Home & Garden Why You Should Never Store Firewood Inside—No Matter How Cute It Looks

20:56  09 october  2017
20:56  09 october  2017 Source:   Country Living

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The Problem With Storing Firewood That No One Talks About© Tom Sibley/Getty Images The Problem With Storing Firewood That No One Talks About

At some point in the last few years, stacking logs inside fireplaces became a kind of art. No longer is the purpose purely practical, it's meant to be pretty-especially since some interior designers have begun carving out spaces specifically meant for firewood. You might recall the ultra-modern houseJoanna Gaines renovated for Dean and Brittany Wixsom on Fixer Upper. In her design plans for the faux concrete fireplace, the Fixer Upper host created a slanted cutout for stacked firewood.

Similarly, we've seen homeowners repurpose built-in bookshelves and crates or utilize empty space under benches for their logs. You can even buy decorative steel log hoops or firewood racks for less than $30.

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Store It In A Cute Container. Firewood looks like actual decorative design when placed in chic containers like these, which look great indoors and out. Store Inside Shelves. How cute is this!? Spare wood can be stored on the same shelves as your vases and knick knacks.

  Why You Should Never Store Firewood Inside—No Matter How Cute It Looks © Courtesy of Barker & Stonehouse

Admittedly, logs look pretty gorgeous when stacked beside the stove or fireplace in this way, and it certainly seems to makes sense to have them within reach for easy burning. Yet nearly every time CountryLiving.com shares a photo of a pretty pile on social media, someone raises the reasonable question: What about bugs? Wood is a natural material, after all (part of its appeal in design), meaning it can play host to all kinds of critters, including wood-boring beetles, carpenter ants, termites, wood roaches, and more. In the case of the Fixer Upper fireplace, consider the fact that the kitchen counter was exposed to the logs directly on the other side.

  Why You Should Never Store Firewood Inside—No Matter How Cute It Looks © Victoria Pearson

So how do you bring firewood inside and leave the bugs outside? Most sources say you should only bring logs in right before burning. At most, the Purdue Extension Department of Entomology says, you can store enough for a day or two.

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Otherwise, all firewood should actually be stored "at least five feet or more away from the foundation of the home," advises Orkin Pest Control. Stack it off the ground (pallets allow for drainage), and away from trees. The farther away from any structure, the better. And make sure the wood you use is seasoned, or dried.

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"Well seasoned dry wood will have no scent, no moisture, and no bark or sap," explains the Napoleon Fireplaces blog. "Bugs and insects love all those things, and seasoned wood doesn't have it."

Properly seasoned wood has a moisture content of less than 20 percent, which helps prevent the other unwanted issue of mold. Besides, seasoned wood burns more efficiently, and with less smoke than that of newly felled trees, anyway-meaning you'll avoid creosote buildup in the chimney and the dangers of a too-smoky home and even chimney fires.

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Ideally, you should cut or buy wood in late summer to late fall for the least amount of bugs. Make sure you check your local regulations on transporting and storing wood. A reputable firewood dealer in your area should be able to help. If you buy from a gas station, hardware store, or supermarket, you'll most likely need to dry it out. New wood should be stored in a sunny area and covered; this will help kill off pests, says Emblem Pest Services.

Drying time depends on the type of wood. Softer woods take about 6-8 months, says Wood Splitters Direct, while for hardwoods, you may have to allow for a year or two.

  Why You Should Never Store Firewood Inside—No Matter How Cute It Looks © Max Kim-Bee

Always inspect logs before transporting indoors. There still may be insects hiding among the logs, but there's not much you can do beyond swatting or vacuuming. Just don't spray your wood with flammable insect repellants or air fresheners (for obvious reasons).

Of course, if you want to avoid the issue altogether, you could always buy purely decorative logs, or DIY one of these gorgeous stacked fireplace screens-and keep the real firewood outside.

Related: Survival 101: 3 Things to Look for in Firewood (Provided by: Discovery Channel)



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