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Stacking firewood near house - ok?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by dwsj12, Sep 22, 2008.

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  1. dwsj12

    dwsj12 New Member

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    Please bear with my question as I am completely new to this and a transplant from CA. I live in southern Wisconsin now. On the side of my house I have an approximately 4 foot wide space between the house and the fence. Is it ok to stack firewood against this fence? I have heard that this can lead to termite / carpenter ant problems. Furthermore, does it matter if the wood is seasoned vs. green as to whether it can be stacked at this location?

    Thanks.

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  2. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    The "official" answer is to stack away from the house. But I stack most of my wood with just a few inch gap (enough to see any activity) from my house, and have had no problems. My house did already have termites before I started stacking and was treated with Termidor, so they shouldn't be an issue again for a few more years at least. If the wood is off the ground I'm really not sure how big the termite attraction risk is anyway. Carpenter ants aren't likely to nest in your wood if it's split and dry(ing) and again not in ground contact. Ants prefer wet wood. So I say go for it if it's convenient, and just keep an eye out for termite mud trails and ants.
  3. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    I didn't think termites were even an issue in Wisconsin until I saw your post and did a little digging.

    http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/diaglab/labnotes/WItermite.pdf

    http://www.gazettextra.com/news/2007/nov/29/residents-may-be-denial-termite-problem-spreading/

    Hopefully, you aren't in the Janesville area. I don't know anyone in my area that has termite problems.
  4. colebrookman

    colebrookman Minister of Fire

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    Please also consider the fire safety factor. All that nice dry wood placed near the house will increase your fuel load.What if the wood, the grass or the house catches fire while your sleeping or away from home? Sparks from a chimney, lightning or?? I know of log homes with cellars loaded with stove wood; farmers porches completely full of wood. Saves walking out into the cold or snow but if something starts on fire the fuel load is so tremendous most fire departments would be hard pressed to save the cellar hole. Just another point of view.
    Ed
  5. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    I put all my wood for the winter under my deck.5 cords, That would be a big fire.
  6. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I would worry more about rot. You have the house- then firewood- then a fence- there will be littl sun or air there. The wood may stay wet (unless under an overhang), and you may get mold on the house depending on location.
  7. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    All of the critters I have seen in and around the wood pile - it gets stacked far away from the house. But I have a rack on the back deck...holds maybe 1/3 face cord - and a box inside that can hold a couple days worth.
  8. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    Once the night time temps drop below freezing I stack about 2 face cords up on my screen porch, but I still spray a perimeter of ant spray around the pile to keep them out of the house. My main wood pile is ~80' from the house.
  9. Girl

    Girl New Member

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    I do.
    I haven't had any problems.
  10. spot

    spot New Member

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    I cast my vote for stacking your wood away from everything.

    You should ideally have enough room to comfortably walk around all sides of the woodpile.
    However, if this is not possible, stacking against the fence will be the lesser of two evils.
    I used to have my wood right against a fairly open-slat fence...but soon found that it was still always wet inbetween.

    Stacking wood against the house allows critters (from termites and carpenter ants to spiders and snakes) easy access to your home.
    Stacking wood against any structure (house or fence) limits air-circulation and inhibits the drying process.
    Even if your wood is totally dry and cured before you stack it against the house ... any new moisture (rain, snow, humidity) will become trapped between the woodpile and the siding, promoting rot.
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