Where do you typically store your unused firewood? Assuming it’s dry, high-quality firewood can last for years — but only if it’s stored in the right area. Unfortunately, many homeowners overlook the importance of proper firewood storage. They assume their firewood will last regardless of where it’s stored. To keep your firewood dry and safe to burn, though, you must follow some basic precautions when storing it.
The Importance of Storing Your Firewood in the Right Area
You can’t store your firewood just anywhere and expect it to last. It must be stored in a dry area to maintain a low moisture content. If you’re guilty of storing your firewood in a wet or humid area, its moisture content will increase, which can degrade its performance and overall quality.
When trees grow in the wild, they absorb water from the ground through their roots. As a result, freshly harvested wood, also known as green or fresh wood, holds a lot of water. It’s not uncommon for freshly harvested wood to have a moisture content of 100% or higher. To achieve a better burning experience, the wood must be dried before it can be sold and used as firewood. Once dried, the firewood may have a moisture content of just 10% to 20%. But if you store your firewood in a wet or humid area, its moisture content will rise back up, resulting in several potential problems.
Storing your firewood in a wet or humid area may result in the following problems:
- Difficult to light
- Low heat production
- Attracts pests
- Encourages mold growth
- Shorter lifespan for your firewood
- Contributes to creosote buildup
- Creates more emissions when burned
Store Your Firewood Off the Ground
When storing your firewood outdoors, make sure that it’s off the ground. Why can’t you store firewood on the ground exactly? Well, if it’s directly on the ground, it will absorb moisture from the underlying soil. It probably won’t absorb any significant amount of moisture after sitting on the ground for a day or so. However, if you store your firewood on the ground for several weeks or longer, you can expect its moisture content to increase, thereby causing the problems listed above.
A wood deck is an excellent place to store firewood. It doesn’t have to be particularly high off the ground. On the contrary, even if your deck is just a few inches off the ground, it will stick serve as a barrier between your firewood and the moisture-rich soil. If you don’t have a wood deck, you can store your firewood on concrete. A small concrete slab offers a simple and effective surface on which to store firewood.
Keep Your Firewood Covered
In addition to being off the ground, you should also cover your firewood when storing it outdoors. Whether you live on the East Coast, the West Coast or somewhere in a middle state, you won’t have the luxury of experiencing clear blue skies all 365 days a year. On some days, it will rain or snow. And unless there’s a cover over your firewood, moisture will make its way into your firewood on these rainy or snowy days.
You can cover your stored firewood in one of several ways. If your patio has a roof, for example, you can store your firewood underneath it for complete protection against the elements. Alternatively, you can install an awning over your patio to provide coverage. An awning is a retractable roof that’s typically made of a waterproof fabric. As a result, it’s usually cheaper to install an awning than it is to build a patio roof.
A conventional waterproof tarp can protect your firewood from the elements as well. After stacking your firewood in an area where it’s off the ground — a wood deck, concrete slab, etc. — cover it with a tarp. Just remember to secure the tarp in place so that it doesn’t blow away. Simply tossing the tarp over your firewood stack won’t suffice. If there’s a strong wind gust, it may fly off while leaving your firewood vulnerable to the elements.
Consider Storing Kiln Dried Firewood Indoors
You don’t have to store your firewood outdoors. Assuming it’s been kiln dried, you can store it indoors where it’s easier and more convenient to access. Kiln dried firewood is the driest variety of firewood on the market. It contains about half the moisture of air-dried firewood, allowing for a superior burning performance with more heat and less emissions. Furthermore, kiln dried firewood doesn’t suffer from mold or pests like other fresh firewood or air-dried firewood. When other varieties of firewood are stored indoors, they may develop mold and/or attract pests.
Don’t assume that firewood is safe to store indoors just because it looks dry. Unless it’s been kiln dried, it will probably harbor a substantial amount of moisture, making it an attractive source of food for fungus and pests. If you’re planning to store your firewood indoors, make sure it’s kiln dried firewood and not fresh firewood or air-dried firewood. With kiln dried firewood, you can rest assured knowing that it won’t develop mold nor will it attract pests inside your home.
Of course, you can store kiln dried firewood outdoors, but most homeowners prefer storing it indoors for greater convenience. By storing your kiln dried firewood indoors, you’ll be able to access it more easily. You won’t have to make back-and-forth trips outside your home. When you want to build a fire, you can grab a few kiln dried logs from right inside your home.
Use a Small Firewood Rack for Added Convenience
You can easily store kiln dried firewood next to your fireplace — or elsewhere inside your home — using one of the small firewood racks offered here at Cutting Edge Firewood. At 3 feet by 3 feet by 10 inches, it’s the perfect size for indoor usage. Featuring a heavy-duty metal design with an added canvas cover, the small firewood rack offers an ideal storage solution for firewood. It supports about one Cutting Edge Rack of Firewood, which is enough to build over a half-dozen fires. Its small yet accommodating size makes it the perfect indoor storage solution for your firewood.
The small firewood rack is also slightly elevated, meaning your firewood won’t touch your floors. If you place firewood directly on the floor, it will likely leave behind a trail of debris. Granted, you can easily clean firewood debris using a vacuum cleaner or broom, but a better idea is to store your firewood off the floors. Using the small firewood rack, you’ll have an easier time maintaining clean floors inside your home.
Whether you’re planning to use it inside your fireplace, fire pit, backyard or elsewhere, you must store your firewood in a dry area. If it’s stored in wet or area humid area, its moisture content will increase. This can lead to a whole world of new problems, such as creosote buildup, mold growth, pets and more. Thankfully, you can avoid these problems by storing your firewood in a dry area where it’s not exposed to water or high humidity.
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