and carpenter ants can do serious damage to your home. You really do not want to risk an infestation of these insects just because you want your firewood stored right outside your door.
Make sure you are properly storing your seasoned firewood this winter. Contact us at All Seasons Chimney & Masonry for any of your fireplace and chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs.