There is nothing better on a cold night than a warm fire, but this time of year the nights aren’t really getting cold enough to beg for a fire anymore. Does that mean all your saved-up firewood will go to waste? While the nights are still chilly, you’re really not likely to use much more of that firewood you have stored from last winter, unless you’re also stocking for a fire pit that needs fuel all year long. Either way, if you store it correctly, that firewood won’t go to waste. It will be just fine whenever you need it next, be that this summer, next year, or several years from now. Here’s how you should store last year’s firewood to make sure it is ready.
Is It Seasoned?
It is always best to season your firewood, whether you’re burning it in a chimney or out in a pit. Since trees are living plants, unseasoned wood is wet. Newly cut down wood is “green” meaning it has a water content of about 60%. Seasoning is the process of drying the wood down to around 20% moisture. The moisture in green or unseasoned firewood makes it hard to light, usually causes it to smolder and smoke more than really burn, and when it does catch the fire is not as hot as it could be. In a chimney, green wood also leads to more creosote buildup, a leading cause of chimney fires.
If you’re seasoning the wood yourself, you might need to split it as well. Wood needs to be split because the structure is designed to hold moisture in. Splitting it opens more surface to air and sunlight, allowing it to season more efficiently. Once it is seasoned, you should use it in five or so years for the best effect. You should always split wood before you store it.
Whether you’re seasoning your own wood or storing already seasoned wood that you bought, keep these tips in mind. Wood must always be staked away from buildings (since stacking it against buildings invites termites), but it should be out of the way in your yard. Unseasoned wood can be sheltered, but it will dry faster if it is exposed to sunlight. Already seasoned wood should be stored under a shelter, but with airflow. Raise the stacks up off the soil whenever possible, but at the very least put a tarp or ground cover down under the stacks. Finally, never stack wood more than 4 feet high and leave space between stacks (or between stacks and a fence or similar structure) for circulation.
Call the Experts at Champion Chimneys Today!
Champion Chimneys, Inc. is a fully licensed, bonded and insured chimney service company that has served customers in Baltimore County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County, Maryland since 2001. Our team is trained and certified by Certified Chimney Professionals, Inc. (CCP, Inc.). Courteous service is our trademark, and our crews arrive on time in uniform, driving fully equipped trucks. We specialize in all aspects of your chimney system. Whether you need chimney and flue cleaning service or a full chimney rebuild or inspection, contact us at 443-Chimney today and let us fix all your chimney problems. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.