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How To Store Wood Outside

If you’re a woodworking enthusiast or simply have a surplus of firewood, finding the right way to store wood outside is essential for preserving its quality and durability. Whether you’re preparing for the winter season or need a safe place to store your lumber, understanding the best practices for outdoor wood storage is crucial. From protecting against rot and pests to ensuring proper airflow, this guide will provide practical tips and techniques to help you keep your wood in optimal condition. So, whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or a DIY enthusiast, let’s dive into the world of outdoor wood storage and discover how to preserve and protect your precious timber.

Picture this: a crisp autumn evening, the crackling sound of a roaring fire, and the comforting warmth it provides. But what if your firewood is damp, infested with insects, or decaying due to improper storage? Don’t let that happen to you! By following a few simple guidelines, you can ensure that your woodpile remains in top-notch condition, ready to fuel cozy nights by the fire for seasons to come. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore effective methods for storing wood outside, covering everything from choosing the right location and stacking techniques to treating and maintaining your woodpile. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your gloves, and let’s embark on a journey to master the art of outdoor wood storage!

how to store wood outside


How to Store Wood Outside

Properly storing wood outside is crucial to ensure its longevity and usability. Whether you have a stockpile of firewood or need to store lumber for a construction project, following the right steps will protect the wood from damage caused by moisture, pests, and other environmental factors. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of storing wood outside, providing you with step-by-step instructions and valuable tips to keep your wood in optimal condition.

1. Choose the Right Location

The first step in storing wood outside is to select an appropriate location. Ideally, you want to find an area that is well-ventilated and protected from direct rainfall or excessive sunlight. If possible, consider placing the woodpile under a roof or using a tarp to create a makeshift shelter. This will prevent the wood from getting wet and reduce the risk of mold or rot.

Additionally, make sure the location is away from any structures or trees that could potentially pose a fire hazard. Wood should be stored at least 20 feet away from buildings, as it can attract pests and increase the risk of fire.

2. Stack and Cover the Wood

Once you have chosen the right location, it’s time to start stacking the wood. Place a layer of pallets or wooden planks on the ground to elevate the woodpile and allow for airflow underneath. This will help prevent moisture from seeping into the bottom layers of the woodpile.

When stacking the wood, make sure to create rows with gaps in between to promote airflow. Avoid stacking the wood too tightly, as this can hinder proper ventilation and increase the chances of mold growth. If you’re storing firewood, stack the pieces with their cut ends facing outwards to allow for better drying.

3. Protect from Moisture

Moisture is the biggest enemy of stored wood, as it can lead to rot, mold, and insect infestations. To protect your woodpile from moisture, cover the top with a waterproof tarp or plastic sheeting. Secure the cover with bungee cords or weights to prevent it from blowing away in strong winds.

It’s important to note that the cover should only cover the top of the woodpile, allowing the sides to remain open for proper ventilation. Avoid completely enclosing the wood, as this can trap moisture and promote mold growth.

4. Regularly Inspect and Maintain

Lastly, make it a habit to regularly inspect and maintain your outdoor wood storage. Check for signs of moisture, mold, or pest infestation. If you notice any issues, address them immediately to prevent further damage.

Additionally, consider replenishing your woodpile regularly to ensure you always have a fresh supply of dry wood. Remove any old or rotting pieces from the stack to maintain the overall quality of the stored wood.


In conclusion, proper wood storage outside is essential to preserve its quality and usability. By choosing the right location, stacking and covering the wood, protecting it from moisture, and conducting regular maintenance, you can ensure that your woodpile remains in excellent condition for its intended use. Remember to always prioritize ventilation and airflow to prevent moisture buildup and potential damage. With these steps in mind, you can confidently store wood outside and have a reliable supply whenever you need it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about how to store wood outside:

Question 1: What are the best practices for storing wood outside?

When it comes to storing wood outside, there are a few key practices to keep in mind. Firstly, it is important to keep the wood elevated off the ground to prevent moisture absorption and rot. You can use concrete blocks or a wooden pallet as a base. Secondly, make sure the wood is covered with a tarp or waterproof cover to protect it from rain and snow.

Additionally, it is best to store the wood in a well-ventilated area to allow for proper airflow and drying. This will help prevent mold and mildew growth. Lastly, avoid stacking the wood too tightly together to allow for air circulation between the pieces.

Question 2: How can I protect my wood from pests when storing it outside?

Pests can be a common problem when storing wood outside. To protect your wood from pests, you can follow a few preventive measures. Firstly, keep the woodpile away from any structures or trees to minimize the chances of pests crawling onto the wood.

Additionally, consider using insect repellents or natural deterrents such as cedar chips or mothballs around the woodpile. Regularly inspect the wood for signs of infestation and take immediate action if you notice any pests.

Question 3: How long can wood be stored outside before it starts to degrade?

The longevity of wood stored outside depends on various factors such as the type of wood, weather conditions, and storage practices. Generally, hardwoods like oak or teak tend to last longer compared to softwoods like pine or cedar.

With proper storage practices, wood can typically be stored outside for up to six months without significant degradation. However, it is important to regularly inspect the wood for any signs of decay or damage and make necessary adjustments to the storage conditions if needed.

Question 4: Can I store firewood directly on the ground?

Storing firewood directly on the ground is not recommended. When in contact with the ground, the wood can absorb moisture, leading to rot and decay. It is best to elevate the firewood off the ground using concrete blocks, wooden pallets, or other suitable bases.

This elevation helps to prevent moisture absorption and allows for air circulation around the woodpile, aiding in the drying process. By keeping the firewood off the ground, you can ensure its quality and longevity.

Question 5: How should I stack the wood for optimal storage?

When stacking wood for storage, it is important to consider proper stacking techniques for optimal storage conditions. Start by creating a sturdy base using wooden pallets or concrete blocks. This will provide stability and prevent the wood from direct contact with the ground.

When stacking, place the larger and heavier pieces at the bottom and gradually layer the smaller pieces on top. Leave spaces between the wood to allow for proper airflow and drying. Avoid stacking the wood too tightly together as this can restrict airflow and promote moisture retention. A well-organized and properly stacked woodpile will ensure better preservation and ease of access.

how to store wood outside 2

In conclusion, properly storing wood outside is essential for ensuring its longevity and usability. By following the tips and techniques discussed in this article, you can protect your wood from the elements, prevent rot and decay, and maintain its quality for years to come.

Remember, the key is to keep your wood elevated, covered, and properly ventilated. Utilize a sturdy and well-designed storage structure, such as a woodshed or covered rack, to provide protection from rain, snow, and direct sunlight. Additionally, ensure that your wood is stacked in a way that promotes airflow, allowing it to dry effectively and minimizing the risk of mold or fungus growth.

By investing time and effort into proper wood storage, you can avoid the frustrations of damp and unusable wood, save money in the long run, and ensure that you have a reliable supply of firewood, building material, or any other wood-related needs. So, take the necessary steps to protect your wood and enjoy its benefits for years to come.

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