When storing firewood it’s important to choose the correct storage method to protect your hard work and investment. The last thing you want to do is throw it into a big pile and expect it to be ready for winter.
Lets face it, mother nature can be tough. Wood in particular is very susceptible to the elements like rain and snow.
Improperly stored wood could lead to wet, unseasoned wood that’s prone to decay. Plus, a big ole pile of wood looks pretty appealing to all sorts of animals and bugs who are looking for a place to hide……not exactly what you want.
Firewood that comes into contact with the ground is exposed to moisture and insects which increases the rate of decay. Over time this wood will become nearly useless. Moisture also increases the odds of mold growing on your firewood.
Properly stacked firewood will last a lot longer than a pile in the middle of your yard. Unless your stacking directly on concrete you should start off by laying a couple 2×4’s on the ground parallel to each other about 12-14 inches apart. 2×4’s work good because they get the wood off the ground and they are inexpensive. Wooden pallets also work good.
Next, lay the wood in a row on top of the 2×4’s. Stack the wood tight together to make it stable. The row can be any length but try to limit the height to around 4 feet. Anything taller could get unstable and fall over.
If you don’t have a tree or a post on each end of the pile you will have to taper the ends back gradually to prevent an avalanche of sliding wood. Using a metal t-post pounded in the ground on each end works well and they’re fairly cheap to buy.
Stacking the wood in a criss-cross pattern, like a log cabin, works well too. It tends to be more stable that just stacking it in a row, plus it gives better air flow to the wood allowing it to dry quickly. You can use this method to make end supports to replace the metal t-posts.
If your stacking more than one row of wood, keep the rows approximately 6-12 inches apart to allow the air to flow between the stacks. If your stacking under a lean-to or near another structure, stack the wood 6-12 inches away from the structures wall to allow the air to reach the backside of the stack.
If your stack is not under a shelter you can cover the top of the stack with a tarp. Only cover the top and don’t rap the entire stack with the tarp. Air needs to flow around the wood to dry it and moisture needs to be able to escape. Wrapping the whole stack without airflow could cause mold to build up and the wood won’t season properly.