Properly storing and seasoning firewood is essential for a long-lasting supply. The first step is choosing a well-ventilated, dry, and convenient location to store the firewood. Seasoning the firewood involves drying out freshly cut green wood by splitting it, cutting it into smaller pieces, stacking it in a dry, well-ventilated spot, and waiting at least six months for it to dry properly before burning it. Once the firewood is dry, it should be stored properly by elevating it off the ground, ensuring enough airflow, covering the pile, keeping it away from the house, and using a firewood rack.
How to Safely Store and Season Firewood for a Long-lasting Supply
If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, having a good supply of firewood is essential for warmth during the winter months. However, storing and seasoning firewood properly is critical to keeping your firewood dry, safe, and long-lasting. In this article, we’ll provide you with some simple tips on how to safely store and season firewood for a long-lasting supply.
Choosing the Right Location for Storing Firewood
The first step to proper firewood storage involves choosing the right location. The ideal location should be well-ventilated, dry and convenient. You should try to avoid placing firewood near your home, so it does not attract unwanted pests or rodents. The floor of the storage area should be elevated and flat, so the firewood does not come into contact with damp soil.
Seasoning Your Firewood
Seasoning is the process of drying out freshly cut green wood to lower its moisture content below 20%. By doing so, you make the wood lighter, more efficient, and easier to burn. Here are a few tips for properly seasoning your firewood:
Split the wood:
Splitting the wood makes it easier to stack and improves its drying process. Try to split it as soon as possible after cutting the tree down.
Cut it into smaller pieces:
Smaller pieces of wood will dry more quickly. Aim to cut the wood into lengths of around 16 inches.
Stack the firewood in a dry, well-ventilated spot:
Stack the firewood bark-side up and leave enough space between each piece to allow air to circulate.
Cover the pile but leave the sides open:
Covering the pile will protect the wood from rain and snow, but the sides should stay open to promote proper airflow.
Wait at least six months:
Freshly cut wood can have a moisture content of around 50% or more. The ideal moisture content for firewood is less than 20%, so make sure you wait at least six months for the wood to dry properly before burning it.
Storing Your Firewood Properly
Once your firewood is dry, it’s important to store it properly to ensure it remains dry. Here are a few handy tips to help you store your firewood safely:
Elevate the Firewood:
It’s essential to elevate the firewood off the ground to prevent moisture from the soil from seeping into the wood. Use pallets, cinder blocks or bricks to create a base for the firewood.
Ensure that there’s enough airflow around the firewood by stacking the wood in a way that allows air to circulate.
Cover the pile:
Cover the pile with a waterproof covering (tarpaulin, plastic sheet, or canvas) to keep rain and snow from soaking the wood.
Keep the firewood away from the house:
Store your firewood at least 30 feet away from your home to prevent pests and rodents from entering your property.
Use a firewood rack:
Firewood racks are a great way to keep your firewood organized, clean, and easily accessible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to season firewood?
It takes about six months to a year for firewood to season properly.
Can I store firewood in my garage?
Storing firewood in your garage or any indoor location is not advised. Firewood can attract pests and rodents, and it could also create a fire hazard in the event of an accidental combustion.
Is it okay to burn unseasoned firewood?
Burning unseasoned firewood can create creosote buildup in your chimney and increase the risk of a dangerous chimney fire.
In conclusion, the key to a long-lasting, safe firewood supply is proper storage, seasoning, and ventilation. With these tips and by following the guidelines we’ve outlined, you can safely and efficiently store your firewood and keep your home warm all winter long.