Can you burn scaffold boards

Scaffold boards are made from wood and can therefore burn easily. Scaffold boards are however treated by a number of chemicals hence releasing wastes like copper, arsenic and chromium, which are all toxic fumes. Using scaffold boards for domestic fuel is therefore not recommended.

Plank table and  in background a wood stone on fire

Using scaffold planks as fuel

Because of the poisonous fumes from burning treated scaffold boards, it Is advised for anyone handling these boards in a fire to wear a protective mask. Poisonous heavy metals such as arsenic, which is released when treated wood is burnt, are extremely harmful to the lungs and will often result in long-term issues.

In some instances, the scaffold boards are not treated and can be used for domestic fuel. These do not have a high effect on the environment and can be used as fuel. It is advised to first obtain a few samples in order to see how it will perform.

Scaffold board leaning against a lorry

How do scaffold boards burn

In most instances, used scaffold boards will have traces of cement on them. When being burnt, the boards release loud popping sounds and bangs which almost sound like fireworks. A lot of fumes are released into the environment during the burning of scaffold boards.

Burning scaffold boards in a wood-burning stove

Using treated scaffold boards in an indoor wood-burning stove is not recommended due to the toxic nature of the fumes released. The pressure-treated wood also tends to split and break when burning and may even cause damage to the stove during burning. You will also be collecting a lot more ash from the stove compared to when using virgin wood. However tempting you may be to cut the boards to put it in the stove there is way too many cons.

With the risks to the people and environment involved in using scaffold boards as fuel for wood stoves, it is much better to avoid using them. The treated lumber releases toxins which pose a serious threat when inhaled. Considering the environmental effects, it is better to find an alternative way for scaffold board disposal other than burning.