TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR FIREWOOD STASH DRY AND CLEANOctober 3, 2018
If you have a wood burning stove, firewood becomes your most important resource. It is the primary source of warmth for you and your family during the winter. However, if improperly taken care of, it can get wet or rot due to moisture, which renders it useless in times of need. Wet firewood takes forever to catch fire and produces a lot of smoke, which can is bad for your lungs. Rotten firewood on the other hand could produce toxic gasses when set ablaze. This is the main reason why it is of paramount importance that you take the time to make sure your stash of wood remains clean and dry.
The first step is to make sure you have stored the firewood correctly. Here are a few storage tips to help you keep your stash in top shape:
Make sure you have access to it
Keep it as close to the house as possible. When choosing a place to store your firewood, always go for accessibility and convenience. This is not only because you will need to get to it quickly during winter, but also to make it easy for you when it comes to monitoring the state it is in. When stored far away from the house, you might need to purchase a wheelbarrow to transport it. You might also forget to take time to inspect it for defects and make sure is in good shape.
Keep it elevated
Make sure the firewood does not touch the soil when in storage. The main reason for this is because it will rot a lot quicker. When it lies on the ground, bacteria, mould and insects will have access to it and can wreak havoc. Bacteria and mould are the main causes of rot in wood and are responsible for a lot of firewood going to waste. Insects in the other hand drill holes and burrow in your firewood, rendering it useless. To keep your firewood safe, store it in surfaces like concrete and clean gravel which are not conducive for the destructive elements. You can also elevate the firewood using sticks or metal bars and lay a waterproof tarp underneath it to keep it dry. When using a tarp, ensure that it is tied down or at least weighed down with some bricks or concrete blocks. You should also leave some room on the sides of the tarp to allow for air to circulate.
A good way to make sure the firewood is elevated correctly is by using 2×4 boards, which can be bought at any hardware store. Lay the boards in the ground at a distance of about 35 to 40 centimetres apart. Use as many of the boards as you need to accommodate your entire stash of wood, and be keen to lay it parallel to the boards when stacking it.
Make use of structures in your home
A good place to store your firewood would be an outside shed. Being basically as secure as a house in some ways, the shed will protect your firewood from the elements such as rain, frost, and moisture in the air. It will also be a barrier between your firewood and the ground, since the shed already has a proper floor, made of either concrete or gravel. Most importantly, the shed floor is always dry. If you do not have a shed, you can repurpose a portion of your garage towards housing your firewood. This solves the problems of protection and accessibility.
Use the empty space in your house
Some people have unused spaces in their homes, where they decide to store firewood. Most of the time, this is the safest place to keep it, since it literally gets the same housing as you. It is also within arm’s length and you can get to it whenever you want. Some of the places that people have been known to store firewood include;
- An old trunk that they never use anymore. This requires a larger one though, to accommodate as much wood as possible.
- A space near the fireplace. Some fireplaces have inbuilt compartments specifically set aside for this purpose.
Before you store it in your house, it is imperative that you make sure the firewood is dry. This is one of the reasons why you should always buy your firewood from a reputable establishment, since it takes about 6 months to dry it sufficiently.
Stack the firewood correctly
One of the best ways to make sure the quality of your firewood remains great is by stacking it the right way. Most people make the mistake of piling the wood together until they need it. This can encourage moisture and rot. Stacking on the other hand promotes better air circulation and keeps your wood fresh. It is important to remember when stacking is that when it is done outside, you should leave about 6 inches from any walls. Walls encourage bacteria and mould which we are trying to protect the wood from.