Building fires is a great way to offset some of your home’s heating expenses in the winter. Rather than relying strictly on your central heating or furnace, you can light your fireplace. With that said, it’s important to store your firewood in a safe, dry area.
Improper storage of firewood will reduce its burning efficiency while contributing to rot and decay. So, what’s the right way to store firewood?
When firewood is properly seasoned, it has moisture content below 20%. This means the wood is only 20% saturated with moisture. As the moisture content of firewood increased beyond this point, it presents new problems.
For starters, overly saturated firewood creates excess smoke when burned – something you probably want to avoid when building fires. Secondly, moisture encourages rot and decay. Furthermore, insects are attracted to moist, decaying firewood.
Keep It Off the Ground
You can keep your firewood dry by storing it off the ground. Some homeowners are guilty of storing large stacks of firewood on the ground next to their house.
Doing so, however, increases the risk of moisture. Water from the ground will seep into the firewood, saturating the wood and contributing to problems mentioned above.
To protect your firewood from moisture-related damage, build a raised platform on which to store it. A few 2x4s and a sheet of plywood should suffice. As long as your firewood is off the ground, it won’t absorb moisture from the soil.
In addition to storing your firewood off the ground, you should also cover it. When firewood is exposed to the rain, snow and elements, it will inevitably absorb moisture. There are a few ways to cover firewood outdoors, one of which is to place a tarp over it.
The problem with a tarp, however, is that it can actually trap moisture. If you’re going to use a tarp, secure it to the ground while leaving the sides somewhat open so that air can flow through.
A better solution is to build a covered shelter for your firewood. A small shed, for instance, will shelter your firewood and protect it from the elements. If building a shed sounds like too much work, you can always buy a pre-fabricated shed.
Of course, you can expect to pay a premium for pre-fabricated sheds, whereas building your own shed costs just a fraction of the price.
Following these tips will keep your firewood dry, allowing you to get more use out of it.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or