There’s nothing better than relaxing in front of a warm fire in the middle of winter. To ensure that your supply is always ready to go when you need it, make sure you know how to prep firewood and keep it dry and protected during storage. If this is your first time storing seasoned firewood, trust the pros at Colonial Excavating to make sure it’s done right.
Tips for Drying and Preparing Your Firewood
When it comes to prepping your firewood for storage and use, the first thing you’ll have to decide is how you want to season it. This process involves preparing your wood for burning by removing any excess moisture, which has the additional benefit of reducing the chance of mold, decay and staining. Seasoned wood also results in a higher-quality fire. Two of the most common types of seasoning methods are air-drying and kiln-drying.
Air-drying is the more “natural” way to dry your firewood outside, as it does not involve machinery. You just buy green, or unseasoned, wood and leave it somewhere dry for the duration of the process, such as in a shed or under cover in the backyard. You should let the wood dry for at least six months before you plan to use it. Gathering it early will allow the wood time to fall below the 20% moisture threshold, which is key for a successful and efficient burn.
Kiln-drying is the other way to dry out your firewood, but this one allows for almost immediate use. This process includes using a kiln, or putting your wood into a chamber that controls airflow, humidity and temperature to speed up the drying process. If you have access to a kiln, this is how you can prep firewood quickly. If not, you can often buy this kind of wood prepackaged at a higher price.
Things to Remember When Storing Firewood Outside
After choosing a drying method, it’s time to decide where to store your air- or kiln-dried wood. Before making that call, there are a few essential things that you should consider for storing your seasoned firewood:
The amount of firewood you want to store will determine the size of the space needed. Firewood is usually sold in cords measuring 4 feet wide by 4 feet tall by 8 feet long. However, keep in mind that anything above shoulder height is going to be more difficult to access when you’re ready for a fire.
Location and Protection
Once you know how much you want to buy, decide where you are going to store your firewood. Choose a location that is user-friendly and easy to get to, but if you intend to keep your firewood outside, it’s wise to ensure it’s not too close to your house.
Wet wood is useless to you, so you need to keep your firewood dry and protected from the elements if it’s outside. The location you choose should cover your pile and help keep it free of mold and bugs. For that reason, a sturdy, leak-free shed is one of the best ways to store firewood outside.
In order to keep your firewood dry, remember to allow room on all sides to ensure proper air circulation. Consider covering the top and leaving the sides open to ensure that air is getting to every piece — this will make sure that the wood is staying dry while allowing for any moisture to escape.
5 Types of Firewood Storage Options
Storage options for firewood range in type and size, but they ultimately all do the same job. That’s why it’s important to think about your access needs to choose the best way to store your firewood outside. A few of the most common options people use for keeping their kiln-dried wood protected include:
- Stacking between trees
Weather conditions can be quite harmful to your firewood, so your storage choice will make a big difference in its usable life. With proper drying and storage, you could expect to keep your wood in optimal condition for up to four years. Whatever your budget or style, there is a fitting storage option out there.
Contact Colonial Excavating Today for Seasoned Firewood
Looking to fill up your firewood storage for the winter months? Colonial Excavating delivers face cords (fireplace cords) as well as full cords for your convenience. We are fully committed to providing high-quality firewood services and the best in customer satisfaction. Get in touch with us today for assistance with any of your fireplace needs!