Tips for Correctly Stacking your Firewood
At first glance, stacking may seem like a simple and easy task. After all, you just pile them together on a rack and leave them there until you need some, right?
Well, stacking the logs is just part of the process. Ask anyone who has tried this task several times and he will tell you that it’s not as easy at seems. Aside from choosing the fireplace log bin, you also need to consider the temperature, humidity and location of your wood stack. Firewood is a difficult raw material to handle because if you do it wrong, it may lose its combustibility. Or worse, the stacks may become infested with bugs and mold.
Read on and discover the correct way of stacking your fireplace logs at home!
A piece of log should be seasoned first to make it easier to burn when you need it.
Seasoning is the process of letting the wood dry until its moisture level is at 20%. It should not go higher than the recommended amount because excess moisture will damage the logs and make it difficult to light. In addition, fires produced by moist wood will be challenging to handle and will produce excess smoke.
Firewood seasoning is a simple task. All you have to do is stack them up in one row beside a fence. Ideally, the stack should be lower than the fence. You can also cover the wood pieces with a 4mm thick tarp. The cover will trap the sun’s heat, thus, evaporating the wood’s moisture. You will notice that the logs will shrink as they dry up. This process will take around 4 to 6 weeks to complete.
Finding the right spot
Once your cord of wood is dry, it is time to find the right location for your pile of fire logs. As you all know, a piece of dead wood is a termite’s favorite home. Make sure that the stack is far away from the foundations of your house. Moreover, you need to place the stacks away from decks and sheds.
If you are stacking wood outdoors, check your yard’s drainage first. If your house is located on a slope, it is highly recommended to place the wood pile at the peak of the slope so that water or snow will not accumulate at the base of your stack.
Lastly, make sure that the firewood reserve receives adequate sunlight every day. This will maintain its dryness for a longer time.
Create towers to keep your stack secure
Similar to a pile of books organized in a shelf, the fireplace logs need to have a stable structure in both ends so that they won’t crumble easily. You can achieve this by grouping together wooden logs with the same size.
Start by placing two wooden pieces parallel to each other. Afterwards, place two more fireplace logs on top of the previous one.
They should be lying perpendicularly on the first layer. Keep repeating the process until your pile is already five layers high. As you keep building your stacks, always remember to watch the height of your wood pile. If it is too high, it may not be capable of supporting itself.
After completing the first stack, build another one several feet away from the first one. The towers serve as marking for the start and end point of your firewood stack.
Actual stacking process
The previous step that you did is only for creating structural support to your actual wood pile. After creating the towers, it’s time to build the actual stack.
First, locate which direction is west. This first step is vital in ensuring that the wind flows smoothly between the stacks.
Unlike creating the towers, you can group together fireplace logs with irregular sizes. This is to ensure that the air will circulate better between the logs. Keep stacking wood until it is as high as the towers you created earlier.
Other important reminders for stacking firewood
- If your wooden logs were cut at different times, remember to pile them separately. This will make it easier for you to determine that the firewood is ready for burning.
- Small wooden stacks have better stability and air flow. In fact, it is actually better to build several small piles, instead of creating one huge pile. However, you also need to consider the amount of yard space you have.
- If you still have some pieces of wood that aren’t stacked, inspect their surface for any signs of mold or mildew before adding them to the pile. This will prevent your entire stack from becoming infested.
Stacking firewood is a long and tedious task. However, it is an important process to ensure that your wooden piles are not damaged while storing them outdoors. If you know other useful tips for organizing wooden piles at home, feel free to post them in the comments section.