How to Store Firewood for The Winter
Learn techniques for stacking and keeping your wood dry, through harsh winter weather.
It’s important how you store your firewood, not only protecting your home but also the investment you made to heat your house during the cooler months. With these suggestions, you’ll know the proper storage location and care for your firewood.
1. Location is Important
Make sure the firewood is stored at least 30 feet away from your house but close enough to readily access. Remember, you won’t want to hike a mile to get firewood when the wind-chill is below zero. Finally, choose an area that is off the ground, or you can place pallets under the wood to allow for plenty of air circulation to prevent mold and mildew. If you can, a covered firewood shed is ideal.
It’s also critical to not store your wood inside your living area, garage or basement as the wood can attract and contain termites and other pests. You’re probably thinking “what about a small log rack near our fireplace” – that is fine. Be sure to examine the wood for bugs before taking it inside, particularly if it won’t be burned immediately.
2. Drying and Seasoning the Wood:
For most homeowners, if you’re purchasing the wood from someone, chances are the drying and seasoning process is complete. This is more for the homeowners that have chopped the wood and it’s still green and not ready for the fireplace. The drying process can take time, often months, but it all depends on the type of tree and the environment – A sunny area with wind is key.
Here are some ways you’ll know if the wood is ready to use:
- Wood is dark brown, gray or hint of yellow
- Small cracks around the edges near bark
- Knock wood against another piece of wood, it makes a high-pitched noise
If reasonable, stay ahead if you’re chopping the wood yourself to provide plenty of time for drying. And, while you’re between the chopping and stacking stage, cover the wood with a tarp to cover it if rain is in the forecast.
3. Stack the Firewood
Before you begin stacking, make sure the storage area is level, stable and off the ground. If you’re located in an area prone to rain, be sure to stack the firewood with the bark facing the ground. For those of you in Vermont or locations with snowy winters, stack the wood with the bark facing the sky.
Stack the larger pieces of wood near the bottom of the pile, in level rows. Continue to check the pile as you stack to ensure it’s not leaning – this will help avoid disasters, trust us. As you stack, keep air gaps between the rows to help the air flow. Finally, remember not to stack the pile so high that you won’t be able to reach the wood when you need it. We recommend no higher than 4 feet since wood tends to shift as it dries and taller stacks can pose a threat to children and pets.
4. Keep it Covered
This is important. Make sure you cover the wood to protect it from harsh rain, snow or ice throughout the winter. This can be done by storing your wood in an open storage shed that allows wind flow through opposite sides, covering the wood with a tarp or purchasing a firewood rack cover large enough to fit the pile.
If you’re looking for a firewood storing solution, Livingston Farm has a vast variety of firewood sheds and add-on wood storage products that can attach to any outdoor structure, such as a shed or garage. To learn more about our products, feel free to give us a call or submit the form below.
Ready to get started on your next landscaping project or interested in designing your new outdoor shed? We have various specials and current savings happening now at our Bristol, VT location. Feel free to give us a call at 802.382.0992, complete the contact form below or swing by our location. We’re located at 40 South Route 116, Bristol, VT 05443 – just a short drive from Middlebury and Burlington, VT.