Covering firewood stacks will help prevent moisture, rot, and disease, extending the life of your wood. But some covers are better than others, offering superior protection and ensuring the quality and longevity of your fuel source.

The best materials to cover firewood are waterproof, breathable, and durable. This guide will run through some excellent options that are affordable and easy to find in stores.

What are the top materials to cover firewood?

There are a variety of materials suitable for covering firewood. Some excellent options include polyurethane, polyurethane laminate, Gore-tex, polyester, vinyl, or nylon. Leftover construction materials like corrugated steel sheets or shingles will also work in a pinch.

Closeup of stacked with with a tarpaulin on top
Tarpaulins are excellent for protecting firewood from rain and snow.

1. Polyethylene

Polyurethane firewood covers are one of the most popular solutions. These covers come in various sizes to fit different amounts of wood and are made from durable, weather-resistant material. They offer excellent protection from moisture, insects, and debris.

2. Polyurethane Laminate

Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) firewood covers will keep firewood dry and protected from the elements. They are made from a layer of polyurethane sandwiched between two layers of fabric. PUL covers are waterproof, durable, and easy to clean.

PUL is a wise investment for anyone who uses firewood in their home. The breathable nature of this material keeps wood well-ventilated.

3. Gore-tex

Gore-Tex is essentially a membrane that allows vapor to pass through but stops moisture in its tracks. It keeps wood dry and free from rain and snow. In addition to being waterproof, Gore-tex is breathable and highly durable.

Tip: Get out Ultimate Firewood Storage Guide to get loads of information about stacking methods, hacks, and more.

4. Polyester

Polyester is a synthetic fabric typically derived from petroleum. It is a very popular textile used for various consumer and industrial applications.

Polyester is a popular material for covering firewood, offering a durable and resistant barrier to moisture. It is also lightweight, easy to clean, and quick to dry.

5. Vinyl

Vinyl can be used as a material for firewood covers, but it has limitations. It is a synthetic material that is less durable than other materials, such as polyurethane. Exposure to the elements, including rain, snow, and sun, can cause vinyl to crack, fade, or become brittle.

6. Nylon

Nylon is a synthetic material that’s water-resistant and very strong. It has many outdoor uses like clothing, packs, tents, and tarps.

Although nylon makes a durable tarp, it isn’t as waterproof as other options, like polyester. If you’re protecting firewood in an area with a lot of rain, this may not be the best choice.

7. Construction materials

Leftover materials like corrugated steel sheets or shingles make useful firewood protection. If you’ve got a lot of wood, shingles may be too much work, but they’re fine for smaller piles.

Also read: What length should I cut my firewood?

Quick tips for covering firewood

  • Angle the cover: a natural slant will allow rain and snow to slide off easily. If it pools on top, there’s a greater chance that moisture will get it.
  • Tie down securely: Use waterproof ropes, bungee cords, or bricks to keep the cover in position.
  • Position correctly: Covering the top of the wood stack is vital, but it’s also best practice to cover the top few inches of each side. This method helps rain and snow run off onto the ground.
A wood stack fully covered in plastic.
Leave the sides of a wood stack exposed to encourage ventilation.

Commonly asked questions

What makes a good firewood cover?

The best covers for firewood will protect your valuable wood from snow and rain while allowing ventilation. They must also be durable enough to withstand extreme temperatures while not ripping easily.

What’s the difference between water resistant, water repellent, and waterproof?

Water-resistant firewood covers will keep light rain off but are ineffective for anything more substantial.

Water-repellent materials have a protective layer that water has difficulty penetrating. While most water will roll off, some moisture can get through.

The best option for firewood protection is a waterproof fabric; it can withstand a lot of rainfall and snow before letting moisture through. 

What material should I avoid for firewood covers?

Most types of material will offer some coverage from light rain, but some struggle with harsher conditions. Avoid using laminated cotton, oil cloths, and wool. They offer minimal protection and won’t keep the wood ventilated, meaning rot and mildew could set in.  

Do I need to cover firewood as it seasons?

Keeping moisture away from firewood will speed up the seasoning process. It also stops the wood from becoming damp, which can lead to mold and rot. Only cover the top of the stack and a few inches on each side. This approach provides better ventilation and exposes the wood to wind and sunlight.

Should I use a purpose-built firewood cover?

Firewood covers aren’t essential for getting good-quality wood that burns well. However, they may have practical benefits above and beyond waterproofing your wood. Features like air vents help minimize moisture and condensation. Some covers are sold with grommets or drawstrings, which make it easier to tie down the surface.

Summing up

This article provides a handy guide on the best materials for covering firewood. Some excellent options include polyethylene, polyurethane laminate, Gore-tex, polyester, vinyl, nylon, and leftover construction materials like corrugated steel sheets or shingles.

The best firewood covers will protect wood from snow and rain while allowing ventilation and withstand extreme temperatures without ripping easily. Look for materials that are waterproof, breathable, and durable to prevent moisture, rot, and disease.

If you enjoyed this article, also check out guide to the best firewood for your home.

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