A slight chill is in the air, the leaves are starting to turn, and the geese are all flying south for the winter. These are all sure-fire signs that it’s time to make sure you have your firewood stocked up and stacked properly in preparation for the cold months ahead!
Whether you plan to buy your firewood from Stone Hearth or cut and split it yourself, it’s always important to stack and store your firewood properly to either allow it to dry correctly if it's green wood, or to preserve the dryness if you’ve purchased seasoned or kiln-dried firewood.
If you season your own firewood, it should be stored in a dry place for at least 6 months to allow it to dry properly. When you burn unseasoned, green firewood (freshly cut firewood with a lot of moisture still in it), you’ll end up with a lot of creosote buildup in your chimney and an unpleasantly smokey home, not to mention carbon monoxide buildup.
It's a shame when people purchase seasoned or kiln-dried firewood and store it improperly, because they're basically throwing out the money spent on it. Storing your firewood improperly can allow moisture to get in. This will cause mold and rot to grow, which will ruin your firewood. It’s best to take some precautions now, so you don’t have to deal with these problems later on!
Knowing where to stack your firewood is just as important as knowing how to stack it. You’ll often see photos of a fire blazing in the fireplace with a stack of firewood nearby. We definitely don’t recommend storing firewood indoors! The only exception to this rule is kiln-dried firewood. Kiln dried firewood has been heat treated to destroy all bugs, pest, molds, and diseases. This means it’s safe to store indoors.
If you try to store green or regular seasoned firewood indoors, you’ll end up with these pesky hitchhikers like spiders, ants, termites, and mice that can wreak havoc on your home. Instead, store it outdoors where there’s more airflow to dry it.
Choose a dry, breezy area of your property. If you’re stacking wood next to a structure, don’t stack the wood flush against it. Instead, stack at least a few inches away to allow more airflow behind the stack.
When stacking cordwood, build in as much air exposure as possible. One popular method is to build towers of cordwood, stacking each row of split wood perpendicular to the previous row. When building multiple towers in a line, you’ll need vertical supports on each side of the line. You can either use live trees if they’re spaced the correct distance apart, or just bury a couple of solid posts in the ground for support.
Another popular method of stacking firewood is to stack the pieces in rows and create airflow by strategically placing each log. You can easily create air pockets by placing irregular pieces at certain points inside the stack. Most firewood pieces will be slightly irregular anyways, so this method is easy.
Once stacked, some people choose to cover their wood piles, and some argue against it. If your wood hasn’t yet seasoned for 6 months, we recommend not using something airtight like black plastic. This can cause mold and rot to grow. It’s best to have at least some air flow. If you want to cover your wood, use vertical supports to create air space between the cover and top row of wood, and then perhaps remove the cover during the summer months.
By following these tips and techniques for stacking firewood properly, you’ll have perfectly good, clean firewood ready to burn when you need it. If you’d like to avoid the whole stacking process altogether, we can help with that! Stone Hearth will not only deliver your seasoned or kiln-dried firewood right to your door, but we’ll stack it for you as well. Give us a call at 906-250-1389 to learn more, or Order Today.