If you own a woodburning fireplace or stove, you want to ensure you store enough dry firewood to keep that fire crackling all winter long. Here we offer tips on how to properly season, store and keep your firewood dry.
How to Season Firewood
Seasoning is the method used to reduce the water content found in wood. When firewood is first cut, the green wood can contain more than 60% water. You can tell your firewood is green when it is hard to light and also burns slowly. It tends to sputter and sizzle and not provide very much heat. You want to ensure you aren’t burning unseasoned wood because it creates more creosote buildup in your flue, which increases the risk for fire.
To season your wood, it simply takes time. However, we’re talking six months to a year to reduce the moisture content down to a suitable level of just 20%. To speed up the process you can split the wood. This allows the moisture to evaporate when exposed to air and sun while also discouraging infestation.
Don’t worry, when you buy firewood from Van Beek’s Landscape Supply, we take care of all of the seasoning for you.
How to Stack Firewood
Proper stacking is also the best way of keeping firewood dry. For the best results, follow these steps:
Choose the Right Spot
Choose a spot that doesn’t block your way to areas on your property you have to reach frequently. Also, choose a spot that won’t take up space that you might need to use for other things. You don’t want to have to walk too far from the house in the dead of winter to fetch the wood. Avoid stacking it against any part of your home including your garage or shed as this can attract termites. There might also be local building codes that dictate how much space is required between your structure and the woodpile.
Choose the Right Surroundings
When storing your wood outdoors, you want to consider the surroundings. First, sunlight is always best as it dries the wood faster and keeps it drier longer. Don’t place your wood directly on the soil, as it will stop air circulation. Instead, place it on a tarp or plastic sheet. Even better, place it on a raised platform to encourage air circulation such as a pair or 2 x 4s. Also never stack logs under trees as this exposes them to dripping water.
Be Careful with Placement
It is always best to keep the woodpile as neat and secure as possible. Because of this, it might seem best to lean it against a fence or wall. However, you want to leave at least a few inches between structures to keep that air circulating. As well, you should keep a few neat stacks instead of one massive stack to improve air circulation. Keep stacks a few inches apart. For safety purposes, you also want to avoid stacking them higher than four feet.
How to Cover Firewood Outside
With unpredictable weather, the best way to keep your wood dry is to cover it with a tarp or plastic sheet. This will avoid moisture build-up from snow, ice and rain. Allow the sides to be exposed to keep up air circulation. By covering it up completely you’ll allow moisture to build up and the wood will become damp again even if it is well seasoned.
You can also consider creating a wood storage shed. It provides a cover to protect from the elements, a raised floor to avoid moisture build-up and proper air circulation.