Whether your home uses a wood burning furnace as its primary heat source, or you simply enjoy building a small fire on a cold winter’s night, the importance of proper outdoor firewood storage cannot be overstated. Haphazardly stacked, uncovered firewood is not just an eyesore; it will also not burn as well as wood that is kept dry and free of mold. To ensure that you will always have wood that is ready to burn at your disposal, no matter what the weather, investing in a firewood storage rack is crucial.
Metal storage racks are one of the most popular firewood storage options available. Though they are primarily designed for durability, they also make an attractive addition to the exterior of any home. The leading racks are made with heavy gauge painted steel, which will last for decades in even the harshest conditions. As a testament to their quality, many manufacturers offer warranties of up to ten years on all the models that they sell. Their open design allows some air and moisture to pass through the wood, making them inhospitable to most types of mold and mildew that often call firewood piles home. In addition, they will prevent your wood from drying out too much, which can result in faster than normal burning times.
For most users, sizes that accommodate either 1/8 or 1/4 of a cord of wood are sufficiently large for their needs. Even if you prefer to buy wood in larger quantities, you may use the rack as a staging area near your home for the wood that you will be burning over the next few days or weeks. To further protect your wood, it is a good idea to make an additional investment in a heavy-duty canvas cover. There are two different designs that are widely available: those that cover the entire pile and those that provide coverage only for the top layer. Whichever design you choose, these covers can ensure that your wood will be kept dry, even in the case of driving rain or snow.
Building your own firewood rack is also an option for those with the tools and knowledge to tackle this do-it-yourself project. Most plans encourage builders to use wood, as opposed to steel, when constructing their rack. These racks may be built for as little as $20, but they tend not to last as long as their metal counterparts, even if they are well built. If you will be building your own, the key to extending its longevity is in using thick wood covered in a protective laminate.
Whether you opt for a commercial or a do-it-yourself rack, creating a designated outdoor firewood storage area will improve the look of your home’s exterior and the quality of the wood you burn.