Having a plentiful, good-quality supply of wood is important if you are wanting to rely on a fireplace to keep the house warm in the winter months, or be able to use the woodfire oven to cook a delicious meal. Just as important is making sure that this firewood is kept in good condition so that it is ready to be used at any time.
Shipping containers of all shapes and sizes are a good option for storing firewood. The shelter can provide ideal conditions to keep your wood in tip-top shape, however, there are a few problems that can arise and things to be mindful of in terms of proper storage of your firewood.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the ins and outs of storing your precious firewood in a shipping container, as well as how to avoid common issues that you may encounter which can compromise the integrity of your supply.
How to Store Wood in a Shipping Container:
So you’ve decided that you have the room and it’s worth investing in a shipping container to store your large supply of firewood… or maybe that shipping container that’s been sitting in the garden for months without any use is finally getting a new life.
Storing your firewood in a shipping container is not as simple as just throwing it in haphazardly and shutting the door, and it’s still important to consider how to align the storage conditions with those above – which are described as ideal…
Shipping containers are generally manufactured using corten steel, which is extremely strong and weather-resistant. Metal is an excellent conductor of heat which can accelerate the drying and aging process of the firewood – and this is generally a good thing.
This being said, one issue that can arise in this instance is moisture in the shipping container as the presence of heat and water can encourage humidity, and humidity and moisture are the enemies of maintaining good quality firewood.
To combat this, place your shipping container in a shaded area that does not get direct sunlight at the hottest parts of the day. Stacking the firewood on pallets is an inexpensive way to ensure that air can circulate under the wood, as well as keeping the stack off the ground and out of any puddles or pools of water that may develop.
To allow for proper ventilation, it’s important not to overfill the shipping container with wood – as well as having space underneath the pile, leaving a bit of room around the edges of the container serves the same purpose of circulating the air.
Leaving a door of the shipping container slightly open encourages airflow through the structure, as does drilling some holes in the top and sides.
Using an aisle stacking method allows you to rotate the wood for first-in-first-out usage (meaning that you get the best quality of your supply each time), and it also gives you that little bit of extra room to keep the area moisture-free.
If you’re still not finding that ventilation is adequate, and your wood is not drying out or staying as dry as you would like it to, using a vent installed on the sidewalls or the roof of the container allows for cross ventilation. This process can be as simple as using a few louver vents on the sides, or as technical and as installing a whirlybird vent on top.
In most instances, installing a vent is a pretty straightforward process that you can do yourself, but there’s always the option of hiring a professional to give you advice and handle the installation.
If you have access to (or want to invest in) a Shipping Container to store your firewood, it can be a really great way to keep your supply of firewood at a high quality – which is important in order to keep yourself and those around you safe and reduce the risk of a fire hazard. Once you’ve established the appropriate conditions, there is very little maintenance needed.
What Is the Best Way to Store Firewood?
To put it simply, there is no ‘best’ way to store firewood- where the safest location for you to stockpile will depend on where you live, the space you have available, and how much firewood you have. The most common place you’ll find firewood being stacked is in a dry and well-ventilated area, often against a house or shed structure.
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.
Conditions to Consider When Storing Firewood:
Regardless of where you decide to store your firewood supply, there are a few conditions to keep in mind. To maintain your wood at a ready-to-use quality, you need to ensure that it is kept outside in a dry area with plenty of natural airflow.
If you live in a particularly wet or snowy environment, an enclosed structure like a shed or lean-to gives you a higher chance of keeping the firewood dry – burning wet wood can be dangerous to your health and property and can be a severe fire hazard.
Ensuring that your firewood is stored in a well-ventilated space will reduce the build-up of mold and rot as your firewood ages, and prevent infestations of rodent and insect pests.
As with any storage method, there are some issues to keep in mind when maintaining the conditions of the shipping container. It’s crucial to not just throw your wood into the container and forget about it – as this is a surefire way to waste the wood you have as it deteriorates to a poor and unusable quality.
If you put the time and energy into ensuring that the container keeps your firewood dry and pest-free by following the guidelines and considerations above, shipping containers can be an organized storage option.
Not only does this ensure that you have great quality firewood whenever you need it, but it also eliminates the need for the eye-sore that can arise from a messy, decomposing pile of wood.