Dry firewood burns more effectively than damp or wet wood. However, if you don't have a dedicated wood shed, it can be challenging to keep your wood dry through the winter. To help, check out these tips.
1. Find a Waterproof Cover
You don't necessarily need a fancy shed, a carport or similar structure to protect your firewood. Rather, you just need to cover it with something relatively waterproof. Try a piece of plastic sheeting or a tarp.
If wind is a concern, place a heavy rock on top of the tarp. Also, make sure not to pull the tarp all the way to the ground. If you make an airtight seal, that can lock in moisture that may lead to condensation and wet wood. Leave some space for air to circulate under the tarp.
2. Focus on Drainage Whilst Stacking
Ideally, whether you use a tarp or not, stack the wood in a way that facilitates drainage. To explain, imagine a road. The middle of most roads is slightly raised so that water runs to the sides and doesn't sit on the road. Mimic this shape with your wood pile. Make the pile the highest at the centre and lower on the sides.
3. Stack for Airflow
It also helps to stack your wood in a way that optimises air flow. If you have freshly cut firewood that you are trying to dry and cure, this method is particularly helpful. Cut the firewood to the size that works for your wood burner or fireplace.
Then, create the bottom layer of the pile by evenly spacing pieces parallel to each other. Lay the next row of wood on top of that, and put these pieces perpendicular to the bottom row. This helps with curing, but the airflow can also keep unwanted condensation at bay.
4. Don't Set on the Ground
The ground can also introduce moisture into your firewood pile. To protect your firewood from the ground, consider laying two planks on the ground and then stacking the wood on top of them. A layer of pea shingle or some paving stones can also work.
5. Orient Supporting Planks With the Wind
If you decide to rest your firewood pile on planks, orient the wood so that it complements the direction of the prevailing wind in your area. Ideally, the wood should be positioned so that the air can sweep through those planks and create a wind tunnel under the wood pile.