Every year, there are over 25,000 chimney fires across the United States. These fires lead to over $125 million in property damage. Aside from the property damage, there are numerous lives lost and harmed as a result. One of the most notable causes of these tragic chimney and house fires is creosote build-up inside of the chimney or fireplace. What does every homeowner need to know about creosote?
What Is Creosote?
Creosote is a corrosive and flammable substance that builds up on the inside walls of chimneys and fireplaces. Creosote is made when ash, other gases and wood particles combine on the way out of your chimney. Whenever a chimney is not adequately vented or cleaned, creosote can accumulate on the walls and lead to sparking or a fire.
How Is Creosote Made?
- When there isn’t enough air entering the chimney chamber and the fire smolders, flue gas will condense on the walls of the chimney and inside of the fireplace. This resin will form creosote.
- Due to the heat in the chimney, the resin will turn into a liquid and seep into cracks in the masonry and mortar joints.
- When the temperature changes inside the chimney through the seasons and when you have a fire lit, the creosote build-up will increase as gas struggles to get out. In this sense, build-up can become exponential and rapidly spiral out of control.
Initially, creosote will look like a flaky soot that can quickly be removed. Then, it will turn into flakes that are dark, hard and shiny. Finally, it will form into a tar-like coating throughout the inside of your fireplace and chimney. It is very hard to remove without professional help and very flammable.
How Can You Reduce the Chances of Creosote Build-Up in Your Chimney?
- Don’t burn fires that are smoldering or slow, as the byproducts of combustion will go up the flue instead of being burned as they would in a hot fire
- Never use packaged artificial logs inside of your fireplace, because they create large creosote deposits on the inside of your chimney
- Avoid burning unseasoned or freshly-cut firewood
- Burn hot fires that get plenty of air
Get Creosote Removed From Your Chimney Today
Because creosote is so dangerous, you should never wait if you suspect that your chimney might be coated with it. Clean Sweep Maryland has the professional equipment necessary to remove any amount of creosote from your chimney, along with performing repairs. Call Clean Sweep Maryland today at 410-558-1111 for professional chimney sweep, dryer vent cleaning, air duct cleaning and gutter cleaning services designed to keep your home in wonderful condition and your family safe.