We’re passionate about high-quality firewood up here in Minnesota. Good wood is essential for keeping our homes warm during these punishing winters and enjoying bonfires on summer and autumn nights. Therefore, we don’t take the question of where to store firewood lightly.
Purchasing the highest-quality wood is an excellent start to reliable, warm fires… but it’s only the first step. Where you store your firewood will make or break its quality.
The wrong spot can lead to damp wood that:
- Is challenging to ignite
- Fizzles quickly
- Produces a lot of smoke and creosote
- Is full of mold and pests
- Has short burn times with less heat than expected
Fortunately, proper firewood storage is easy. It simply requires basic precautions to protect the wood from moisture and invasive pests.
Storage is also easier when firewood is dry and pest-free since you can store it outdoors or indoors. Kiln-dried firewood makes this type of storage possible.
At ProCut Firewood, we deliver premium kiln-dried firewood throughout the Greater Twin Cities region. The hardwood comes with less than 20% moisture for optimal burns with minimal smoke and is completely purified from all insects, mold and fungus. So, if you’re looking for some firewood to store, we invite you to learn more about our wood below.
Got the firewood you need to store? Great! Here are six essential tips for successful firewood storage:
1. Don’t Store Your Firewood Indoors Unless It’s Kiln-Dried
At the most basic level, you have two options for where to store your firewood: indoors or outdoors. The option you should choose will depend on the type of firewood you have.
There are three basic types of firewood: green, seasoned and kiln-dried. Here are the basic definitions for each:
- Green Firewood: Recently chopped but hasn’t had a chance to dry yet
- Seasoned Firewood: Air-dried for at least six months to reduce its moisture
- Kiln-Dried Firewood: Dried in a kiln at 265°F for 36 hours to reduce its moisture content to below 20% and kill off all invasive pests
Green and seasoned firewood are unsafe to store indoors because they often contain insects, mold, pesticides and fungus. We don’t know about you, but we don’t want any creepy crawlies in our house!
Conversely, kiln-dried firewood doesn’t have this problem. The super-hot kiln kills off any invasive pests that may have been lurking in the wood, making it safe to store indoors.
Furthermore, green and seasoned wood needs outdoor storage for further air drying. Green firewood still has a ton of moisture to shed. And while seasoned wood already comes with multiple months of air drying under its belt, it’s rarely enough to get it as dry as needed. Instead, seasoned wood is usually well above the 20% dryness threshold for optimal burning performance.
In contrast, kiln-dried firewood goes through a controlled drying process, always keeping its moisture content below 20%. So, you can always count on kiln-dried wood to give you the hottest, longest and cleanest burns. Plus, you don’t have to worry about needing more air-drying outdoors. It’s already as dry as it needs to be, so it’ll do fine in a controlled indoor environment.
2. Give Outdoor Firewood Space to Breathe
Green and seasoned firewood needs outdoor storage. Kiln-dried firewood is safe to store either outdoors or indoors. Therefore, since all three types of wood are suitable for outdoor storage, let’s turn our attention to how to store firewood outdoors.
The most important thing to consider for where to store firewood outside is giving the firewood its space.
All types of firewood need room for protection from moisture and insects that can prey upon the wood outdoors. Space lets green and seasoned firewood continue to air dry in peace. For kiln-dried firewood, space keeps it in pristine burning condition.
So, how do you give your firewood its space? Two ways:
- Keep the wood elevated off the ground.
- Don’t place your wood pile too close to your home or other structures.
Let’s take a closer look at how to accomplish each of these requirements:
How to Keep Firewood Off the Ground
Your wood needs to be off the soil because contact with the ground can lead to pests and moisture getting in. Therefore, you should never leave your firewood in an unorganized pile on the ground.
Instead, we recommend putting your stack on an elevated cement platform. You can also elevate it on pallets, 2”x4” boards or a vapor barrier—anything that keeps the moisture away from the wood will do.
Requirements for Keeping Space Around Your Wood Pile
It’s a good idea to keep your firewood pile at least 20 feet away from the outside of your home for several reasons. Placing the pile next to your home can create a launching pad for termites and other bugs to burrow their way into your siding. It can also be a fire hazard.
Keeping at least a few feet of space between your firewood stack and any other outdoor structures is also essential. There must be enough space for air to flow through the pieces and keep them dry. You should also trim any branches or greenery hanging near your pile to remove possible access ramps for bugs and moisture.
