Covering Firewood On The Cheap Doesn’t Work

Covering your firewood supply is important during the heating months – though you should be doing so no sooner than fall.

But here’s the thing – going cheap here doesn’t work. Let me explain.

Buy cheap, buy twice

Heard of the saying “buy cheap, buy twice”? The same rule applies to covering your firewood stacks.

Using plastic sheeting or tarps will certainly work in a pinch and be rather inexpensive, but it will simply not stand the test of time; you will end up spending more money than you think in the long run by having to replace.

If you are going to be dealing with this whole firewood thing for a while, this simply ain’t gonna cut it.

Firewood stack covered with plastic sheeting.
I’m not a fan of plastic

“The other wood pile” by Rebecca Siegel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Reasons why plastic tarping is not the best idea

It leaks

Every tarp or plastic covering in this planet will eventually leak, it’s inevitable.

It might take some time before it actually does, but I am sure you’re going to find that out at the worst time possible – when you need to start the burning season.

I find it gets holes mainly because the material is always in contact with the wood.

Sharp edges, constant folding and unfolding takes its toll eventually.

Wind is the enemy

In order to keep in place a cover of such nature you must weigh it down, if not staple directly to the wood.

Otherwise a stronger wind will want to pick it up, just as if it were a sail.

You can imagine how frustrating that can get, more so if it is windy when you have to uncover those stacks to get some wood.

Water poolage

Water pools on top of things like these.

That means when time comes to get such a thing off, well, you or the wood might get wet.

This water pooling too can make the cover get in contact with the wood more than it needs, which may lead to tears or holes.

Looks… bad

If you refer to the image above, you can vividly see that a plastic cover does not look pleasing to the eye, and by that I mean not at all.

Get metal sheet roofing instead

And you might get some for free too.

What makes such a material the ideal candidate for covering your wood stacks is ease of use and longevity.

Want to grab an armful of wood to bring in for heating? Just take the cover off a stack, load up on as much firewood you need and put it back on – easy-peasy.

In comparison with tarps, you’d be having a struggle just taking one off, and now you have to wrap it back on…

I guess I painted the picture well enough – using solid metal sheets is so much easier to manage and use.

I know that it isn’t always possible to score such things for free, but in the long run, this is going to end up being cheaper even if you have to pay a bit upfront.

Or try engineered wood instead

By that I mean such things as particle board, OSB.

Not as good as metal sheets, but still better than all that plastic.

Depending on your current whereabouts this may be a better choice after all; perhaps you can get what you need for free too.

How to cover firewood properly

Only cover the tops, as seen on the image above.

If you do indeed decide to go for the plastic kind of cover, be it a tarp or sheeting, try not to drape it too far down.

You just want the tops to be covered to protect wood from direct contact with the rain.

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