If firewood is your source of heat in the winter, you might be wondering how to store wood in the garage. Is it effective, is it an efficient use of space, and most importantly – is it safe? Here’s what you need to know.
What You'll Learn Today
- Is it OK to Store Wood in the Garage?
- What is the Best Way to Store Wood in a Garage?
- How to Store Plywood in a Garage
- What is the Best Way to Store Lumber and Firewood?
Is it OK to Store Wood in the Garage?
You can store firewood in the garage, but it may not be the best way.
After all, if you don’t store your wood properly, it can lead to issues like the growth of mold and fungus, pest and rodent infestations, and poor-quality wood that doesn’t burn properly because it hasn’t been seasoned well.
Another thing you will need to take into consideration is how warm your garage is. The last thing you want is for your good to be damaged by insects, animals or moisture. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure your garage door is secure and insulated – otherwise, you might as well just stash your firewood outdoors!
That said, as long as you take certain steps when storing the firewood, you should be safe.
What is the Best Way to Store Wood in a Garage?
Before you store wood in your garage, follow these tips.
Before you bring firewood indoors, whether that’s into your home or into your garage, you need to take the time to carefully inspect it.
Check for pests and make sure the wood does not have any rot. If there are sections that are rotted, this will quickly spread to other sections that weren’t previously affected.
Some people choose to spray their firewood, either right after they’ve cut it or during the storage process, to reduce the likelihood of bugs. Be very careful about doing this. Remember, you’ll be burning the wood in your home – and as it burns, whatever chemicals you’ve used will vaporize.
There are eco-friendly, safer alternatives you can use. Just make sure you try these instead of harmful chemical pesticides if you must use anything at all.
Make Sure the Wood is Dry – and Consider Kiln-Dried Wood
Firewood has to be seasoned before it can be used. Depending on the type of wood, this can take anywhere from six months to two years.
Don’t store wet, or “green,” firewood in the garage. Wet wood won’t burn well and if you store firewood in the garage before it has completely dried, it will stay wet for much longer (unless your garage is heated).
Firewood will dry best when it’s left outside for a period of time in fresh air and sunlight. However, it’s not just bringing in dry firewood that’s important – you need to make sure it stays dry, too. Having a garage that is well-insulated can help with this.
Here’s a quick video that will tell you more about how to season firewood:
If you can afford it, you may want to consider buying kiln-dried wood. This can save you time and ensure a cleaner, more efficient burn later on.
Clean the Storage Area
Before you bring wood inside, make sure your storage area is clean. Often, once woodpiles are brought to the garage for storage, they are neglected. Because of this, it’s easy for insects and other pests to infest your garage.
Clean the storage area beforehand and on a regular basis to make sure critters steer clear.
Stack in Rows (and Out of the Way!)
Before you start stacking, consider the age of all of your firewood. If you’ll be adding this new firewood to an existing pile, rotate the piles out so that the older material is in the front. You will want to burn the more well-seasoned firewood first.
When you stack your firewood, do so in rows. If you have an empty wall, you can simply stack the firewood up against it. However, you’ll want to make sure the floor is level where you’re stacking. That way, the wood will remain upright.
Also, each stack should be no more than four feet tall. If it’s much taller than that, the pile will become unsteady. This is a safety issue.
Make sure the stacks are close enough together so that your pets and kids won’t climb up, around, or between them. If you can, stack it so that air can be gotten between each piece. Pack the wood loosely for the best air circulation.
Watch for Fire Hazards
Firewood is meant for burning – you know that! So obviously, the last thing you should do is to store your firewood in a location in the garage where there is a chance that it could ignite.
For example, you should avoid putting your firewood near places such as torches, welders, exhaust pipes, or engines. All of these will increase the chances that your firewood ignites.
How to Store Plywood in a Garage
All of the tips above should help you store firewood in the garage. But what about other types of wood, such as plywood or lumber?
These can be stored in the garage just in the same way you might stash firewood here.
However, you will want to do your best to store lumber and plywood horizontally to keep it straight and flat. It should not be kept directly on the ground, because moisture can cause the lumber to develop rot and mold (yes, even if the wood has been treated).
You may want to build or invest in a wall-mounted lumber rack to keep the wood out of the way. You can also put stickers between the stacked wood. These are smaller, evenly-spaced scrap boards that help allow for airflow between the individual sheets of plywood or boards of lumber.
Plywood can often be even trickier to store than lumber, primarily because of its size and unwieldy nature. Because of this, you might want to buy a lumber cart that has a special slot for plywood. This will keep everything vertical so it takes up less space and is off the ground for added protection.
You can even put it on wheels, if you’d like, to make it even easier to handle!
What is the Best Way to Store Lumber and Firewood?
The best place to store any kind of wood is in a dedicated woodshed or tool shop.
However, the reality is that most people don’t have these kinds of firewood and lumber storage facilities at their disposal. You have to make the most of what you have!
Storing wood in the garage is a great choice, regardless of whether it’s firewood, scrap wood, or treated lumber that you plan on using for a project. Storing wood in the garage will prevent it from becoming damaged and keep clutter out of the house – just make sure you store it properly!
Looking to store something else? Here is our guide to storing an extension ladder in your garage.