There are many different reasons why people have their chimneys cleaned on an annual or bi-annual basis. From better efficiency to improved home safety, chimney inspections and chimney cleanings are critical parts of owning a fireplace and chimney. One of the things that you’ll hear discussed when you have a cleaning is creosote. What exactly is creosote, and why does it need to be removed so often?

What Is Creosote?

Creosote is a dangerous, corrosive, and flammable substance. It is created over the course of normal fireplace use as ash, gases, and unburned wood react as they accumulate in the chimney and exit your home. Even if you do everything right, a certain amount of creosote will accumulate on the inside of your chimney. Things like having a draft or burning low-quality wood can lead to the rapid accumulation of creosote.

What Leads to Creosote Accumulation?

Every time you burn wood, you are creating specific byproducts. These byproducts include unburned wood particles, steam, and other substances. When the smoke leaving your chimney is not hot enough or cools before it can exit, creosote will form. There are a variety of things that lead to creosote formation, including flues that are too big for the fireplace, wet wood, a cold flue, and poor air supply. We can help you troubleshoot the root cause of your creosote problem to decrease the pace at which it accumulates.

Why Is Creosote Dangerous?

Creosote is highly flammable. As a result, having a thick layer of it in your chimney can radically increase the odds of experiencing a chimney fire or a house fire. It cannot be easily removed by yourself at home, which is why having regular chimney cleanings is so important. Creosote will never leave on its own. Instead, it will keep accumulating until it is removed again. If you fail to have it removed, it can get so thick on the inside of your flue that ventilation is restricted. Because creosote forms more quickly when ventilation is poor, it will accumulate faster the longer that you wait to have it removed.

Keep Your House Safe with Clean Sweep Maryland

Call Clean Sweep Maryland today at 410-558-1111 for professional chimney sweep, slate roofing and duct cleaning services designed to keep all your listed properties clean and safe for sellers and buyers. If you are a prospective home buyer or home seller in need of chimney inspection or repairs, we are here to help.