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Don’t Let Winter Weather Ruin Your Seasoned Firewood

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Buying the right firewood can make a big difference in the efficiency and effectiveness of your fireplace. However, even if you invest in quality firewood, it can still be ruined if not stored correctly.

winter firewood - westhampton beach NY - guaranteed chimney serviceWhile it is perfectly fine to store firewood outside – even during winter weather – there are a number of steps that homeowners should take to ensure that the snow and ice outside don’t affect their firewood. The following are some of the most common firewood storage mistakes and what you can do instead.

Mistake #1: Stacking firewood directly on the ground

How to fix it: Buying or building a firewood storage rack

Firewood should never be stacked directly on the ground; instead, build or buy a large fireplace storage rack that allows wood to sit several inches off the ground. In a pinch, even stacking firewood on treated boards will work! Keeping firewood off the ground keeps the wood dry while preventing any of the wood from rotting. Likewise, it also helps to keep insects, rodents, and other vermin out of your wood stack.

Mistake #2: Leaving the wood stack out in the open

How to fix it: Keep the top of the wood stack covered

Another common mistake is leaving your wood rack completely unprotected against the elements. Doing this can allow water, rain, ice, and snow to accumulate on top of the wood stack, eventually trickling down and rotting the entire pile of wood. Instead, keep the top of your wood pile covered; a waterproof tarp placed on top of the stack is often all that is needed to protect it from winter weather.

Mistake #3: Covering the entire wood stack to protect it against the weather

How to fix it: Cover the top, but leaves the sides open

While covering the top of your wood pile protects it against accumulating snow or ice, covering the entire wood pile can do more harm than good. Firewood needs airflow in order to stay dry and continue the seasoning process. If firewood is off the ground and covered on top, only minimal moisture can get in through the sides; the airflow created by leaving the sides of the wood stack open is more important – and will help dry – any small amounts of moisture that get in.

Mistake #4: Storing too much firewood inside

How to fix it: Only bring in as much firewood as you will immediately need

Although indoor stacks of firewood surrounding a fireplace might seem like an easy way to add a rustic touch to your décor, it is not recommended to store large amounts of firewood inside your home. Because many insects go dormant in winter, any bugs on the wood can become active again when the wood is stored inside. Instead, keep wood outside and only bring in the amount that is immediately needed. If you have a storm approaching or do not want to tramp through the snow to get wood, keep small amounts of wood in a mudroom, garage, or shed so it is close at hand when needed.