How you store your firewood during the winter will either make using the firewood extremely easy, or you could simply ruin the entire firewood cord. Ideally, firewood should be stored outside, even during the wintertime, although that doesn’t mean that you do not have to take a couple of precautions. If you store the firewood incorrectly during the wintertime, you will have a lot of problems down the line, especially when it comes to heating.
The optimal storage for firewood is outdoors, ensuring that it is neatly arranged with the outer surface of the wood exposed to the air. Whenever feasible, consider placing the firewood on plastic sheeting or within a designated wooden log store. It is advisable to avoid locations covered by trees if possible and refrain from leaving the logs piled up in a heap.
If you want to store firewood outside during the winter then my personal recommendation is to use a log rack as this elevates the position of the firewood and doesn’t allow it to come in contact with the ground from where it could absorb moisture Click here to check it out on Amazon.com
The main goal of curing firewood is to let it dry out, and once it is you have to protect the firewood from the elements. This is especially important if you live in an area with high humidity. Even if the firewood is well seasoned the high humidity will still penetrate the wood. If the temperatures fluctuate a lot in your area then the high humidity will turn into water droplets inside your firewood, and once this happens it can simply ruin the entire cord of firewood.
If you live in an area where the winter temperatures are often below freezing and you seasoned your firewood properly but you still find that some of the firewood is a solid brick of ice then this is mostly due to the water freezing inside it. Some people who do not store the firewood correctly outside will bring a couple of pieces of firewood inside the house for a couple of days in order to dry them up.
While this is a solution but you will have definitely a better time if you simply store the firewood correctly during the wintertime. Your main goal is to protect the firewood from the elements, and if you are not able to do that then you might find your firewood starting to rot, not burning, or producing a lot of smoke. If you want to know where you can get free firewood then check out my recent article Free Firewood ( Top 14 Places ).
How To Store Firewood Outside In Winter
Properly storing firewood outside during the winter months is essential to ensure it remains dry and ready for efficient burning. By following a few key guidelines, you can protect your firewood from moisture, pests, and deterioration. When storing firewood outside in winter, it’s crucial to elevate the wood off the ground using a sturdy and stable base, such as pallets or a raised firewood rack. This helps prevent moisture absorption from the snow or damp ground. Additionally, ensure the woodpile is covered on top to shield it from rain or snowfall, while leaving the sides exposed to facilitate airflow and drying. Adequate ventilation is essential for preventing mold and decay.
1. Log Rack For Better Airflow
One of the best ways to store firewood outside during the winter is by using a log rack. These log racks are relatively easy to make but you should consider buying one which is made of metal. The main reason why log racks are so good, especially during the wintertime is that they keep the firewood at an elevated position and without having direct contact between the firewood and the ground.
One of the main reasons why a lot of people ruin their firewood during the wintertime is because the firewood comes into contact with the ground where it starts absorbing water. Another benefit of using a log rack is that air will circulate around the firewood a lot easier and this is extremely important to maintain the firewood dry even during the wintertime. If you are wondering what is the best smelling firewood then check out my recent article Best smelling firewood ( Top 13 ).
2. Open-Ended Wood Shed For Protection Against The Elements
Open-ended wood sheds are extremely useful for storing firewood, both during the summer and during the wintertime. As these sheds are open-ended they will allow air to circulate around the firewood which is extremely important for keeping the firewood dry. The roof of the shed will protect the firewood from rain and snow, and the structure will allow you to easily rack the firewood fairly high.
Not all open-ended sheds do have a floor, although this definitely helps both with air circulation and keeping your firewood away from being in contact with the ground. If your wood shed doesn’t have a floor then you will have to think of placing something between the ground and the firewood, something like a tarp will also work. If you are wondering how is living off the grid in a Canadian province then check out my recent article Off grid living in Manitoba ( The Keystone State ).
3. Cover The Firewood With A Tarp
If you do not have a wood shed then you should use a tarp to protect the firewood from the elements. Generally speaking, you should only place a tarp on the firewood once it is fully seasoned, if you place the tarp on the firewood before it is seasoned then water will evaporate a lot slower. This means that in the long run, the firewood can start to rot. A tarp should be placed on the firewood both during the summer and the wintertime as well.
Ideally, you should already place the tarp at the end of the summer, this way you will avoid the rain and the snow which will follow in the next months. If you are late with setting up the tarp and the firewood is already wet then you have to think about how you can dry it off. During the wintertime, the firewood will have no chance of drying off, mostly because of the high humidity, so make sure to place a tarp on top of the firewood before winter sets in.
4. Stack The Firewood Correctly
How you stack the firewood will determine if the firewood will be good for use during the wintertime. Ideally, you should stack the larger pieces of firewood at the bottom of the stack, this way the firewood stack will be more stable. Make sure not to stack the firewood so high that you are having difficulty reaching the top of the stack. If the winters are fairly harsh in your area make sure to place the firewood with the bark towards the sky.
The bark of the wood will provide an additional layer of protection against snow and rain. If you place the firewood with the bark facing the ground then the bark will tarp some of the rain and snow, which sooner or later will start to be absorbed by the firewood, thus leading to rot. In addition to this make sure that the firewood stack is above the ground by at least a couple of inches, for this, you can either make or buy a log rack.
5. Don’t Store The Firewood Next To The House
A lot of people make the mistake of storing firewood right next to their houses, garage, or other buildings. This is a bad idea, both during the winter and during the summertime. Firewood tends to attract a lot of bugs and rodents as well. If you prop the firewood to one of the walls of your home then these pests will have an easy access point. In the worst-case scenario, you might find that termites have moved into your house from the firewood.
Ideally, you should store the firewood 30-50 feet away from your home or any other buildings. If your area tends to snow a lot then you have to clean the area where the firewood is stored. Snow tends to absorb water, and the last thing you want near your firewood is water.
6. Don’t Let The Firewood Come In Contact With The Ground
During the wintertime, the ground will absorb a lot of water once the temperatures are above freezing. The last thing you want is to have the firewood directly on the ground, as even well-seasoned firewood will eventually start absorbing water which can lead to rot. If you live in an area where the yearly snowfall is fairly high then it is extremely important to figure out a way on how you will keep the firewood off the ground.
Another problem with keeping the firewood in direct contact with the ground is that this way the air circulation will be limited. Air circulation is extremely important to keep the firewood dry, and if the bottom of the firewood cord doesn’t have any air circulation then the firewood will slowly absorb water, and sooner or later it will start to rot.
- When storing firewood outside in winter, select a location that offers protection from the elements. Look for a spot that is well-drained and away from direct contact with the ground to prevent moisture absorption. Consider placing the woodpile against a wall or under an overhang to shield it from heavy snow or rain.
- Elevate the firewood off the ground using a raised platform or pallets. This helps to prevent moisture from seeping into the bottom layers of the wood. It also improves airflow around the woodpile, aiding in the drying process and reducing the chances of mold or rot. Ensure the platform or pallets are sturdy enough to support the weight of the firewood.
- Stack the firewood in a neat and orderly manner to maximize airflow and stability. Create rows or stacks with gaps between the logs to allow air circulation. This promotes drying and helps prevent the growth of mold or fungi. Consider leaving some space between the woodpile and any nearby structures to allow air to flow freely. Cover the top of the stack with a waterproof tarp or firewood cover, leaving the sides open for ventilation. This cover will protect the wood from excessive snow or rain while still allowing moisture to evaporate. Regularly inspect the woodpile and remove any snow or debris that may accumulate on top of the cover.