[Question]: Is it OK to Burn Moldy Firewood?
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Is it OK to Burn Moldy Firewood? How Much Is Too Much Mold?

It’s a familiar scene: the night is cold, you run outside to get some firewood logs to burn, and while carrying them in, notice something a bit off about them. You look closer only to confirm your worst suspicions. There is mold on your firewood!

Can you still burn it?

Is it Dangerous to Burn Firewood with Mold?

Moss, mold, fungus and lichen on the trunk of a palm treeThe simple answer is: Yes. I know that’s probably not what you wanted to hear, especially if you have a whole cord that’s been infected with mold, but burning moldy firewood is undeniably dangerous.

You’ll thank me later.

Even if you don’t already have asthma or mold sensitivity, even if you think that you know the mold on your firewood is a less dangerous type, it’s not a good idea. Not for an outdoor fireplace, you would sit near, definitely not for a fire you would cook over, and not for an indoor fireplace.

When you burn the firewood, the mold spores will spread, you’ll inhale them when you breathe, they’ll attach to your food, and disperse throughout your house.

It’s a familiar scene: the night is cold, you run outside to get some firewood logs to burn, and while carrying them in, notice something a bit off about them. You look closer only to confirm your worst suspicions. There is mold on your firewood!

Can you still burn it?

How to Prevent Mold on Firewood

Pairing a dead organic material like firewood with oxygen and a moist environment is the inexpensive beachfront condo of mold: it will hop on that deal in a heartbeat.

If you can control and mitigate the moisture around your logs, you’ll be able to prevent the mold. If uou keep it in a spot with adequate sunlight, some covering, and a bit of elevation, your firewood will be fine.

Where to Store Firewood

The spot you choose for your firewood pile should have access to as much direct sunlight and wind as possible. Dry, warm areas are the least susceptible to mold growth.

Building a firewood rack in your basement isn’t a great idea. It will not protect the wood from mold, and may in fact exacerbate any mold problems. Firewood is more likely to grow mold when stored in basements, garages, etc. It’s best to keep it outdoors. Plus, it will bring mold spores and pests into your home.

The firewood rack you put your wood on should be elevated off the ground to reduce the chance of ground moisture soaking into the logs. Having a roof to shelter them from the snow and rain helps, but of course, you don’t want the to block them off from the sun entirely.

To see how to make a simple firewood rack outdoors, and stack your wood on it, check out the video below!

Tips to Prevent Mold on Firewood

Follow these other tips to ensure that your firewood stays mold-free:

  • Properly stack your firewood as soon as it’s cut so mold doesn’t have a chance to grow.
  • Stack your firewood in a single row that’s one long thick, ensuring each piece has access to sunlight and wind.
  • Let your wood dry for six months to a year before burning it. This will ensure it’s seasoned enough to burn well and also resist mold growth.
  • If firewood already has some mold growth, move it away from the unaffected wood. Once those pieces fully dry out, the surface mold will die, and you can brush it off.

For some more instructions on how to brush the mold off of firewood, check out the video below:

Types of Mold on Firewood

The descriptions below will help you identify what kind of mold has grown on your firewood.

White Mold

White mold is one of the most common molds to affect firewood. The scary thing about white mold is that sometimes it shows up as white, crystal structures while other times it can show no visible signs on wood. White mold can be dangerous and aggravate respiratory functioning.

Black Mold

Black mold is hazardous. This mold has a black color; however, it rarely shows up on wood. Nevertheless, if you suspect your firewood has black mold, absolutely do not burn it. It can cause severe health problems after prolonged exposure.

Green Mold

Green mold is not a specific mold species, but rather many mold types that have a green color. Green mold shows up as dark spots first, which eventually develop into a fuzzy layer. Healthy people typically won’t be bothered by green mold, but those who are more vulnerable could develop health problems.

Purple Mold

While this mold isn’t pervasive, it’s something to watch out for. It’s one of the prettier mold varieties, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. Some purple molds are worse than others, but since it’s hard to be sure which has infested your firewood, it’s a good idea not to use it.

Wood pile brown, wood, mold, wood pile

Conclusion

No matter the type of firewood or how securely it’s stored, most people will have to deal with moldy firewood at some point in their life. Hopefully, this guide has clarified to you how dangerous it is to burn moldy firewood and all the steps you can take to keep mold from growing on your firewood.

I hope this guide has answered all of the questions you had about mold on firewood. If it didn’t, be sure to comment below with any queries, and if you found this guide helpful, as always, be sure to share it!

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