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Storing Firewood

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Now that you have purchased your firewood, where will you put it? Storing your firewood properly will ensure that the wood is dry and ready to use when you need it. This is a guide about storing firewood.
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Fisher Swanson1 found this helpful
November 2, 2007

Buying Firewood

It's always best to shop for firewood before you need it. Sometimes you can find great deals in the spring and summer, before people are thinking about cool weather and warming their home. Good places to find postings of wood for sale are: Your local newspaper's classified ads. Grocery store, church or post office bulletin boards. Signs posted around the neighborhood.

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Most firewood is sold in cords, face cords, ricks or truckloads.

  • Cord: A cord of firewood measures 8 feet long x 4 feet wide x 4 feet tall.
  • Face Cord: A face cord is 8 feet long, 4 feet tall but only as wide as one stack of wood. This is usually about half the size of a cord or less.
  • Rick: A rick is basically a pile, the size can vary quite a bit.
  • Truck Load: The size of a truck load will depend on how large the truck is and whether it's thrown in the truck or stacked.
  • Find Dry (Seasoned) Wood

    It takes 8 to 12 months to dry (season) wood for burning so unless you have wood on hand already you will want to purchase dry wood. Dry wood burns longer, cleaner and produces greater heat. Unseasoned wood creates a potentially dangerous creosote buildup in your chimney.

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    Hardwood Burns Longer

    When shopping around for wood keep in mind that hardwood is going to burn up to twice as long as softwood. So just because a cord of softwood might be cheaper doesn't mean you are getting a good deal. Softwood is effective for kindling or mixing with hardwood but hardwood will burn longer, tends to burn cleaner and will produce more heat. Examples of softwood: Pine, Fir, Cedar. Examples of hardwood: Oak, Ash, Madrona.

    Storing Firewood

    Store wood off the ground and protect it from weather.

    You will want to store wood about 4 inches off the ground. Any wood on the ground will collect insects and rot more quickly. You will also want to keep it covered from rain and snow.

    Keep wood away from the house.

    Wood against the side of your house could attract wood loving insects like termites who will start nibbling on your house. It also keeps air from circulating around the wood which will help keep it dry.

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    Try not to store wood for more than a year once it's dried.

    This isn't a hard and fast rule. You can store dry wood for more than a year but at some point it will start to rot and collect tons of insects. Make sure to use your oldest wood first.

    Bring wood in as you need it.

    While it's nice to have a lot of wood on hand in the house, you inevitably bring in insects even if you clean off the wood. So don't bring more than a days worth of wood into your home at a time. A wood pile in your house is basically a guest room for little critters.

    Do you have any more tips to add?

    Comment Was this helpful? 1

    By 2 found this helpful
    November 3, 2008

    Re-purpose your Igloo Shaped Dog house for storing some firewood. Our dog refused to use the Dog-Loo we bought her years ago. I got the idea to store a stash of firewood in it to keep it dry and easily accessible by our back door. Our woodpile is located in the far end of our yard, which is exposed to the elements.

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    So having some dry wood stored in the 'dog house', keeps it available for when my husband gets the urge to use the fireplace. He also uses the dry wood for his smoker grill. I see the dog-loo's at Garage Sales and on the roadside for trash pickup, and it seemed they would be handy for other uses.

    By Mary C. from Orange Park, FL

    Comment Was this helpful? 2

    By 1 found this helpful
    July 25, 2011

    Keeping firewood elevated is so important. It not only keeps it safe from rain and the damp ground, but all the bugs and critters are less likely to move in. By keeping our wood off the ground, we have found that snakes are less likely to crawl in too.
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    We also cover our wood with a canvas to keep the rain off. I still uncover the wood carefully just in case one of the a fore mentioned critters decides to pay us a visit. I prefer a metal firewood bin such as the in the picture attached. It is made of metal rather than wood, and can be bought or made any size you need.

    By Doris from TX

    Comment Was this helpful? 1

    By 1 found this helpful
    April 16, 2008

    After reading the tip for buying firewood, I wanted to remind you how to keep the firewood "from going bad". The wood needs to be elevated off the ground and kept covered. Wetness from any source will cause the wood to get soft, become a magnet for roaches and other creatures. We split our own wood and keep at least two years in advance, giving the newer wood time to cure.

    By BonsterBonnie from MD

    Comment Was this helpful? 1

    December 2, 2008

    Get 4 wooden shipping pallets and two 8 foot steel fence posts. Lay two of the pallets on the ground away from the house. Have someone hold the other pallet on end then drive one of the steel posts into the ground about three feet. This will leave five feet sticking out above ground. Do the same at the opposite end leaving the pallets standing against the post. Now you are ready to stack your firewood.

    When you have the wood neatly stacked take a measurement about halfway down from the top on each side and over the top. This is the size of the poly tarp you will need to cover the wood.

    You're not done yet. You will need to get an "S" hook for each of the eyelets (grommets) in the tarp. You will also need a one gallon milk jug for each of the "S" hooks. Fill the milk jugs about 3/4 full of water, DO NOT put the top back on, leave it open so the water can expand and freeze without splitting the milk jug. Now hang a milk jug from each of the eyelets using the "S" hooks.

    When you need wood just remove a couple of the milk jugs and throw the tarp back. After getting the wood, cover the pile back up again and replace the milk jugs.

    This works really well, it give you good dry wood for burning. The bottom pallets allow air to circulate on the bottom of the pile so you won't have any rotten wood to remove in the spring. Try it you like it.

    Source: I read this in a Popular Mechanics magazine many, many, years ago.

    By Herman from Midland, MI

    Comment Was this helpful? 2

    Questions

    Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

    By 0 found this helpful
    August 9, 2014

    How do you build a storage shed for firewood?

    By N. Fallert

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