Storing firewood can be a daunting task, especially when you are stocking up for the winter. A majority of people choose to either store. Many people stack firewood either inside their houses or outside. But, can you stack the firewood directly against your house?
It is definitely not recommended to stack firewood directly against your house. If stacking firewood near your house, it is recommended to stack your firewood off of the ground, and at least 5 feet away from the foundation of your home.
Firewood attracts insects and bugs which will nest in the wood during storage, and by keeping your firewood a good distance from your house will help keep these bugs off or out of your home. Firewood is also highly flammable which can also put your home at risk in case of a fire.
Is It Safe to Stack Wood Against a House?
A straight-away answer to this would be no, it’s not. While your stack of firewood seems perfectly fine lying out there, it can burn very quickly. There is a high likelihood that your home would erupt in flames if your firewood were ever to catch on fire.
However, the fire hazard isn’t the only reason you shouldn’t stack wood against your home. Instead, you should know that a wood stack is also home to several dangerous species that can harm you at any time.
You might be confident about knowing your locality and may feel like no reptile can ever reach the firewood. However, we would never suggest you stack any type of wood logs against your home.
This is because storing firewood out in the open invites many hazards. Given below are some of the consequences of stacking firewood next to a living space. Reading these will answer all your questions on whether such a practice is safe or not.
The easiest way to store your firewood is with a firewood log rack like this one by Woodhaven. Its structural integrity is very sound, and will keep your firewood off of the ground. It also comes with its own cover that will cover the top 12″ of your firewood.
What to Expect When Storing Firewood Outside Your Home
Insects and Reptiles
No matter how much you try to keep them away, insects and reptiles don’t take a lot of time to find a new home.
When you let thick stacks of firewood stay outside your home for weeks, the homeless beetles, ants, lizards, and snakes find their way to those stacks. In case the stacked wood is too thick and improperly kept, bigger species like rodents and rats might also find their way to it.
When the wood stays there untouched for months, these animals populate further and start feeding on whatever they get from it. The presence of such reptiles and animals in this stack means a constant danger for the people living inside the house. These animals usually attack unknowing children who’d surely mess with the stacked wood when left unsupervised.
Even if you may never go near the stacked firewood throughout the season, you’ll have to move this wood inside once you need it back. When moving the wood inside, these insects and reptiles may attack you or end up finding a way inside your house. These insects can easily find their way inside your home regardless of you taking the wood inside too.
Let’s say you safely move the wood inside and don’t see any insect throughout the process. Still, there’s a lot of danger hidden under all that wood. Some of these animals eat up the wood from the inside, making it hollow and then live inside that wooden cavity.
When you let such populated wood logs inside your home or warm them in the fire pit, these hidden insects tend to come out. They may then spread throughout your home and inside the fire pit, making it all dirty and unhygienic.
Improper Firewood Storage Can Lead to Unusable Wood
As already stated, leaving the firewood out in the open without covering it means you’re providing many insects and reptiles with free food. Even if these insects might not populate the logs, they can eat up most of the inside. Hollow wood wouldn’t burn when you need it to. Even if some of it might burn at first, it’s unlikely to last you for more than a few hours.
Other than insects, moisture, and extreme exposure to weather of all kinds can also make the wood too dry or too moist. In both cases, the firewood would hardly burn for more than a day. Even when you’re stacking green wood against your house, it will keep on absorbing moisture from the ground. The wood won’t burn effectively in this case too.
Will Firewood Dry in a Pile?
Yes, the firewood can easily dry when you throw it under the sun in a random pile. However, you need to take care of a few things:
- Try to make this pile a few inches above the ground. This way, no moisture can reach it from below, thus speeding up its drying process.
- Try to jumble and turn over the piled wood every few days. This can allow every piece an equal exposure to the sunlight, thus drying them all equally well.
- Ensure that none of the pile’s pieces is developing fungus so that all the wood in a pile can come in handy for burning.
Spread of Termites or Ants Inside Your Home
If the insects populating your firewood are big enough for you to see, some microscopic agents might be inhabiting the wood too. In most cases, these microscopic insects are not microscopic in literal terms. Instead, these are just too small to be seen easily. The most common of these are carpenter ants and termites.
Both of these are known for their wood-eating ability. Let’s suppose they don’t eat much of the stacked wood outside throughout the season. Let’s then assume that when you take this partially eaten wood back inside, it’ll burn effectively too. This can lead you to think that the wood is all safe. Hence you won’t worry about anything as such.
However, the truth is that this termite-affected wood is the most dangerous of all. When you take it inside, the invisible carpenter ants and termites can spread all around your home. These could then start to eat up your furniture and other wooden furniture at your place.
What’s worse is that you’ll usually notice this damage after these bugs have fed on most of the wood. Such damage would mostly be irreversible, causing you much harm and monetary loss.
Storing Your Firewood at a Proper Distance From Your Home
By now, you might be feeling like you’re left with no suitable place to store firewood. Don’t worry because you can easily store firewood by stacking it outside your house. All you need to do is to keep it at a safe distance from your home. Usually, a distance of around five to six feet between the stacked firewood and any building is considered best.
While maintaining this distance, you should place the stacks very carefully to ensure minimal reach for insects and bugs. Also, it’s better to stack the wood a few inches above the ground to avoid its contact with moisture and reptiles.
Keeping a good amount of distance from your home and firewood storage will also help minimize the risks of your house being damaged in the event of a fire. Firewood is extremely flammable, and if too close to your home, can cause your home to catch on fire as well.
It is not recommended to store your firewood directly against your home. Firewood is highly flammable which can put your home more at risk if a fire were to ever break out near your home.
Certain insects and bugs also like to eat or live inside firewood. Having your firewood against your home make it easier for these insects and bugs to make your home their own.
If storing your firewood outside, store it off of the ground, and keep at least a distance of 5 feet from the foundation of your home and the firewood.