Can You Safely Burn OSB In A Wood Stove?

If you want clean burning firewood, then you can use solid natural wood in your stove. The right type of solid wood is the best way to fuel your stove or fireplace, because it produces very little pitch-filled smoke.

But what about manufactured woods, such as Plywood, MDF or even OSB?

Let’s take OSB, for example. This popular engineered wood is saturated with synthetic glue. Yet, can this material be used as clean burning fuel for your home?

Well, in this post, you’ll learn whether OSB boards can be used in your wood stove. You will also discover what makes certain types of OSB boards fire-resistant.

And we reveal the best (and safest) choice firewood for any homestead stove or fireplace.

can you burn osb in a wood stove

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Is OSB Fire Resistant? Can OSB Boards Even Be Burnt?

Well, OSB isn’t very fire resistant at all. Without a specific fire retardant treatment, OSB boards are easily combustible. Which means that they can contribute to house fires, and can produce smoke.

However, there are certain types of fire-rated OSB boards. These fire-resistant boards have been treated with a fire retardant coating. And that coating act like an insulating layer between OSB and any nearby flames nearby.

And with this treatment, not only are fire-rated OSB boards fire-resistant, they restrict the further spread of fire in a building.

Related Post: Why You Should Use OSB (Not Plywood) For Your Attic Floor

So, Is It OK To Burn OSB Wood?

No it is not. Whether that OSB board is fire-treated or not, you should avoid using OSB for firewood. And the reason for this relates to the glue contained in OSB.

You see, OSB is a manufactured material made from wood strands. Those strands are packed in and held together using resinous glue. And typically, OSB contains a mix of different glues such as Phenol Formaldehyde, Isocyanate, and Melamine-Urea-Formaldehyde.

Now, Phenol Formaldehyde is very toxic, but it doesn’t produce much smoke as it burns. So, generally it poses relatively little toxicity risk.

However, if you heat it up hot enough (i.e. you leave it to burn in a fireplace) Phenol Formaldehyde can vaporise. And then you run the risk of inhaling this stuff. Which, in turn, puts you at risk of severe respiratory problems.

In short, don’t burn OSB boards for firewood.

Related Post: Is Aspen Wood Really Any Good As Firewood? (Revealed!)

What Type Of Wood Can You Safely Burn In A Wood Stove?

The best type of firewood has three important characteristics to it; 1). It produces very little smoke, 2). It contains very little sap/pitch, and 3). It is made from non-toxic wood.

Firewood Needs To Emit Low Amounts of Smoke

Make sure that firewood is dry before you burn it. If there is still a lot of moisture (or sap) in wood, then that firewood log will bellow out smoke.

Firewood Needs To Contain Low Sap/Pitch

Wood that has a lot of sap/pitch in it can create a fire hazard. That’s because as these pitch-filled logs burn, that pitch will rise and block chimneys. And this can cause chimney fires.

Firewood Needs To Be Non-Toxic

The last thing you need is to inhale toxins and other poisonous fumes. So avoid burning poisonous trees, (or chemically treated lumber), in your fireplace.

So, What Is The Best Type Of Firewood For The Fireplace?

The two safest wood types you can burn, are natural untreated Birch wood or Oak wood.

Both timber types are non-toxic, and contain very little sap/pitch. And, once seasoned, they’ll be dry enough to throw on the fire.

Related Post: How To Season Wood (7 Tips)

And What Is the Most Common Type Of Firewood?

In North America, White Oak wood is possibly the most popular choice of firewood, due to its abundance. It grows right across Canada and North Central USA. In fact, a little over half of all the Oak wood subspecies in the world, grow in the United States.

So, look around for Oak wood, if you want firewood to heat your home. And skip over using OSB completely.

To Wrap Up, Here Are The 3 Key Takeaways From This Post…

  • 1). Untreated OSB is not fire-resistant. It will burn easily if you set it alight.
  • 2). OSB contains formaldehyde adhesives that make this engineered wood unsuitable for any homestead fireplace.
  • 3). For clean burning firewood, use Oak or Birch wood in your stove.

References:

Types of Glue Used in OSB | Sciencing.com

Fire Retardant Coatings For Wood | Teknos.com

Phenolic Resins | Science Direct

Oak | Wikipedia.org