When you use firewood to heat your home, it is important to store it correctly until it is used. If not, it is in danger of being damaged, for example by getting wet.
The type of wood needs to considered when storing wood. Hardwood, such as oak, beech and ash, will burn for longer, but it takes 1-2 years to dry out. Softwood, such as cedar, red pine and fir, grows faster, dries quicker and is lightweight, but you need a larger quantity of it.
How to Store Firewood
The wood should be chopped into pieces approximately 25cm in length. They should also be chopped in half lengthways, to expose a greater amount of surface area, which will promote faster drying.
The firewood should be kept under cover, off the ground and with good air flow, to ensure that it dries out properly. Otherwise, water can seep in from the ground and cause mould, as well as attracting insects and other creatures, all of which can lead to decay. Putting plastic sheeting over a pile of logs is not suitable because it does not allow air to gain access, so it will not be able to dry.
There are a variety of things to consider when deciding how to store your firewood.
One of the most important factors is space. You will need to take into account the amount of wood you will need to store and how much room will be needed to keep it together.
For those with a large garden, the exact location of any storage will have to be decided. Factors to take into consideration for this includes the distance from the house – especially during the winter when access will be needed more frequently. Other things that may influence your decision may be the location of the door through which you will take the wood into the house, do you have a location that naturally allows air and cover at the same time?
Firewood can be stored between two mature trees. This requires the placement of something on the ground so the firewood is not sitting directly on the ground. The wood should be stacked carefully, up to a maximum of 4ft, because if it is any higher there is a risk of it falling over. A cover should be placed over the wood to shield it from any rain and snow, being careful to leave space for air to flow around the logs. Any firewood stored in this way should be used within one year, otherwise it may have an impact on the trees surrounding it.
If you want to store some firewood close to your house, a rack can be used. Wooden ohese are relatively easy to build and can be lifted by two people. Metal ones can be also purchased. A firewood rack is a U-shaped frame which can be placed against a wall and used to hold wood.
Log stores are often the most reliable way of storing firewood. The size of these can vary widely, but all follow the same principles. They are essentially three-sided sheds, with wooden sides. Some may consist of planks with gaps between them to allow for ventilation, some may have a concrete floor and some may have a metal roof. Other variations are also available. The roof will usually slant backwards to allow rain to be diverted away from the wood, and the open front of such stores provides a constant air flow around the wood.
There are many factors to take into account when using and storing firewood, but when done properly, it can be a very efficient, and cost-effective, way of heating your home.