Reducing Creosote Build-up
Because it hides deep inside your chimney, creosote — the highly flammable by-product of fires — is something many homeowners don’t often think about. But it shouldn’t be ignored. Creosote, when subjected to intense heat, can start a fire in your chimney, and potentially spread through the rest of your house.
Creosote develops as hot smoke billows through the chimney and cools, creating condensation of carbon, water and volatile chemicals. This condensation dries and sticks to the interior walls of your chimney, where it can slowly grow as you increase the frequency of fires in cool weather.
Creosote hardens as it cools, and can grow to be several inches thick. Creosote attaches to your chimney in three stages, including a flaky and dusty material easy to clean, a tar-like substance more difficult to remove, and a dense, sticky material that is the most difficult to eliminate.
To discourage build-up of creosote, you should have your chimney cleaned by a professional chimney cleaning company. This will reduce a potentially dangerous house fire due to excessive creosote build-up. A professional chimney cleaning service also will inspect your chimney and recommend chimney relining if the creosote build-up becomes excessive.
In the meantime, there also are ways you can minimize creosote build-up while burning a fire, including:
- Burning a hot and intense fire. This will heat the chimney and discourage the condensation that leads to creosote.
- Making sure your firewood is dried and seasoned thoroughly. Moisture in wood contributes to creosote, so burning only completely dried wood will reduce the threat of creosote.
- Lastly, ensure your fire has effective air flow to quickly move smoke and dangerous chemicals out of the chimney.
Chimney Solutions offers chimney sweep services that will remove the threat of creosote build-up and potential chimney fires. We also perform chimney repairs to keep you and your family safe. Contact us today to learn more.