Tips for Keeping Your Firewood Dry in the Winter

October 22, 2019 11:20 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The Seattle winters can be cold and wet, so if you have a fireplace in your home, it’s important you take the proper precautions to keep your wood dry so it’s easy to start once you’re ready to use it. This can be a little easier said than done, especially here in the Pacific Northwest, but we do have some strategies you can try out for yourself this year.

Here are a few tips for you to keep your wood dry in the winter so you can more reliably use it in your indoor or outdoor fireplace in Seattle, WA.

Dry and season your own chopped wood

If you purchase firewood from a retailer, then you can trust that the wood has already gone through the drying and seasoning process. However, if you harvested your own firewood or received freshly cut wood from someone you know, then you’ll need to take care of the drying and seasoning yourself. This can take months, so begin the process as soon as you’re able to do so. The wood must sit out in a sunny area. You can cover it over the top with a tarp, but it should still have some exposure to sunlight to allow it to dry out more thoroughly.

Pick the proper location for storage

In most cases, you’ll need to store your wood outdoors, though you may have a designated woodshed or a small spot in your garage capable of handling your wood. Location is crucial here. You don’t want to store it anywhere it’ll be susceptible to too much moisture, as that could lead to rot and termite problems. The best location is generally a spot that’s going to be at least 30 feet away from your home in a sunlit area. Keep the wood off the ground so any wood that comes into contact with the earth doesn’t rot. You can purchase or make firewood racks for this purpose.

Stack the wood properly

Always stack your wood with the bark facing the ground. That is the section of the wood that holds the most moisture, so keeping it toward the ground will help it dry faster. If you expect snow coverage in your storage area, though, you can instead store with the bark facing up. Make sure the stacking area is a level surface and far enough away from structural elements to allow for good air circulation. Finally, avoid stacking wood more than four feet high to prevent collapsing stacks.

Prevent pests

Always keep in mind that insects love to make stacks of firewood their home, and predators of those insects (such as spiders and snakes) will be attracted to them. Use your oldest firewood first, as that is the wood that is most likely to attract pests. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth around your stacks can also help keep the pests away, while still being safe for people and pets.

For more information about keeping your firewood safe and dry, or to learn about installing residential indoor and outdoor fireplaces in Seattle, WA, reach out to the experts at Custom Fire Art today.

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