Firewood is very much like wine.
It must be aged and stored properly for a certain period to deliver the right flame. Green wood is wet and smoky.
Well-aged firewood (aged through curing or seasoning) is dry and burns with very little or no smoke.
The storage method can influence the heat output, burning time, and even the amount of carbon monoxide produced during burning.
So, Is It Good or Bad to Store Firewood in The Garage?
It’s a bad idea. Never pile your firewood in the garage. There are several reasons:
1. Bugs and Pests
The garage is not the best place to store your firewood for one reason: when carrying the logs into this space, there’s going to be a pack of hitchhikers in them. Unless you want your garage to be filled with all sorts of critters – spiders, mice, termites, ants, and all kinds of pests – keep your wood outside.
Firewood, or wood of any kind, should never be stored on the foundation of a building.
If you have ever stored leftover wood from your construction project on the wall close to the foundation, you might have been taken aback by how quickly the pile became a home for rodents and termites.
Wood-boring beetles are near unavoidable when the wood is left piled on the ground for a long time.
The eggs can remain viable for longer but tend to hatch faster in warm indoors than in rainy and harsh outdoor establishments.
If you pile your firewood in the garage, it will certainly come into contact with the ground.
Nothing makes termites happy like wood on bare ground.
They are hard to discover right away – you might realize too late when they’ve eaten a significant part of the pile and dug tunnels on the floor.
Some of the bugs you may inadvertently bring along with the firewood will roam free in the garage and eventually find their way into your living space.
2. Rodents Love Firewood
Of all pests that could find their way into the firewood stored in the garage, rodents deserve a special mention because of the unique headache they bring.
During the winter, rodents usually scamper for warmth in the crevices and burrows on homes, including the pile of firewood in the garage.
Other than chewing everything they come across and running around the place, rodents can spread diseases if they come into contact with your food supplies.
Even worse, they can contaminate the home with their droppings, well-known allergy inducers.
Unless you want your electrical wires and everything in the garage chewed, don’t create a winter home for these nuisance animals by piling it with firewood.
3. Wood Doesn’t Dry Well in Garages
The only way to create a great drying environment for firewood in your garage is to control the temperatures, a costly venture to pursue.
Badly dried wood is bad for your fireplace and may pose health risks.
Those afflicted with asthma, for example, or those with allergies, may have a hard time with spores produced by mold that normally grow in damp wood.
Fire alone won’t get rid of the mold. In fact, the flames can let the spores fly in the air and spread far and wide into other damp areas of the room to grow more mold.
The presence of these spores in the air can create a serious health risk for pets as well and those with asthma or allergies.
Endless sneezing is one of the effects.
The Value of Good Airflow to Your Firewood
For wood to achieve the quality it needs to be competent for the fireplace, it should be thoroughly dried and still retain the weight that guarantees a lasting flame.
The sun plays an important role in drying your wood to achieve the right quality. The sun isn’t everything though – the critical aspect here is to ensure proper air circulation in the woodpile during the whole drying period.
The corner of your garage is the worst place to achieve ample air circulation in the wood.
Woodpiles deprived of air are susceptible to rotting.
The rotten parts tend to hold a lot of moisture which, apart from an alcohol-like or putrid smell, will produce significant smoke and even create a build-up in the chimney.
Even worse, there are types of bugs and insects that enjoy the rotten parts of wood and may end up invading the rest of the garage as well.
The Right Way to Store Firewood
The best way to store firewood is to build a shed for it outdoors.
You will also need to store it in such a way that carbon monoxide is kept to the minimum, near-zero moisture accumulation, retention of the weight, and no destruction by pests.
Choose a dry and breezy area:
- Keep your wood about 20 ft. from the closest door to prevent pests and unwanted animals from crawling on it
- If you are stacking firewood close to a structure, remember to stack it at a few inches off the structure to permit airflow behind the stack
- Keep your firewood off the ground. You can use wood pallets as a base
- While the shed should be installed raised slightly off the ground, find a dry place that drains completely
- Avoid places with wind blocks. Your wood needs to be exposed to breeze and wind
- When stacking up the rows of firewood next to each other, leave enough space between the rows – it helps permit more air in the pile
Building A Firewood Shed
Many people don’t realize what delicate investment firewood is – whether you cut your own trees or ordered them from a local supplier, firewood deserves the same attention as your priciest car.
You only start to appreciate the value of proper storage when the winter arrives and you have to deal with smoky and low-quality firewood.
Since storing woodpiles in your garage isn’t something we’d recommend, consider sizeable well-built firewood shed not only to optimize airflow but keep pests at bay.
A firewood storage shed is built to open on one end and include spaces or slots to permit ample airflow.
Here are a few things to put in mind before building a shed for this purpose:
- When setting up a firewood shed anywhere at home, consider using cedarwood. Cedar is a proven insect repellant and will certainly help keep wood-eating mites away from your firewood.
- Your firewood shed needs to be built in such a way that the roof slants slightly on the sides. The reason for this design is obvious – to prevent rainwater and snow from accumulating on top.
- Additionally, as aforementioned, the floor should stand off the ground via supporting structures. You can proceed to paint or stain it for aesthetic reasons.
Is it good or bad to store firewood in the garage?
It’s bad. Wood normally comes with hitchhikers in them.
These pests may end up attacking the rest of the garage structure, your home, or deteriorate the firewood faster while it’s there.
Having firewood in your garage may introduce rodents into room or attract them. Rodents are a unique nuisance.
Other than being disease spreaders, rodents will chew and bite things in their path and destroy your food supplies.