Do you have a wood-burning fire pit or stove? If so, then you need to keep in mind that the way you store your firewood is much more important than you may think. Failure to store wood the right way may result in a wide range of issues, including bug infestations and mold growth. The moisture content in your wood may also increase, causing it not to burn as well as you would like. You must always strive to keep the moisture content below 20% for a clean and efficient burn.
So, how should I store wood in my backyard? Well, there are lots of things you can do to ensure your wood is stored neatly and correctly. Don’t cover your wood unless it is fully dry. Keep your stack stable by avoiding straight, vertical rows. Don’t stack your wood against a wooden building’s wall, and don’t spray it with insecticide because almost all insecticides are flammable and could easily flare up on your face. It is also critical to ensure your wood is seasoned well and stored in a nice spot close enough to your fireplace.
This blog post discusses everything you need to know about storing wood in your backyard. Read on to learn more.
What Is the Problem of Storing Firewood?
Before we dive deep into discussing how you should store your wood, let’s first take a look at the potential problems that can arise from improper storage.
One of the biggest problems is an increase in the moisture content of the wood. When thcis happens, the wood doesn’t burn as well, and it can also lead to the growth of mold and other pests.
Additionally, if you don’t store your wood the right way, it can easily become a fire hazard.
The best way to avoid these problems is by following the tips that we have outlined below:
1. Choose the Right Storage Spot
One of the most critical things when storing wood in your backyard is choosing an appropriate storage spot. You want to choose an area that is not too intrusive of your backyard but still close enough to your house or furnace.
This is critical because carrying firewood to your fireplace or wood furnace every day can be labor-intensive and time-consuming. So, do yourself a favor and store the wood in the closest practical location in relation to the exact location of your fireplace or wood furnace.
You can also use a log carrier to help with the transportation of the split firewood. A log carrier allows you to move several pieces of split wood once and prevents barks, snow, or other debris from falling on your walkways or room floor.
2. Stack Your Wood Properly
Now that you know the potential problems of storing wood improperly, let’s look at how you can stack your wood correctly.
The best way to stack your wood is in a way that will allow the air to circulate around it. This will help the wood dry out properly and reduce the risk of mold growth or pest infestations.
Make sure that the pieces of wood are not too close together and that there is plenty of air circulating around them. You don’t want the wood to be in contact with each other because this will increase the moisture content.
It’s also essential to ensure your stack is stable. Avoid stacking the wood in a way that will create a vertical column. This can easily fall over and cause damage.
Instead, try to create a pyramid-style stack. This will be more stable and less likely to fall over.
3. Keep Your Wood Dry
Most of the moisture in the wood is usually released through the cut ends. It means that one of the most important parts of keeping your stored wood dry is ensuring the cut ends are exposed. You need to keep a close eye on this regardless of the pattern you choose for stacking.
If you decide to create single-row stacks like most people, you need to ensure the cut ends are fully exposed by placing each piece on top of the other with all cut ends facing an outward direction.
Some stacking methods may require you to place each layer of wood facing in opposite directions to increase airflow. In this case, it means that the direction which the cut ends face will most likely vary. There is no need to worry as long as the cut ends are fully exposed.
While it may be tempting to pack your wood as tightly as possible to save on some space, it is critical to resist the urge and stack your wood loosely to allow more air circulation between the rows and logs.
If you are storing split wood, you also need to pay close attention to the direction you stack each piece.
For instance, if you are stacking your wood on the ground and are concerned about the danger of excessive moisture in the soil, stack your wood so that the bark side is facing the ground.
If your stack is not covered, you can help protect the dry wood from snow and rain by stacking it with the bark facing down, which allows snow and rain to run off the wood, eliminating the risk of absorption.
4. Cover the Top of the Stacked Wood
Once you have stacked your wood nicely and everything is looking good, remember to cover the top of the stack with a tarp material. However, don’t cover the entire stack because the tarp will trap moisture in and cause the wood to become moldy.
You should only cover the top part and secure it completely with a several bungee cords so that the material doesn’t get blown away. Your primary objective is to keep snow and rainwater away while allowing the wood enough room to breathe and expel as much moisture as possible.
Consider removing the tarp once in a while to expose your firewood to sunlight for a couple of hours. The sun is perfect for drying the wood and keeping mold growth at bay.
If you cannot afford a tarp, consider laying a couple of scrap pieces of plywood on top of the stack.
5. Use a Foundation
It is critical to keep your firewood dry from all directions. While you need to cover the top of the stack with tarp material to prevent snow and rainwater, there is still a risk of your wood absorbing moisture from the ground.
Therefore, you need to find ways to keep the ground free from excess moisture. You can achieve this by putting a vapor barrier underneath your wood rack, creating a concrete slab foundation, or placing patio stones under the firewood rack.
Any of these options can be an excellent deterrent to ground moisture that may lead to mold growth. Vapor barriers are the quickest and cheapest option. Constructing a concrete slab requires planning and a slightly high budget but provides long-lasting results.
6. Don’t Stack Firewood Against the House
Many people store wood in the backyards by stacking it against their house because it is a relatively convenient location that keeps everything close at hand.
Furthermore, the eaves play a critical role in protecting your wood from rain and snow. These are good reasons to make anyone consider setting up their wood stack next to their house wall.
Unfortunately, this is not a good idea at all. The most important reason you should never consider storing wood anywhere close to your house is that wood is highly flammable. It can be easily ignited by sparks from your barbecue grill, patio fireplace, chimenea, or fire pit.
There is also a risk of creating a habitat for critters near your windows and doors. Snakes, rodents, and insects can also take up residence in the stacks of wood, making it easier for them to find their way into your house.
Stacking piles of wood against your wall is also a bad idea because it inhibits air circulation, leading to high moisture issues. This slows down the drying process for the wood and increases the chances of mold and fungus growth.
If you must stack wood near your house walls, be sure to leave at least five or six inches of space between the wall structure and the wood to facilitate air circulation.
7. Don’t Stack Wood Too High
The height of your woodpile must be limited to approximately four feet, so you don’t compromise the structure’s overall stability.
If you are not using a commercially manufactured wood stacker, consider placing strong posts at each end of your woodpile to prevent it from toppling to one side.
Wooden logs are a great way to add an extra layer of warmth and comfort to your backyard during the colder months. Not only is it nice to have a warm place to relax, but it can also be a cost-effective way to heat your home.
However, if you don’t store your wood correctly, you could run into some serious problems.
We hope you have learned a few tricks and tips on how to store wood in your backyard, and you are now ready to go!