Black ends on firewood

Frank S

New Member
Jan 6, 2020
2
Bela Vista AR
I am new to woodburning fireplaces and I bought two ricks of wood in August. One under my carport and one outside. The outside rick I covered with a tarp the end of September. All the wood was the same, but now the wood under the tarp has turned black on the outside. Is this mold?
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,160
Southern IN
Pics?
This Red Oak was top-covered, then the stack crashed and it got rained on for a couple months before I picked it up. But even when covered, the stack was leaning and the ends were getting rained on. It's burning great so I don't care if it's mold, mildew, fungus, blight or whatever. ;)
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Stinkpickle

Feeling the Heat
Jan 13, 2015
493
Iowa
I had some applewood that had its bark turn black, too. I assumed it was mold or blight, so I didn’t cook with it. It burned great in the stove, though.
 
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weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,754
Central Mass
Oaks good for turning colors, I've even had orange on oak once. It's fine to burn.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,432
Northern NH
Covering a wood pile with a tarp without proper air flow in wet weather can cause mold. If the tarp was placed directly over the wood or far worse down the sides of the wood with the bottom open, moisture in the ground will get under the tarp and condense on the inside. Its like a small greenhouse without a top vent. Ideally there needs to be an air gap between the top of the wood pile and the tarp. an easy way is throw an older pallet on top of the wood pile and use scrap wood to extend it out with scrap wood so it overhangs the wood pile. The key to this is the tarp should not cover the sides of the pallet, only the top. That is why many folds use plywood or sheetmetal to cover stacks (preferably with a pallet on top). In a drier climate folks get away with direct top covering.
 
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Frank S

New Member
Jan 6, 2020
2
Bela Vista AR
Covering a wood pile with a tarp without proper air flow in wet weather can cause mold. If the tarp was placed directly over the wood or far worse down the sides of the wood with the bottom open, moisture in the ground will get under the tarp and condense on the inside. Its like a small greenhouse without a top vent. Ideally there needs to be an air gap between the top of the wood pile and the tarp. an easy way is throw an older pallet on top of the wood pile and use scrap wood to extend it out with scrap wood so it overhangs the wood pile. The key to this is the tarp should not cover the sides of the pallet, only the top. That is why many folds use plywood or sheetmetal to cover stacks (preferably with a pallet on top). In a drier climate folks get away with direct top covering.
That is exactly what I did. The mold is not very deep and my fireplace is a closed door with a blower for heating the house. If I established a hot fire and only then threw a bad log on it would the heat kill the mold.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,754
Central Mass
We had a rainstorm here the other day, when I took the tarp off to grab some wood my wood was moist, I hate tarps. I ended up putting half a cord in my garage, did I mention I hate tarps?
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,432
Northern NH
All my stacks have metal or some PVC plastic board that looks like the stuff they use for trim. There is overhang on all the stacks with an air gap and tilted slightly to drain
 
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,160
Southern IN
I hate tarps. did I mention I hate tarps?
I could be mistaken, but I believe you may have mentioned that. ==c
I'm not enamored of them either; I was thrilled when a guy recently offered me about twenty sheets of 3x10' metal roofing. I was on that like stench on freshly-peeled Black Locust. >> I was just out there this afternoon covering a couple neglected stacks of rounds.
20191205_150436.jpg
 

billb3

Minister of Fire
Dec 14, 2007
4,674
SE Mass
That is exactly what I did. The mold is not very deep and my fireplace is a closed door with a blower for heating the house. If I established a hot fire and only then threw a bad log on it would the heat kill the mold.
Don't do that. LOL
Black mold can smell pretty bad so I wouldn't fill the basement with it. But it burns fine enough.
Adjust the tarp(s) so you get some airflow and the wood dries up. The mold will probably dry up and fall off eventually.
If it stops raining as much.