The Dangers Of Creosote
The more you enjoy your fireplace, the more buildup that accumulates in your chimney. Not only does this lead to more unpleasant odors long after your fire, it can also cause some risks if neglected. One important culprit of this risk is a compound called creosote. Creosote is a byproduct mainly made up of tar, that sticks to the walls of your chimney and could pose risks as a homeowner. Certain woods, such as softwood may deposit creosote more quickly than hardwood fires.
Risks Creosote Poses
Luckily, creosote buildup is normal and expected which means keeping it in control is easy to accomplish by licensed chimney professionals. However, if left unchecked and neglected, this buildup can cause strong fire smells, put you at higher risk of house fires, and even put your family at risk of inhaling toxic fumes.
The more fires you burn, the quicker this substance and debris will collect. The byproduct is a thick tar-like substance that will just continue to accumulate on your chimney walls if not cleaned.
Stages of Creosote Buildup
During this stage, the creosote buildup is mainly a soot-like substance and can be brushed away easily by a chimney professional.
If you reach the second stage, the creosote buildup has taken on a thicker harder substance. Chemical substances are usually required to help loosen up the debris.
In the third stage of buildup, the substance will take on a quite sticky and oily texture and stick to the chimney walls, making it very difficult to take care of the buildup. At this stage, it may be harmful to breathe in the air due to the toxicity. In some cases, it makes more sense for chimney professionals to completely replace chimney liners.
Keep Creosote Controlled
You can opt for well-seasoned hardwoods to burn rather than other wet softwoods. It’s also important to keep up on maintenance such as clearing out soot in the fireplace chamber. This can minimize the post-fire smoky smell and overall contribute to a cleaner burning environment. Completing these small steps, along with developing and following a regular maintenance plan can help keep creosote levels under control.
Call Chimney Sweeps Inc. Today
For over 35 years, when it comes to chimney sweeps and tackling creosote buildup in the Southern CA area, "Chimney Sweeps, Inc." is the go-to trusted option. We provide complete inspections, repairs, chimney cleaning, and relining services. If you are looking for a new fireplace, stove or insert we can help you there too! We focus on all services to assist in extending the life of your chimney. Speak with a chimney and fireplace expert today at (619) 593-4020 or request an appointment online.
How To Tackle Creosote Buildup
To ensure you don’t find your chimney in the third stage of buildup, it’s important to schedule regular inspections and cleanings.
In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) strongly encourages homeowners to conduct annual cleanings to take care of creosote buildup in your fireplace.