As warmer weather approaches, you may find yourself using your beautiful fireplace a little less frequently than you did during the chilly winter months. Although you will probably find yourself gathering around the hearth during brisk nights all year round (Indiana weather, am I right?), this is the time to start thinking about storing your firewood. It’s important to optimize your wood storage system so that you can correctly preserve your wood and have a reserve ready when fall rolls around again. The following are a few helpful tips for storing your firewood safely and efficiently.

Outdoor Storage:

Find an Ideal Location: For convenience, it can be helpful to store your firewood near your home. Firewood can be heavy and difficult to carry, especially during the colder months. If possible, make it easier on yourself by shortening the trip and keeping your firewood close to your home. If there are no appropriate places to store wood near your home, consider investing in a wheelbarrow to help with transporting the wood.

When storing your wood outside, it is also important to choose a location off the soil. Firewood stored directly on the ground will rot quicker because of exposure to bacteria and moisture. Choose surfaces like concrete, asphalt or gravel instead. Outdoor storage sheds and garages, if available, can be ideal choices for firewood storage as well.

Protect Your Wood: There are several measures you can take to protect your firewood from moisture and bacteria. If you don’t have any available space that is off the soil, you can elevate your wood using sticks, a tarp or even 2 by 4 boards if necessary.

It’s important to protect your wood from above as well as below. The best way to do this is to lay a tarp over your firewood and secure it with ties or bricks. Make sure you leave the sides of your stack open to airflow to prevent the wood from drying out too much. Do not cover your wood with tarp before it is dry (unless you are protecting it from coming rain). You want your wood to dry out before you cover it.

Stack Your Wood Appropriately: Never just throw your firewood into a pile. Stacking your wood effectively will promote air circulation and help prevent the wood from rotting more quickly. Stack the wood neatly in rows. Avoid stacking your wood up against any walls when storing outdoors. Make sure that there are a few inches of space between your wood and your wall to protect your wood from moisture and bacteria.

Indoor Storage:

If you have the space, it can be very convenient and efficient to store your firewood in your home. Firewood lasts much longer when kept away from the bacteria and moisture of the outdoors. However, if you store your firewood indoors it should be fully dry. If you chopped or collected the wood yourself, store it outside until it dries out completely (this takes about six months). There are several optimal places to store wood inside a home; many fireplaces have compartments for wood storage built in. Otherwise, using an old trunk for storage can be a good option.

Check Your Wood: Even after you’ve followed these storage tips to a T, you should always check your wood before you use it. You don’t want to throw wet, rotting firewood onto the blaze. Dry firewood will be lighter than wet wood, and it will look gray with cracks along the edges.

Follow Regulations: Your state, city or neighborhood may have specific guidelines regarding the storage of firewood. You should look over local regulations to ensure that your wood storage is legal.

If you have any concerns regarding local regulations — or any other aspect of wood storage — your friendly Brick + Ember Outfitters would be more than happy to field your questions. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call so that we can help you store your firewood safely, efficiently and legally.