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A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
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Firewood is a sustainable way of keeping your home or outdoor entertainment area warm, and even provides a quick fuel source for camping meals. However, like any wood, it needs protection from rain and snow to be useful when you need it.
There are a variety of covers available for your firewood storage rack that can protect the firewood that you bought or chopped yourself. This helps you be ready for any adventure without having to rummage through the rack looking for the driest pieces. To pick out the right cover for you, make sure to consider the full range of options available.
Read also: Top-rated firewood racks reviews.
Why You Need a Cover for Your Firewood Storage Rack
Hardwoods like maple, oak, and ash make great firewood because they burn for a long time and can store for years without degrading. However, they are still susceptible to prolonged exposure to water. Although wood usually dries out fine after brief rain showers, it’s harder for it to dry out when it’s stacked in a storage rack.
A well-fitting cover can help keep out critters like snakes and mice that can cause problems later when you want to use the wood. Although sometimes these creatures are deterred just by a storage rack that’s slightly off the ground, this isn’t always the case for more nimble animals. Wasp nests and carpenter bees can be an issue for any rack, regardless of height, so get a cover to deter them as well.
1. Overall Appearance
Although most people get firewood storage rack covers to protect their firewood from the elements, some also get them to keep their patio area looking neat and sleek. If this is the case for you, then you’ll want to consider the color and appearance of your cover as well.
Black is a common option for covers because it hides dirt and looks great in almost any setting. However, it can also absorb heat, which makes it tricky to remove on a hot summer day and can even contribute to mold or mildew problems underneath it if used long-term. If you live in a hot and humid climate, consider a tan or gray cover instead.
2. Cover Materials
Cover materials vary in their amount of waterproofing. There are two main thicknesses of outdoor fabrics, 600 Denier and 1000 Denier, with the latter offering better durability and overall waterproofing. However, 600 Denier is likely sufficient for environments with only mild amounts of rain.
Keep in mind that since the seams of covers may leak, you will want to inspect the seams closely upon receiving the cover or select a cover that is designed with as few seams as possible. You can also try keeping your wood stacks arranged in a way that prevents pooling by making a slightly higher ridge of wood in the middle.
Some covers use a PVC backing layer for maximum waterproofing. This makes the cover heavier, which may be especially helpful in windy environments. However, these covers will also typically be more expensive.
Cover materials are typically not stretchy and will instead secure into place with hook and loop fasteners. In some cases, they may have elastic around the bottom, but this is not common due to the thickness of the material used. Because of this, it’s important to pay attention to the sizing of your cover to make sure it will definitely fit your wood rack.
3. Standard Sizes
Many racks are built to stack firewood around 48” wide, 36” high, and 18” deep. The length of the firewood rack legs do not usually matter, so there will be some flexibility in which covers for this size fit on this rack.
Some rack covers are not designed to cover a specific brand and style of rack, and will have some extra width in their shape to allow you to pull it over a wider range of shapes. However, they will typically have a maximum width, height, and depth clearly labeled.
4. Non-Standard Sizes
If you’ve made your own firewood rack, it’s possible you created a non-standard size in an attempt to fit it into a specific spot in your yard. This may cause most rack covers to fit poorly. Although a cover that is too large may not seem to be a problem at first glance, poor-fitting covers could blow off more easily in high winds.
Consider using bungee cords or another strap designed for outdoor use to keep a loose firewood cover in place. You may also be able to fold over part of the cover and pin it in place, but this may also blow loose easily in high winds.
5. Total vs Partial Coverage
Many covers for firewood storage racks cover the firewood completely to protect from rain blowing at an angle. However, in some cases, this can lead to mold growing on the firewood if it’s left covered for too long in humid climates.
Some firewood covers are specifically designed to fit tightly over the top few rows of wood, then leave the bottom layers uncovered for ventilation. This may be a good idea for climates that are humid but don’t get a lot of wind during rainstorms.
6. DIY Options
If you have plans for making a firewood rack, then we support your creative spirit. However, because of the specialized nature of the fabrics used in covers for firewood storage racks, it’s challenging to make a compatible rack cover on your own. Sewing together pieces of thick polyester or tarp-like material can actually damage traditional sewing machines that aren’t cut out for the job.
You can build a small tent-like structure for your storage rack if desired, but if the roof is made out of a tarp, it’s easy for the wind to catch it and blow it away. For most families, buying a professionally-made fabric or PVC cover and then securing it with extra cables if needed is the best option.
Making the Most of the Cold Weather
Whether you’re using your firewood outdoors or in an indoor fireplace, you deserve to enjoy it with the least hassle possible. Protecting your firewood from moisture, invading bugs, and animals can help you get optimal use out of your wood. Get the right cover for your firewood storage rack to make setup and maintenance easy year-round.