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3. Protect Outdoor Firewood from the Elements
It’s also crucial to protect your firewood stack from the rain and snow when storing it outside. The first step is being mindful of where you place your wood. Avoid any areas of your yard that take on a lot of water and puddles during rainstorms.
At the same time, you don’t want the location for your stack to have too much shade. The firewood will need plenty of direct sunlight to dry it should it get damp.
Once you have a good location, you’ll also want to choose a solid structure to house your stack. Two of the best outdoor firewood storage structures are a rack with a tarp or a log store.
A firewood rack is an elevated structure with two bookends to hold a firewood stack in place. It’s a good idea to secure a tarp on top of firewood stacked on your rack to protect your stack from the rain and snow.
A log store is a step up from the rack and tarp method as it’s a ventilated wood structure with a slanted roof to keep the rain away. It’s also open on one side for easy wood access and further ventilation.
4. Stack Your Firewood Correctly for Optimal Airflow
How you stack your firewood is just as important as where you store it. This is because improper stacking can restrict airflow and cause the pieces to get damp and moldy.
You can prevent this by stacking the wood in one row with all pieces facing the same way and at least two feet of space on both sides. Don’t stack the pieces too tightly next to each other. Instead, leave small gaps between the pieces so air can get through and keep them dry.
If you’re stacking green or seasoned wood outside, stack the pieces bark-side-down. This will allow the water to evaporate from the wood more efficiently as it dries. Stacking greener wood on the bottom and more seasoned wood on the top is also a good idea because that’s the wood you’ll want to burn first.
Conversely, you can stack kiln-dried firewood with the bark side up because it doesn’t need to dry further. Placing the bark side up will protect the wood from water infiltration when storing it outdoors.
5. Strategically Choose the Room for Indoor Storage
But what if you have kiln-dried firewood and want to store it indoors? Indoor storage is an excellent option because it reduces the chances of the kiln-dried wood getting wet or invaded by pests. Still, you must be cautious when choosing an indoor space because not all rooms are conducive to keeping kiln-dried wood fresh.
The room you choose needs to have low humidity and plenty of airflow. A basement and sometimes a garage will often meet these requirements. Obviously, the room should also have enough space to hold your firewood.
When it comes to how to store firewood in a garage or basement, the best practices for outdoor storage still apply. Keep plenty of space around the stack, and make sure you don’t stack the wood higher than four feet, as anything higher can be a safety hazard.
Another option for indoor storage is to use small stacks of kiln-dried firewood as decorations around your home. Not only is kiln-dried firewood great to burn, but it also looks great, and the stacks can add to a home’s natural or rustic aesthetic.
6. Consider Your Needs
This last tip isn’t only about firewood storage but also a general recommendation. Before you purchase or cut firewood, you want to consider how much you really need. For example, you don’t need multiple cords of firewood stored if you only plan to have a few bonfires throughout the year. However, a single cord may not be sufficient if you use firewood as your primary (or only) heat source.
Generally speaking, buying or storing an appropriate amount of firewood is cost-efficient. It reduces your initial investment considerably and makes finding a place to store all that wood easier. Plus, less piled wood means a slightly lower risk of fire or bug infestations – yes, even if you’ve bought lower-quality firewood. (Of course, we don’t recommend ever buying low-quality wood.)
From a firewood storage standpoint, following the tips in our guide is more straightforward when you have an appropriate amount of wood stored. If your wood needs are lower than initially thought, more storage options may also open. But, if you need a lot of wood, at least the tips here can make it as simple as possible.
Where Will You Store Your Firewood?
As you can see, firewood storage is easy. It only requires following a few best practices to keep the wood pristine. If you keep your stack off the ground, leave plenty of space around it and give it some overhead protection from the rain, you should be fine.
Storage is especially fun with kiln-dried firewood because it opens a ton of options for both outdoor and indoor spaces. If you want this flexibility, we’d be happy to supply you with all the kiln-dried wood you need.
Please call us today to place your kiln-dried firewood order. We deliver to Minneapolis, Saint Paul and the entire Twin Cities metro region – including areas like Edina, Inver Grove Heights and Oronoco!
Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in June of 2023 and updated in January of 2024.