Firewood plays an integral part in your lives in every possible aspect. Firewood has various uses, ranging from household uses to industrial ones. Storing wood piles is a very vital part of using them. If you are curious if you should cover a woodpile, we have researched the issue and found some answers.
Ideally, to remove all traces of moisture from the wood, you will need to leave the woodpile uncovered. Indoors, it depends if you would like it covered or not. As for outdoor storage, you will need to protect it from the elements. However, in both situations, you need to give the wood enough airflow to maintain dryness. In other words, you should not cover the woodpile entirely.
Since you're dealing with firewood, it is vital to ensure that the woodpile is in a dry place. The materials used for covering it should be of high quality to guarantee maximum protection. Below we will discuss all the vital aspects of storing your woodpile, from storage to security. If you would like to find out more, keep reading ahead.
Why Should You Cover A Woodpile?
You can cover your firewood for several reasons:
- Exposing your woodpile to the elements invites a lot of trouble. It endangers the seasoning process of the woods that causes intermittent safety hazards such as carbon monoxide and methane buildup due to excessive smoke.
- Your woodpile may also incur damage due to rot and mold as it becomes damp. This process will render it unsuitable for use. You will need to throw away the rotting wood.
- Not covering your firewood attracts pests like termites and even small rodents such as rats. They gnaw away at the wood and make it incapable of burning for long periods.
The Best Types of Firewood
While looking for the best storage technique, you have to look at the best wood options for burning. We will list some of the options below:
Oak is the most popular form of firewood available. Firewood made from well-seasoned oak burns readily. It does not absorb moisture quickly.
Maple, like oak, burns in long and steady fires with minimal smoke when seasoned. Similarly, it retains very little moisture and is easy to store, and has a long usage life if properly stored.
Ash is also very popular firewood and burns for sustained periods without ever flickering. Seasoned ash, such as the Asian variety (Emerald Borer Ash), resembles desert wood with its dry bark. It is easy to store and splits easily, making it a better alternative for oak.
How To Store A Woodpile
Before storing your woodpile, make sure that it splits into uniform pieces. This process makes stacking easier since it forms an even pile. An uneven wood stock may collapse, ruining the wood. We recommend cutting the wood into triangular wedges since it is easier to stack.
After cutting the wood into usable pieces, look for a dry, windy place with little to no water or moisture because the drier the wood, the more it will burn. We recommend using a seasoned woodpile since it has a storage life of approximately 2-3 years in a dry place. Therefore, choose a dry shed or a warehouse at least 25-30 feet away from your house so that it becomes easy to use firewood efficiently.
Always keep your woodpile 4-5 inches above the ground because it may soak up water from the ground or house termite colonies that devour the wood from the inside. It is safer to use a rack or holders. Storing a woodpile like this improves air circulation.
Allow the woodpile to be at least 4 feet in height so that sunlight reaches it properly. Ensure that the woodpile isn't unnecessarily large, so much so that it becomes difficult to use it afterward.
Of course, storing a woodpile indoors is not always an easy solution for us. Sometimes we can't afford a shed. Likewise, future termite and rodent problems are another issue that could arise if we store them in our homes. So, what can we do?
As some suggest, storing outdoors is fine. You offer the wood enough airflow to keep it dry. Additionally, you keep the pest problems away from home. But, how do you store them outside efficiently?
If you want to cover your woodpile outdoors, a simple tar paper covering will do fine. It's essential not to cover the pile entirely. You will need to give it enough airflow to let it be dry. Lastly, make sure the cover you choose is weather-proof. This way, the wood won't dampen.
What matters most is the ground where it will rest. The go-to option for the outdoors is well-drained gravel. You don't want it to rest on the soil as it can develop mold and begin to rot. Your lower row of wood will go to waste.
Otherwise, if you have the means, you use treated lumber as runners. Alternatively, if you have trees around, you can cut them. Use them as a platform for your woodpile.
As previously mentioned, make sure the wood you are storing is in uniform pieces. This method makes stacking easier.
The Best Material For Covering A Woodpile
After storing, perhaps the most important thing you must do is cover the woodpile. You should ensure that the material used is water repellent, breathable, and flexible to stretch over the woodpile completely. For that, we have identified a list of materials you may use:
This material is the most common type of tarp material in use. Its breathable structure allows more air and retains water due to a plastic covering and holds heat too.
This material holds a polyester fabric with a polyethylene covering and is an industrial-grade fabric in strength and durability. Tests show that it protects for several months in extreme conditions.
Gore-Tex is a highly breathable and stretchable fabric. It has a Teflon base that allows it to withstand harsh conditions for a long time while giving maximum protection to the woodpile.
How Do You Keep Bugs Out Of A Wood Pile?
The biggest problem a woodpile may face after moisture is insects. A whole bunch of issues can arise, from wood rot to inconsistency in burning. It is vital to keep your firewood safe from pests, and here's how you can do it:
- Keep your storage place clean. Remove all things that can serve as potential housing colonies to bugs such as tall grass, weeds, and even old discarded junk. Throw it all away and spray the area with disinfectants before storing the firewood.
- Practice using the firewood quickly with a first in, first out routine. If you cannot use it up quickly, be sure to reuse it in other places.
- As we mentioned earlier, keep your woodpile 4-5 inches above the ground to protect it from bugs and rodents. You should keep the wood in an open shed that is away from trees and bushes.
- Use wood without the bark. The bark may be home to termites and bacteria that aid in the rotting process.
Is It Okay For Firewood To Get Rained On?
No. it is not okay for the firewood to get rained on. It will not only hamper the seasoning process. It will also induce rot and mold on the logs with a reduced burning time in the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario will include discarding the woodpile due to rotting.
It may also cause the wood to get waterlogged and will destroy your firewood and your best chances of survival for the cold weather.
Can You Store Logs In A Shed?
Yes, you can store logs in a shed. It is the ideal place for you to store your firewood. Your wood will be kept safe from outside elements such as rain, moisture, and insects. Keep the shed clean and constantly check up on the firewood to preserve its seasoning and burning ability.
How Long Do Wood Piles Last?
Depending upon the type of wood, a woodpile may last for 3-4 years if you follow all the correct procedures and store it accordingly. You can certainly increase its life for another two years if the wood is seasoned perfectly.
How Do You Cover A Wood Pile In The Winter?
You can store your woodpile in a warm shed with no additional junk and clutter. Furthermore, use a strong tarp or cover. Remember to use a tarp with a durable material that retains heat in the winter, store it away from moisture and snow.
Lock the shed door before leaving so that it's safe. Always angle the tarp downwards so snow and water slide off the surface and away from the base.
Storing your woodpile demands a lot. But, it is worth it. A seasoned woodpile will keep you warm throughout the winter. We hope the information above will help you in keeping that woodpile in mint condition.
Before you go, do you have other firewood concerns? More specifically, can firewood be too old to burn? For more information, check out our post here.
Do you need to find ways to cool an attic bedroom? We also offer some guidance in that area. For more information, check out our post here. Until next time!