Storing Firewood The Right Way - Manna Gum Building And Garden Supplies

The Problem With Storing Firewood And How To Do It Right

Well, it’s one thing to collect your firewood, whether you cut it yourself or have it delivered, but it is another thing to store it so you don’t cause yourself additional problems or lose the wood to rot.  

When storing firewood it is wise to keep the following ideas in mind.

Ideally, you should cut your wood in late summer to late autumn for the smallest amount of bugs—you want to avoid bringing home more than just the wood.  It is a good idea to check the regional regulations for transporting and storing wood.  

If you are new to our area, a respectable real estate agent would be in a position to help as they should know the local councils policy or feel free to give me a call. If you purchase from a petrol station, hardware store, or supermarket, you’re most likely going to need to dry it out. 

Any wood with a moisture content higher than 20% is going to be problematic when burning.  It is best if you can store your new firewood in a sunny place and keep it covered from rain.  This will kill off pests, without having to use any insecticides or poisons.

Ferntree Gully Firewood

    Ferntree Gully Firewood

Beware Of Termites in Firewood

Beware Of Termites in Firewood

Firewood Storage

At Manna Gum, we’ve got plenty of custom firewood storage box options. If these don’t tickle your fancy, don’t stress, we’ve got plenty of DIY firewood storage ideas for you below.

Well seasoned dry wood doesn’t have a strong odour, it has low moisture, and no thick bark or sap. Insects and bugs love those things, and seasoned wood doesn’t have it.  Properly seasoned wood has (as I said before) a moisture content of less than 20 per cent, which helps prevent the other unwanted issue of mould. 

Drying time depends on the kind of wood. Softer woods take about 6-8 months, while for hardwoods, you might have to allow for a couple of years. 

Besides, seasoned wood burns better, with less smoke than that of newly felled trees, meaning you are going to avoid creosote buildup in the chimney and the dangers of a too-smoky residence as well as chimney fires.  All of our wood has been cut then aged, so this won’t be a problem for you.

Firewood Stacking Inside The Home

At some point in the last few years, piling logs inside the home in fireplaces or made up storage devices, has become a sort of art form. This tendency is shooting up all over Pinterest, but everyone seems to be forgetting the bugs?

Admittedly, logs look pretty stunning when stacked beside the stove or fireplace in this manner and it surely seems to make sense to have them within easy reach for burning. Yet nearly every time a Magazine or online commentary shares a photo of a beautiful pile of firewood stacked perfectly inside, somebody raises the reasonable question: What about the bugs?

Storing Firewood Inside Home

Storing Firewood Inside Home

Using An Old Fireplace To Store Fire Wood

Using An Old Fireplace To Store Fire Wood

Wood is a natural material, meaning that it is the perfect host to all kinds of critters, including wood-boring beetles, spiders, carpenter ants, and worst of all termites.

So when I see homeowners repurpose built-in bookshelves or crates or use empty space beneath benches to store their firewood, it freaks me out.

Any wood you use as a decoration inside the home needs to be treated for bugs or else you run the major risk of the bugs moving from your wood pile into the actual frame of the house.

It is easier to make a fake pile that wont be used to burn because of all the work it takes to make sure it is bug free. These fake piles will give you the “look” of the country homestead without the risk of bugs getting into the frame or walls.

Some Tips On Storing Firewood

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • All firewood should be stored at least five feet or more from the foundation of the home.
  • Do not stack your wood against a wooden building’s wall.
  • Keep the main stack of wood outside of your home.
  • Only bring inside the house, the wood you need to burn for the next two days.
  • Keep the main stack dry and able to be hit by sunlight if possible.
  • Be certain that the wood you use is aged, or dried and has less than 20% moisture.
  • And store THAT firewood off the floor preferable in a firewood rack.
  • DO NOT spray wood with insecticide as insecticide it almost always is flammable and could flare up in your face.

Good Outdoor Wood Storage

Good Outdoor Firewood Storage

Good Indoor Firewood Storage

Good Indoor Firewood Storage

Be Careful Of Stacking Firewood Between Trees

Stacking firewood between trees may sound like an easy, convenient way to store your firewood but is it really the best way? Just about everyone has considered it at one time or another, especially if you live in a bush area. The biggest appeal is that the trees provide sturdy “Bookends” to stack your firewood between.  Why buy metal T posts for end supports or spend time building a DIY firewood rack when you can just use a couple of trees in your backyard?

Using a tree for a support CAN work for stacking firewood, however, stacking wood against a tree can cause damage to the tree and even potentially kill the tree.In order to properly stack firewood between trees you should do 2 things. First, make sure you place a runner under the firewood to raise the wood off the ground. Don’t just stack the wood directly on the ground because the wood will soak up ground moisture and never season.

I like to cut a couple of long limbs and run two limbs parallel to each other between the two support trees. This way the wood is elevated off the ground which allows air to reach all sides of the firewood, plus I don’t have to purchase any extra supplies because the limbs are free.

Staking Firewood Between Two Trees

Stacking Firewood Between Two Trees

Make Sure You Cover The Top Of Firewood

Make Sure You Cover The Top Of Firewood

After the wood is stacked, remember to cover the top of the stack with a tarp or lay a couple of scrap pieces of plywood on the top. If you use a tarp or other similar plastic, don’t cover the entire stack because it will just trap the moisture in and cause the firewood to become mouldy.

Simply cover the top section and secure it with a couple of bungee cords so it doesn’t blow away. You just want to shed the rain off the stack but still allow the firewood to breathe and expel moisture. The best result you can achieve is if the wood pile faces the sun for a few hours each day. The sun is great at drying the wood but also perfect for keeping mould away and also a lot of pests.

Second, if you’re stacking firewood between trees, don’t let the stack sit there year after year. Use up the firewood within the following year. This will prevent damage to the tree bark as the trees grow into your stack.

Make Sure Firewood Is Stored Outside Off The Ground

Make Sure Firewood Is Stored Outside Off The Ground

This Would Be Good But The Firewood Is Stored Next To A Wooden Wall

A Great Firewood Rack, but avoid firewood stacking next to a wooden wall.

Wherever you’re storing your firewood, find a place away from the ground (dirt). If the firewood is stored on the ground directly it will rot by the bacteria and bugs quite quickly. They will hide in the firewood because they like the temperature there. So search for a place away from the soil.

You can store the firewood on the surfaces of concrete, asphalt and clean gravel. These surfaces are the better choice than soil. But if you can’t find any proper place, you can elevate the firewood by sticks or lay down a tarp under the firewood.

Remember your enemies are moisture, soil and shade. If you can avoid your firewood being stored with them, your wood will last a long time and be ready to burn when you need it.

I would suggest that the average home around our area with one fireplace inside the house, will burn about two cubic metres of wood throughout the winter. That is a good amount to get delivered at a time. Jump over HERE to look at our firewood that is for sale now.


About the Author Darren Stiles

Hi, I am Darren and I have been running Manna Gum for the last 20 years. Boy does time fly by. Before running a Building and Garden supply business I ran my own Brick Laying business. I know what it means to roll up your sleeves and bend into the work and I know that getting the things you need, to be delivered on time and be of good quality, means everything. If you have any questions, give me a yell. Cheers.