On your home improvement radio show, I heard you warn that storing wood too close to your house can invite termites. How should I be storing and maintaining my firewood supply this winter?
Circulation and safety are the two main things to keep in mind as you stack up and store your fuel supply. Mixed with moisture and easy access to the structures on your property, a firewood stack can become a termite buffet. What’s more, wet wood doesn’t burn very efficiently, putting out more steam than heat. So start by finding a dry, safe home for it, whether in an open-air woodshed or free-standing stack. Keep firewood out of contact with the ground using a stack base of treated wood or other moisture-resistant material, and avoid stationing the stack against an exterior wall of your home, as a pocket of moisture can develop and damage siding as well as welcome termites and other pests.
Cut wood to the longest possible length for stacking stability (a single row is best), and pack it snugly but with enough space to allow airflow and discourage the development of mold and mildew. Four feet is about the maximum height your stack should reach without side supports, and an even, no-slope arrangement should allow easy access and maintain stability. Finally, shield the top few layers of ready-to-use firewood with a waterproof cover, adjusting it as you remove the fuel for indoor warmth.