During the fall and winter seasons it is important to store any split firewood properly in firewood rack so that it lasts during these wet and cold months. After the wood has been cut and split it is important to season the wood, or dry it out. Once the wood is seasoned it needs to stay seasoned before it is burned. Rainy and snowy conditions can lead to many hazardous consequences if firewood is not stored the right way, some of which include:
– Firewood that creates more smoke
– Less heat efficient firewood
– Heavier firewood due to added water content
– Firewood that is harder to light
– Moldy firewood
– Wood that is more inclined to be homes to rodents and insects
Once you have split your wood, it is important to dry it out and season it in a firewood rack. These racks come in many different shapes, sizes and materials, from an overnight two foot wooden rack that fits 1/8 cords, to a twelve foot steel industrial rack that can fit ¾ cords. A firewood rack is important to get the proper air circulation to dry out every piece of wood. It also provides elevation so that it keeps the wood off the ground.
When storing the split wood during the fall and winter it is important to keep the wood covered in the firewood rack. Even if the wood is seasoned, the wet conditions can lead to the wood retaining moisture again. Unseasoned wood should not be burned. The wood will not provide as much heat if unseasoned as it will have to use more heat to cook out the moisture. This in turn creates more smoke, which can get caught up in your chimney and blow back into your home. You can tell if your wood is ready to be burned as the weight of dry wood is much less than wet wood. Unseasoned wood can weigh up to 50% more than seasoned wood.
Although it is recommended to leave your firewood uncovered as much as possible during seasoning, many homeowners do not have the time to keep covering their firewood every time rain or snow threatens. The best thing to do is to get a vinyl covering that will cover just the top few layers. Many breathable coverings are available on the market today for your firewood rack, and many new firewood racks come with coverings. Breathable covers are often made of waterproof material to keep out moisture, yet allow air to flow through.
Once the wood is fully seasoned, it is recommended getting a full cover for your firewood rack during the fall and winter. This will keep out all moisture and allow the wood to stay dry. Be careful when buying a full cover though, as most claim to be mold and fungus resistant. This does not mean the wood won’t get moldy, just that the cover will not. If the wood is not seasoned when fully covered, it does stand a greater chance of growing mold. Wet wood can also become home to vermin, termites, and other insects.