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How to Dispose Of Moldy Firewood

how to dispose of moldy firewood

Moldy firewood can be dangerous to people with asthma and other respiratory conditions. If there is mold development in your firewood stack, the best thing to do is remove it from the pile and let it die in direct sunlight. Keep your firewood away from moisture to prevent molding. Make sure to ventilate your storage room properly. 

One of the most dreaded nuisances in storing firewood is when some pieces of wood developed molding. This often happens when the storage is not adequately ventilated, which causes the accumulation of moisture that allows mold to grow. The best way to get rid of mold firewood is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Make sure to keep your storage room dry all the time. 

But what if there if mold development already happened? How would you deal with firewood that already moldy? Should you still use it, or would it be better to dispose of it? If your immediate thought is to discard it, then you can either let it weather out and get composted outside, or you can throw it away at a landfill.

What Can You Do With Moldy Wood?

The first course of action is to remove any affected firewood from the stack. You might also want to remove the wood around it to ensure that all affected log splits are no longer in the woodpile. After that, you can put the affected wood somewhere outside and let it dry in direct sunlight. 

When done correctly, there’s a great chance that the mold will fall off and dry out. Use it as you would normal firewood once it’s already appropriately seasoned. Whatever happens, don’t ever put this moldy firewood near your storage area once again. 

Build makeshift outdoor storage for your moldy firewood. Make sure that this wood can receive adequate sunlight and airflow to keep it dry. Just don’t let it get reintroduced with moisture once again to avoid restarting the spore problem. Create a supporting structure for your moldy stack to help keep it dry and away from moisture. 

Once the mold gets completely dried out, use a brush or anything that you can use to remove any part that has dried out. Remove these spores while using a mask and a glove if you have an allergy to mold spores. 

Of course, you can always dispose of your moldy firewood if you don’t want to dry it out or deal with it. You can let it weathered and get composted outside or throw it away to a landfill. The choice is really up to you, as long as you can get it away as far as possible to your firewood pile. 

Is It Okay to Burn Moldy Firewood?

If you have stacks and stacks of moldy firewood in your storage, you might be wondering whether it’s still okay to burn these woods. Unfortunately, you might not be happy with the answer. Burning moldy firewood might not be good a good idea, especially if you or other people at home have respiratory problems. 

When burning moldy wood, microscopic spores are released everywhere. These spores can go to other firewood stacks, possibly restarting mold development once again. Additionally, these spores can get into other wooden structures and destroy them over time. You’ll just be surprised one day when your wooden floor or your favorite wooden furniture has some mold on it. 

Mold Spore as Health Hazard

However, the real danger is in the health of the people around you. These invisible spores can trigger coughing, sneezing, and irritation to the throat and the nose. Healthy individuals might just get a quick reaction from it without serious effects. But people with respiratory conditions might get severe reactions. 

Using moldy firewood for cooking, campfires, and other usages with exposed flame are not recommended at all. It will only spread the spores around the area, endangering structural integrity and other people’s health. Keep this in mind if you’re living with family members allergic to mold. When it comes to health, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

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The Outdoors

However, moldy firewood can still be a viable fuel option for heating and other purposes. For example, you can use these as a fuel source if you’re burning them in a contained area. If you can remove the mold by drying it out, the firewood becomes usable again. You should only burn pieces of wood that have been appropriately seasoned: moldy or not. 

Can You Burn Rotten Wood Outside? 

There should be no problem in burning moldy or rotten wood outside. Spores and smoke are not contained in a single area, so it should not be as dangerous as burning rotten wood inside. Before burning any wood, make sure that these are completely dry and properly seasoned. 

However, avoid using this moldy firewood on campfires, especially if there are other people around. Don’t breathe in the smoke and other particles that come with the burning of moldy wood. If possible, burn this firewood as far away from your home as possible. 

How to Store Firewood Properly to Prevent Mold

An excellent way to prevent mold from growing in your firewood is to store these splits in an area with wind and adequate sunlight. Don’t forget to add a base before stacking your wood splits. This will prevent moisture from the ground from touching your wood stacks, which is the catalyst for mold development. 

Next, use good coverage to protect your firewood from rain and other weathering effects. Make sure to stack your firewood as soon as possible after the cutting. Those exposed and unprotected wood will develop mold growth when the splits can quickly get moisture. 

The easiest way to store your firewood is with a firewood log rack like this one by Woodhaven. Its structural integrity is very sound, and will keep your firewood off of the ground. It also comes with its own cover that will cover the top 12″ of your firewood.

Don’t stack your firewood side by side, as it prevents the natural flow of air between wood stacks. Without proper air circulation and sunlight, the wood will “sweat out” and release its moisture. Hence, it’s essential to keep the storage and stacking area as dry as possible. Season your firewood for at least six months. 

And lastly, if you’re going to store quite a considerable amount of firewood, you might want to check for any moisture-prone area before building your structure. 

For example, does your roof have a hole wherein water can flow while raining? Regardless of your preparation, your number one goal for avoiding headaches in storing wood is to keep the whole storage dry.

Final Thoughts

Mold development in firewood is sometimes inevitable, especially if you’re not used to storing wood efficiently. It takes quite a bit of experience to learn how to avoid getting a moldy woodpile. But you can prevent mold development from happening by keeping your firewood storage dry and well ventilated. 

If your firewood pile had been infested with mold, there is still a bit of hope to recover it. You can still dry out the mold by exposing the firewood to direct sunlight. You can either remove the mold manually or let it fall off the wood while seasoning. 

Whatever happens, don’t burn moldy firewood inside your home. Burning mold will only help spread the spores, which can propagate on wooden structures and furniture inside your home. Let the mold in the wood die and dry out before attempting to use it as fuel. While drying, you might have to create another separate storage for the moldy wood. 

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