Your fireplace’s toasty roar can only last with the right firewood behind it. tDepending on your situation, you never know if your firewood has hidden bugs such as termites, or has too much moisture. We’ll tell you how you can keep yourself and your home safe, and how to store your wood right.
Understand wood curing
If you’ve got your hands on freshly cut logs, then they will not be ready to burn. Firewood needs time to age. If you burn it before it’s ready, you can end up producing lots of creosote buildup in your chimney. Not only that, burning fresh wood produces less heat and flames, and burns up really fast. You should give your firewood at least 6 months to cure and reduce its moisture levels for better burning, but different types of firewood cure at different rates.
When buying wood, make sure it’s aged and dry with no bark. Bought wood should be usable immediately if the seller has already aged it properly. To quickly test, bang two pieces together. A loud hollow crack means dry, while wet wood will sound dull.
The best place to store Firewood
You may be inspired by countless images and designs of firewood storage inside the house in an old bookshelf, but the best way to store firewood indoors is to not store it indoors. While it’s convenient, you take the risk of carrying various critters into your home such as spiders, mice, ants and termites as well as potential mould. A general rule is that you shouldn’t store wood next to the foundations of your home in case there are termites. Plus, keeping fresher wood indoors in a tight spot means it can’t get the air it needs to properly dry, which can cause the logs to rot, and form mould around the walls.
It’s better to keep your wood outside in a dry, breezy area. For stacking your wood, leave a bit of space from the wall so the wood has good airflow behind it. Try and keep the wood at least 6 meters away from doorways and windows too to help prevent critters getting in. Properly aging your logs is one of the best ways to care for a wood burning fireplace.
Correctly stacking your Firewood
There’s more to stacking firewood than simply making a big pile. For firewood that isn’t fully cured, stack logs bark-side down. This helps moisture evaporate from the wood. Once they’re aged however, store them bark-side up as the bark acts as a natural shield from rain and snow. Try to keep your wood stacks shorter than 1.2 meters, and make sure there’s airflow between each log. Less airflow for middle logs may cause them to rot instead of age.
Make sure your storage location is dry, well ventilated and won’t get wet. The last thing you’d want to do is reverse your drying process. If you really want a firewood log aesthetic in your home, it’s better to buy artificial logs for decoration and keep the real ones outside to age.