If you cut, split and burn wood, you’ll eventually come across firewood mold and fungus. A little bit of fungus is actually very common. That brings up a very important question. Can you burn wood with fungus on it?
Yes it should be safe to burn wood with fungus. The only time you might need to worry is if you have asthma or severe allergies. As fungal spores become airborne, it could cause breathing problems and spread to other places in your home.
While I wouldn’t recommend seeking out fungal wood it should be safe to burn. Just be careful how you stack and store the wood, because you could transfer fungal spores into your house. Keep reading for a few tips on how to deal with fungus covered wood.
Should You Burn Wood With Fungus?
Anybody that cuts, splits and stores there own firewood will eventually have to deal with fungus covered wood. It doesn’t matter how well you store your wood moisture can get in there and cause fungal growth. Dead wood will naturally grow fungus and mold when exposed to moisture. So is it dangerous to burn wood with fungus?
Personally, I would recommend burning fungal wood outside in a campfire rather than bringing it into your house. You don’t want to release fungal spores all over your house. That’s just asking for breathing problems.
What Causes Firewood Fungus to Grow?
Mold, mushrooms and fungus are always a bad sign. Firewood is an excellent fuel source and those fungal spores and mushrooms are trying to jump in line before you have a chance to burn it. So why did fungus grow and how do I avoid it?
Fungus spores are everywhere that you go, but they prefer to grow in wet dark areas. Your wood pile is the perfect place for them to grow and get an easy meal. Just remember that every calorie that fungi consumes is a calorie stolen from your wood burning fireplace.
Remember that there’s no such thing as dry rot! Fungus can only grow in wet environments. Keep your wood dry so you won’t have to deal with mold and fungus.
Preventing Wood Fungus
Preventing wood fungus is easier said than done. If there’s any moisture in the air you’re going to deal with fungus. You can’t get around it, but there are ways to reduce the risk of fungus and mold.
I highly recommend storing your wood in a covered enclosure. Stack the wood immediately after splitting/cutting it or getting the wood delivered. I think covering wood up with a tarp does more harm than good. The wood still gets wet and the tarp will slow down the drying process. That’s a recipe for fungus covered wood.
Elevate your wood up off the ground and avoid dark shady areas. You can use pallets or 2×4’s to elevate the wood up off the ground. This reduces the amount of moisture on the wood and allows air to circulate under the stack of firewood.
I highly recommend building a lean-to or firewood shed if you plan on storing a lot of wood. It will keep your wood dry while you wait for it to season.
Is Wood Fungus Dangerous To Burn?
Wood fungus may look nasty, but is it dangerous to burn? Generally speaking, burning fungus covered wood isn’t that big of a deal. While I wouldn’t recommend seeking it out, it should be safe to burn as long as you don’t have asthma or severe allergies. You don’t want to breath in the spores that get released into the air, but there’s mold spores everywhere so it’s probably not a big deal.
Some people say that burning fungus indoors will release spores into the indoor air, while others say that the fires heat will destroy the spores. It’s hard to say which side is right, but people with asthma probably shouldn’t be breathing in smoky air anyway.
Whether or not you should handle moldy/fungus covered wood ultimately depends on your tolerance levels. Some people will be able to handle it, while others can’t. Pay attention to your family and if anybody starts having breathing issues it’s time to get rid of the fungus covered wood.
Knock The Fungus Off
Knock the fungus off before burning the wood or bringing it into your house. It should be safe to burn, but you still don’t want to burn more than you have to. Just scrape the fungus off with a stick before tossing it in the fire. Better safe than sorry!
Don’t Store Fungal Wood In Your House
If you burn firewood, it’s important to store all the wood outside until you’re ready to use it. Only bring in the amount of wood that you’ll use over the next 2-3 days. This will keep the fungus and mold spores from entering your home and keeps out other critters as well.
The real problem with fungus covered wood is that it releases fungal spores into the air. These airborne spores can cause health concerns and may spread fungus to other areas of the house. Basements are notorious for being dark/damp so it’s a prime breeding ground for fungus.