Ask the Lawn Care Experts: Can Mulch Catch Fire?
It doesn’t occur very often, but it’s possible for mulch to catch fire on its own. That’s right — if your mulch is dry and piled more than a few inches deep, it can accumulate heat and spontaneously catch fire. This dangerous event can happen on commercial or residential properties, but the good news is that mulch fires are usually preventable. In today’s blog post, Nixa Lawn Service looks at the causes of mulch fires, and we explain some steps you can take to prevent them.
Related Post: How to Choose Mulch for Landscaping
How Do Mulch Fires Start?
Wood is flammable, and mulch is dead wood that decomposes. Excessive heat increases the temperature of your compost pile and may kill the creatures that work to decompose the material. During this time, the mulch could potentially overheat and catch fire. Spontaneous combustion is most likely to occur when many of the following conditions align:
- The weather has been hot and dry for a while
- Your mulch is old
- You have neglected your mulch for many years
- There are uneven pockets of debris mixed in
- There’s improper moisture distribution throughout the huge pile
Related Post: Why Mulching Is Important
What Can You Do?
If you’re concerned about your compost pile overheating this summer, here is what you can do to ensure proper maintenance:
- Turn your mulch over and water it once a week.
- If you store or manufacture mulch, keep a distance of 30 feet between piles.
- For homeowners, make sure your mulch beds are 18 inches away from combustible structures.
- Avoid extremely large piles (no more than 12 feet high).
- Use a compost thermometer to frequently check the pile’s temperature (ideally between 100- and 160-degrees Fahrenheit).
Nixa Lawn Service Quick Tip: If you notice any smoke or detect a burnt smell, your pile is probably too hot. Report any fire by calling 9-1-1.
If you have any questions, contact Nixa Lawn Service, and view our blog for more landscaping tips.
Nixa Lawn Service: Experts in Mulching and Landscaping
Nixa Lawn Service provides comprehensive landscaping services in the greater Springfield, MO area. Whether you need mulch added to your landscaping beds or a single tree planted, we have the experience and expertise to deliver the perfect solution. For more information, request a landscaping quote or call 417-724-0318 today.