Stacking firewood near house - ok?

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dwsj12

New Member
Sep 1, 2008
11
WI
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.
 

DiscoInferno

Minister of Fire
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.
 

northwinds

Minister of Fire
Jul 9, 2006
1,452
south central WI
dwsj12 said:
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.
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.
 

colebrookman

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2008
776
Middlefield, Ma
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
 

johnsopi

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2006
696
MD near DE&PA;
I put all my wood for the winter under my deck.5 cords, That would be a big fire.
 
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.
 

Corey

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
2,529
Midwest
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.
 

backpack09

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2007
554
Rochester, Mass
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.
 

spot

Member
Jun 27, 2006
82
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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