Burning Pressure Treated Lumber in a Wood Stove: Is it Safe?
LESLIE: Bob in West Virginia has a question about pressure treated lumber. Can you use them to burn in a wood stove? Bob, that’s a good question. What are you thinking about?
BOB: Well, I’ll tell you what. In working on the deck, I’ve got a lot of salt-treated lumber left over. And I have a wood stove in my garage. But I’m concerned about the pollutant in the air and, also, I know it’s not good for your skin. And I’m just wondering if breathing the smoke from pressure treated lumber can harm your lungs or whatever.
TOM: It absolutely can; it’s very toxic and you never, ever want to burn pressure treated lumber. Not only if that smoke wafts down and gets into the breathing space can it be injurious to you or to your family or anyone else that’s around it; the other thing is that when you burn that salt-treated lumber, guess how corrosive those gases are to your wood stove itself. Can really cause a lot of rust inside the appliance.
So for all those reasons, it’s a really bad idea to burn pressure treated lumber. It’s something you never, ever want to do. You’re always best to burn hardwood when possible. And I know, having a wood shop myself, that a lot of times we burn soft wood. But I never, ever burn pressure treated lumber; it always goes right in the trash.
BOB: Okay. Well, thank you. I … that’s what I needed to know.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.