Coal Hut



What are the problems of burning wet wood?

What are the problems of burning wet wood?

Posted on 21 Feb 2021 By Coal Hut

What are the problems of burning wet wood?

Potential dangers from burning wet wood

Burning wet firewood can result in two very serious problems associated with condensation in the chimney.

Water vapour combines with other gases and particles going up the chimney and unless the chimney is kept warm, the condensation forms a creosote-like substance which hardens to form tar on the surface of chimney liners and may seep into brickwork in an unlined chimney. Wet wood causes the chimney to cool and so condensation occurs and a residue is formed.

Blockages and chimney fires

The residue is brown or black and can be flaky, sticky, runny, tar-like or hardened and will sometimes be all of these in the same flue. The chimney may become completely blocked or the volatile residue can ignite causing a dangerous chimney fire.


The excessive condensation from wet wood which normally forms in the upper part of the chimney is acidic in nature and will corrode the inner surface of a metal liner, eventually leading to perforation and failure of the liner.

Keep your Chimney Clean

Having your chimney swept regularly will help your fuel burn more efficiently, and minimise any risk of damage to your appliance or chimney. The following frequencies are the minimum recommended by the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps. Your chimney sweep will be able to better advise the correct sweeping frequency for your situation.

  • Smokeless Coal – At least once per year

  • Wood – Up to four times per year

  • Bituminous Coal – Twice per year

Fit Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors should be fitted in every home, whether the owners burn solid fuel or not. An audible alarm will alert you to any danger wherever you are in the house. Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless gas which can be fatal if inhaled in large quantities. A Carbon Monoxide alarm is a reliable way of detecting carbon monoxide before it reaches dangerous levels.

You’ll find that buying online isn’t just quick and simple, it will probably cost less than you think, especially if you buy in bulk with one of our special offers. Our website shows our full range of coal and other products, place your order with today and your coal will be with you within 5 days!

Visit today to view our range of coal and other products for your multi-fuel stove, wood burning stove or boiler or contact us to find out what is best for your fire!