Storing firewood in your garage may seem like an easy choice. For most people, it’s their number one choice. But while it may seem convenient for many people, this practice isn’t ideal. The only significant advantage of storing your firewood in a garage is the fact that there’s lots of storage space.
You should not store firewood in your garage. When you store firewood in your garage, you put yourself at risk of a fire hazard as well as attracting unwanted insects into your home. It is best to keep firewood outside and away from the house. Preferably somewhere elevated to prevent any rotting.
Storing firewood in your garage is possible, no doubt, but there are certain routine practices you must carry out to ensure that you don’t suffer any disaster. But why risk all that when there are safer and less hazardous ways to store your firewood?
Should You Store Firewood in Your Garage?
When storing firewood, your ultimate goal should be to keep it dry and protected from elements that can damage it. So, before you stock up firewood in your garage, ask yourself if it will satisfy the above conditions. Whether or not you finally decide to store your firewood in your garage is entirely up to you.
On the one hand, storing wood in your garage will require no additional costs, facilities, or tools. You can dump your firewood there and retrieve them whenever you want. You also don’t need to worry about the weather acting on your wood since garages are well-sheltered.
On the other hand, storing firewood in your garage may increase the potential of a fire hazard. There’s also the tendency for rats, pests, and insects to turn your garage into a breeding ground.
Furthermore, if your wood isn’t very dry, storing it in your garage may cause mold to develop. This mold problem may grow worse if your garage has poor ventilation. Also, wet wood will take longer to dry out in a garage. Such firewood may decay after a long while, attracting more insects and pests.
If you must store firewood in your garage, be prepared to take preventive measures. It would be best to carry out certain contingencies occasionally, so you don’t lose your wood or your home.
Is It Safe to Store Firewood in Your Garage?
For the wood, yes, it’s safe. For your home, no, it’s not safe. Since firewood is very flammable (especially well-seasoned ones), storing it in your garage is a potential fire hazard. If your home has a garage heater, this shouldn’t be a storage option for you at all.
Even if your home doesn’t have a storage heater, gasoline or other flammables may come in contact with your firewood one day. Why turn your garage into a potential fireplace?
Besides fire hazards, here are other reasons why storing firewood in your garage may not be safe.
Most woods (especially firewood) contain insects in them, and you may not even know. These insects are fond of hiding in the wood until the surrounding conditions are just right for them to emerge. They can lie dormant in wood for a long time until the conditions are right for them to appear.
When you store firewood in your garage, these insects may creep out and invade your home. Before you know what’s going on, you have an insect infestation problem in your hands. Pros will recommend that you check your wood for signs of insect infestation before you store them. But then, you can never be too sure.
We all know rodents, pests, and other creeping creatures love crowded places. When you store firewood in your garage, there’s a good chance they will come. Once these roaches, rodents, insects, etc., start breeding in your garage, they will migrate into your home over time.
Congestion and Stuffiness
Many folks who use garages for storing firewood don’t take the time to stack them up neatly. Over time this creates congestion, as your firewood takes up more and more garage space.
This congestion may also make the air around your garage stuffy, especially if the wood isn’t properly seasoned. This can be a problem over time, mainly if your garage used to be a semi-workshop or a playground for kids.
Will Firewood Dry Out in A Garage?
There may be a chance that storing your wood in the garage will make it develop mold. This is usually the case when the wood isn’t properly seasoned and still has high moisture content. If you think that your firewood will dry out in your garage, whether it is well-seasoned or not, think again.
Unless you intend on bringing out wet wood for occasional sun-drying, you may lose them to mold and rot.
Ensure proper ventilation in your garage before you conclude that your firewood will dry out. Or, you can ensure your garage is appropriately heated or receives some rays of sunlight. If your garage doesn’t have any of these aspects, then you should bring only well-seasoned wood into your garage.
Even if you have a garage heater that can potentially dry your wet wood, you shouldn’t use it. This is because of the risk of a fire outbreak. The best option for drying firewood is sun-drying.
If you must store firewood in your garage, ensure that the moisture content is low, say 15% or less. These kinds of woods can quickly dry out with proper ventilation alone. Therefore, all you have to do is stack your firewood in a spacious manner.
Pros would recommend you stack them a few inches away from the wall and prop them off the floor using any available means. This spacious arrangement will ensure that every piece of firewood gets exposed to adequate air.
Where Is the Best Place to Store Firewood?
The best place to store firewood is outside of your home. Of course, you are not just going to drop it outside your house. You need to have a structure that will act as a shelter from the elements and still provide proper ventilation.
Professionals recommend that your firewood outpost be located at least 20 feet away from the door to your home. Doing this ensures that the insects and critters lodging in them have no direct access route into your house.
When stacking firewood, make sure you stack them up in rows that aren’t more than 4 feet high. Also, ensure that you don’t stack them too close to a wall, structure, or building. This is important so that such structures won’t restrict airflow to the firewood.
To protect your firewood from the weather elements, you can use a firewood cover, such as a tarp. You shouldn’t cover up the entire stack, though – just the upper part is enough. This way, the edges of the wood breathe.
If you are sure that your firewood is thoroughly dried and there’s no need for air-drying, then get a full-size firewood cover. This type of cover (or tarp) keeps your wood pest-free and contamination-free until you’re ready to use it.
Other good places or structures to store firewood include:
- Storage boxes
Whatever arrangements you use, whatever the location, make sure your wood gets adequate ventilation.
Although it may seem that there are many risks involved in storing firewood in your garage, the results may vary.
Many people store firewood in their garages with no issues whatsoever. But such good results don’t come by chance. If you must store firewood successfully in your garage, then ensure:
- The place stays tidy
- The garage is well-ventilated
- There are no chances of starting a fire there (make the garage fireproof if you can)
Also, don’t stack up firewood in your garage for too long. Every two weeks at most, you should exhaust each stack and bring in a fresh batch of firewood. Doing this will help deter the chances of bug and pest infestation.
Whether they are pests, insects, or fire, you probably want none of these. Therefore, ensure you inspect and monitor your firewood properly if stored in your garage.