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Old 03-30-2008, 09:36 PM
 
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What's rotten firewood like to burn? I know it's not desirable or preferable - but does it produce excess cresote or smoke?

I have an endless supply of rotten firewood on my property but only a very limited supply of solid (non-rotten) firewood. So I'd like to use the rotten stuff to heat my home even if it's inefficient, but don't want to pollute or choke up my chimmney.

Thanks!
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
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I'd build a good fire of it during the day and after it gets going well, go outside and see how much smoke your getting off of it. If it's smoking bad, I wouldn't use it. But if it's clean, you should be all right.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:13 AM
 
Location: LEAVING CD
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It tends to burn hot and fast and usually has a lot of bugs in it so I don't know that I'd bring it into my house unless I was throwing it right on a fire. Didn't notice anymore smoke than normal though. I've used it as a starter on outside fires since it does burn so hot...
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:32 PM
 
Location: SW Montana
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I've burned some of it mixed with good wood. I usually burn it some hotter, maybe 400 or so degrees and use the good stuff for overnight wood so I can burn it slower and make the coals last until morning. I also tried to knock all the really pithy stuff out and if the bark is thick knock it off.

Make sure the imbedded bugs, especially carpenter ants, are long dead before you bring it in. And don't stack it anywhere near your house just in case - those little critters can lay waste to a place in short order.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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Make sure whatever you burn is super dry. Ditto other posters regarding the bug issue. Even flies will hibernate in the wood and then crawl out when they come in via the wood into a warm house. If the wood is full of bark and rotten stuff you will probably have a lot of ash to haul out after it is burned. Save the good wood for the coldest weather when you need a lot of heat and burn time and use up the rotten wood when the days are chilly but not 40 below. LOL
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
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I've burned a lot of crappy wood (half-rotten or full of bark). In my experience the rotten stuff makes less ash and gunk than usual, but the heat value often isn't very good, or it can be tough to start and keep going. I'd throw it in with some better small stuff to get/keep it going. Bark makes a lot of ash (more so if it's full of sand, like usual in windy areas), often makes a LOT of smoke and creosote, and doesn't burn well either. Both are good enough for chilly days, not sufficient for real cold. And pay heed to those warnings about bugs and ants!! don't let the rotten stuff get warm inside or pile it near a building, you'll regret it.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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Hey if the moisture content is below 25% and it burns well....apart from bug control ( I fog mine ) shouldn't be a fire hazard ...is that right? Britoak
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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Can it be a health hazard? By burning it does it release the fungus that rotted it into the air?
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunsterj View Post
Can it be a health hazard? By burning it does it release the fungus that rotted it into the air?
That's a durn good question. Tho I don't know if any of the wood-eating fungi are hazardous to humans. Assuming they can be, tho:

I expect the hazard there is not in the burned wood (any fungus would get burned up along with the wood) but rather, in breathing the dust from cutting it up with a power saw. (You really shouldn't breathe wood dust anyway.) I'd guess it's preferable to break really rotten wood up with an axe, so you get only big chips, not fine dust. And if it's too dusty inside to chop, it's probably not safe to try burning, because of the possibility of dust explosions.
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:06 AM
 
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I agree with Reziac, burning it is OK, but cutting needs precautions. I always wear a dust mask when chain sawing any wood. Hey mice and all types of critters live and eat and stuff in those trees, especially dead ones. So you don't want to breathe any of that in. When I've split it, I stack it in a woodshed or under tarp covers and "fog " it with those yard clearing sprays...stay down wind and hold your breath. Sometimes I fog it again before bringing some into the cold garage. I never keep it in the house, straight from the pile to the fire. Some fungus may spore up the chimney, but those spores are constantly released by the fungi in the woods and into the air, so a walk through the woods is a pretty constant exposure anyway, so I don't think its any real hazard. Cheers BritOak!
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