• How to Store Firewood: Best Practices for Longevity and Safety

    August 13, 2023 7 min read

    How to Store Firewood: Best Practices for Longevity and Safety - Prime Yard Tools

    Storing firewood might seem like a straightforward task, but to ensure a good burn, longevity, and safety, one must follow proper firewood storage techniques. Whether you’re curious about how to store firewood outside or searching for the most efficient firewood rack, this guide has got you covered.

    Understanding Firewood Types

    Before delving into how to store firewood, it's crucial to differentiate between the types of wood you might be dealing with. Storing wood isn't a one-size-fits-all affair. Green firewood, or wood that's freshly cut, contains more moisture and requires a different approach compared to seasoned wood, which has been dried and is ready to burn efficiently.

    Where to Store Firewood

    Choosing the right location for your firewood storage is not just about convenience; it also plays a pivotal role in ensuring the longevity and quality of the wood. Let's delve deeper into the factors affecting this decision and the best practices associated with each choice.

    1. Safety Considerations

    Safety should always be paramount when considering where to store your firewood.

    • Fire Risk: Dry firewood is flammable. Storing a large amount of it adjacent to your home or other structures could pose a fire risk. Ensure that it's stored at a safe distance, especially if you plan to store it outdoors.

    • Pest Risk: As earlier mentioned, wood can attract pests. While storing firewood away from the ground can reduce this risk, ensuring a good distance between your woodpile and your home can prevent pests from easily transitioning to your living spaces.

    2. Accessibility

    While safety is paramount, you also want your firewood within easy reach, especially during colder months.

    • Outdoor Storage: While this is a common choice and can accommodate large quantities, consider how accessible it will be in snow, rain, or other adverse conditions. You might not want to trudge across your yard in the middle of a snowstorm.

    • Indoor Storage: Storing a small quantity indoors, perhaps near the fireplace or stove, ensures you have a quick supply on especially cold nights. This eliminates the need for frequent trips outside but requires vigilant safety practices.

    3. Space

    The amount of firewood you have and your storage capacity will also influence your decision.

    • Outdoor Storage: Ideal for those who buy or chop wood in bulk. With ample yard space, you can have large firewood stacks or even dedicated sheds.

    • Indoor Storage: Space can be limiting. While firewood racks and holders come in various sizes, you can only store a limited amount. It's more about having a short-term supply than bulk storage.

    4. Environmental Considerations

    Your local environment and climate play roles in the storage decision.

    • Humidity & Rain: In wet climates, outdoor firewood may never get the chance to properly dry, leading to damp wood that's hard to burn. A covered storage solution or even indoor storage becomes crucial.

    • Snow & Cold: In colder regions with heavy snowfall, digging out your woodpile after every snowstorm can become cumbersome. Covered outdoor storage or a closer proximity to the house can be beneficial.

    • Sunny Climates: In hot, sunny climates, the main concern becomes ensuring the wood doesn't become too dry or degrade. Shaded outdoor storage can be advantageous here.

    There's no one-size-fits-all answer when determining where to store firewood. By evaluating the amount of wood you have, your local climate, and balancing safety with convenience, you can determine the best storage location tailored to your needs. Whether you decide on outdoor storage or to keep a small stack indoors, proper organization and precautions will ensure you have quality firewood ready to warm your home.

    How to Store Firewood Outside

    Storing firewood outdoors is a common practice for many homeowners. However, to maintain the quality of the wood and ensure it's ready for burning when needed, it's crucial to understand the best practices associated with outdoor storage.

    Preparation Steps

    1. Choosing the Right Spot: The location of your firewood pile can make all the difference. While wet wood can attract pests and become challenging to burn, the spot should also:

      • Be away from the main house to minimize pest infiltration.

      • Be easily accessible, especially during winter or rainy seasons.

      • Be in a location where water doesn't pool, ensuring the base remains dry.

    2. Elevation: This is paramount to keep the wood off damp grounds. You can use treated pallets, logs, or purpose-built firewood racks to elevate your woodpile. This elevation aids in preventing ground moisture from affecting the wood.

    3. Type of Wood: While seasoned wood is preferred for its reduced moisture content, green firewood can also be stored outside. However, green wood requires more time and attention to dry out. To accelerate the drying process, ensure:

      • The wood is split into smaller pieces.

      • It's stored in an area with good sunlight and wind exposure.

    Stacking Techniques

    1. Traditional Stacking: This is a method where logs are laid parallel to each other, ensuring there's enough space between each log for air to circulate. This space prevents mold growth and aids in the drying process.

    2. Holzhausen Technique: An ancient European method, this involves stacking wood in a circular pattern, maximizing space, and ensuring stability. The center of the structure is hollow, allowing for excellent air circulation.

    3. Stability and Safety: A well-balanced and stable woodpile is essential to prevent it from toppling over. Ensure the base is stable, and as you stack, consider laying a few logs perpendicular every few layers to “tie” the pile together.

    Protection from Elements

    1. Covering: Protecting your firewood from rain and snow is essential. Using tarps or specialized firewood covers can help. However, avoid wrapping the entire pile. Instead, focus on covering the top, and ensure the sides are open to promote airflow.

    2. Dealing with Snow and Ice: A snow-covered firewood pile can become damp and challenging to use. After significant snowfall, ensure you brush off the snow, especially from the top of the pile.

    3. Routine Checks: Periodically inspect your woodpile for signs of mold, pests, or rot. Addressing these issues early can save a significant portion of your stock.

    Storing firewood outside necessitates vigilance and proper techniques to ensure the wood remains dry and ready to burn. By selecting an optimal location, using effective stacking methods, and safeguarding against the elements, you'll have a dependable woodpile through every season.

    Best Ways to Store Firewood

    Determining the best ways to store firewood is essential for both the longevity of the wood and for ensuring safe and efficient burns. Here we delve deeper into the considerations for both indoor and outdoor storage.

    Indoor Storage Considerations

    1. Firewood Racks: A popular choice for indoor storage is a firewood rack. These structures are designed to keep your firewood off the ground, ensuring the wood remains dry and free from pests. Racks come in various sizes and styles, allowing for customization based on your interior decor.

    2. Distance from Walls and Flammable Items: It’s essential to ensure that there's ample space between your stored firewood and the walls. This prevents potential moisture damage to walls and ensures better air circulation around the wood. Moreover, keeping firewood away from flammable items reduces the risk of accidental fires.

    3. Non-flammable Surfaces: Always store your firewood on non-flammable surfaces. This could mean placing a fire-resistant mat beneath your firewood rack, especially if you have carpeting or wooden flooring.

    Outdoor Storage Best Practices

    1. Wood Storage Sheds: These dedicated structures offer protection from the elements, ensuring your firewood remains dry throughout the year. A shed provides ample space, allows for better organization, and can be locked to deter theft.

    2. Dedicated Wood Storage Structures: Apart from sheds, there are other structures designed specifically for storing firewood outdoors. These might include covered firewood racks or storage lean-tos. These structures ensure that the wood is elevated, well-ventilated, and protected from rain and snow.

    Comparison Table: Indoor vs. Outdoor Firewood Storage

    Feature Indoor Storage Outdoor Storage
    Protection from Elements Natural protection due to being indoors. Requires sheds or covers for adequate protection.
    Space Requirement Limited by indoor space; ideal for short-term storage. Suitable for bulk storage; more space available.
    Accessibility Immediate access, especially during colder months. Might require a walk outside; less convenient during bad weather.
    Ventilation Dependent on room ventilation; potential for moisture buildup. Naturally well-ventilated; reduced risk of moisture issues.
    Cost Generally lower due to smaller racks and storage solutions. Potentially higher due to sheds and larger structures.
    Aesthetic Appeal Can be a decorative element if styled well. More functional in appearance; less focus on aesthetics.
    Pest Concerns Higher risk if wood isn't properly seasoned or if pests are brought in. Risk exists, but easier to manage and treat outdoors.


    In conclusion, the decision on where and how to store firewood largely depends on individual preferences, available space, and how often one uses the firewood. Both indoor and outdoor methods, if done correctly, can serve your needs effectively.

    Protection from Pests

    No one wants pests, whether it’s in the home or outdoors. A firewood pile, if not managed properly, can become a haven for various pests, from insects to rodents. Ensuring protection against these unwanted guests is crucial for both the quality of your wood and the safety of your home.

    1. Elevation: One of the primary reasons for pests infesting your firewood is direct contact with the ground. By elevating your woodpile using pallets, firewood racks, or logs as a base, you drastically reduce the risk of ground-dwelling pests making a home in your wood.

    2. Distance from the Home: Firewood stored too close to the home is an invitation for pests to transition from the woodpile to your home. It's recommended to maintain a distance of at least 5 to 20 feet from your residence, depending on the size of your pile and the type of pests common in your area.

    3. Natural Repellents: Many commercial pest repellents contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful when inhaled. For a more eco-friendly solution, consider natural repellents like cedarwood oil, eucalyptus, or even a mix of water and vinegar. Regularly spraying or placing these repellents around your woodpile can deter many pests.

    Pests Commonly Attracted to Firewood and Their Preventive Measures

    Pest Attraction to Firewood Preventive Measures
    Termites Love damp, rotting wood. Elevate wood, keep it dry, avoid stacking against the house.
    Ants Seek shelter and form colonies, especially in damp wood. Elevate wood, use natural repellents, inspect regularly.
    Spiders Dark, undisturbed spaces attract them. Regularly disturb the pile, use gloves when handling firewood.
    Rodents Seek shelter and nesting materials. Elevate wood, maintain distance from home, use repellents.
    Beetles Some species lay eggs in wood or feed on it. Use seasoned wood, inspect logs, and split them if necessary.


    By understanding the kind of pests that could target your firewood and the preventive measures to keep them at bay, you'll be better equipped to maintain a clean, pest-free woodpile. Remember, consistent checks and proactive measures are the best way to ensure your firewood remains in top condition.

    Safety Considerations

    Safety can’t be emphasized enough. Ensure your wood pile, whether you’re storing firewood outside or inside, is away from flammable structures. Over-stacking or having unstable firewood stacks can be hazardous. Routinely inspect the wood for mold, pests, or rot.


    Whether you burn green or seasoned wood, proper firewood storage is essential for an efficient burn. A good firewood rack, dry firewood, and safety precautions will make those cozy winter fires all the more enjoyable.