Is Rotten Wood Good for Firewood?

Having to get rid of your wood supply is a tough move, more so if you don’t have much to play with.

But what if it has been plagued with rot – surely you can’t be burning that stuff, right?

Whether or not rotten wood is any good for use as firewood has all to do with just how much rot there is.

If you try to pick a piece up and it crumbles in your hands, you are better off ditching that sort of wood altogether.

Now if only some part of the wood is punky (rotten), like the sapwood (outer layer), that type of stuff may definitely be used for firewood.

It all depends on just how much of the wood is left in an actual piece. If you feel there is more rot than solid mass, it is probably better not to spend your precious time on it.

Health risks?

Personally i have never found the rotten firewood i burned in my lifetime to cause any adverse affects on me.

But i think this has more to do with the fact i make sure it is properly dried before any of it gets to the stove.

By properly dry i mean moisture content that is below 20 percent.

This is a crucial factor to keep in mind – burning green wood is bad enough, but once you add the punk or rot on top of that and you try to burn it… you are asking for trouble.

You can only be sure about the moisture content by investing into a meter. This one from Amazon (link) is the best one you can get, i think.

If what i have is not any good, what to do with it?

You should dispose it then.

There is little to no burning value left in wood that is either falling apart, or is made up mainly of decay.

You can burn that wood outside in a bonfire, or pass it to the right facility; moral of the story is, don’t use that stuff inside your actual home.

More things to keep in mind…

Be sure to keep that punky wood under cover. You definitely do not want to get it wet, as it’ll soak up any rainfall quicker than you could imagine.

Because wood that had been rotting now has less BTUs, i’d suggest using it in combination with actual, solid firewood. Doing so helps ensure that you don’t use up that stuff too quick, and in general, keeps the temperature more steady.

Rotted out firewood is great to use by itself during those early season burns. The reason why is simple – again, it doesn’t contain the same heating value. That means you can have a fire going during warmer periods of time, without “cooking yourself” out of it.

In conclusion

Just that wood has been rotting for some time doesn’t automatically mean it is now useless; that being said, there can always be too much there.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *