Creosote and Your Chimney

When it comes to fireplace maintenance, there can be a lot of information to take in. Between regular inspections, waterproofing, fixing up brickwork, and more, homeowners often find themselves investing a lot of time and money into their chimney.Creosote and Chimneys Image - Lake Norman NC - SirVent Chimney
This hard work always pays off when they are sitting around a cozy fire with loved ones, but finding ways to reduce time spent on chimney upkeep is always welcome.

One way to lighten the load is by increasing your awareness of creosote build-up and learning ways to avoid it.

What Is Creosote?

Creosote is a stubborn substance that forms as you burn fires in your chimney.
Sometimes it is flaky, while other times it forms into a sticky tar-like material. Regardless of how it appears, it is not good for the health of your chimney. Not only does a dirty chimney break down the brickwork and mortar, but a build-up of creosote will often be the cause of a chimney fire.

Removing Creosote

When it comes to removing creosote, doing it yourself is typically not the best option. If you miss anything, you leave open the potential for fires and harmful toxins entering the home. Also, knowing which chemicals and tools are appropriate can be challenging, and the wrong combination of products could be bad for chimney health.

When you hire a professional, you know that all of your bases are covered. A fireplace should be inspected and cleaned at least once per year, so be sure to ask your regular sweep about your creosote situation next time they come around. Hiring someone who is trained and certified, like the staff at SirVent Chimney and Venting Service, will always be your best option.

Avoiding Creosote

There are ways to avoid creosote building up in your chimney. On top of scheduling your annual cleaning and inspection, follow these guidelines to slow the rate at which it forms.

  • Burn Seasoned Wood: When you pick out your firewood, make sure it is light in weight, cracked or split at the ends, and that it makes a clinking noise (rather than a dull thud) when you hit it together. All of these are signs that the wood is properly seasoned, which will decrease the amount of creosote that forms when you burn it.
  • Maintain Air Flow: Ensuring that air can move properly throughout the chimney is a large component in reducing creosote build-up. The longer smoke and other toxins are allowed to stay within a chimney, the more debris you will end up storing.
  • Keep Temperatures High: Burning seasoned wood and burning it quickly are both key factors in maintaining hot fires that produce a smaller amount of toxins. You will need to refuel a bit more often if you want to keep the fire going, but it will be well worth it to avoid excess creosote sticking to your brickwork.

The best way to avoid too much creosote is to call in the experts at SirVent Chimney and Venting Service. Schedule your inspection with us today!

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