Dangers Of Creosote
Buildup accumulates in your chimney the more you use it. While fires are enjoyable and relaxing, they may leave byproducts such as a strong smell, higher house fire risk, and potentially dangerous inhalants. Creosote is mainly to blame for this. Creosote is a byproduct made up of tar, that sticks to the walls of your chimney and takes on a different, more dense substance as it sits. It’s important to take care of this early so it doesn’t get out of hand.
Creosote Buildup Risks
Creosote buildup is normal and expected if you own a home with a chimney. This means keeping it in control is easy to accomplish by licensed chimney professionals. But, if left unchecked, creosote buildup can cause strong fire smells, put you at higher risk of house fires, and maybe even expel toxic fumes unsafe to breathe in.
This debris collects rather quickly, but it is dependent on how often you have fires. As it sits for longer, and you burn more fires, the substance will shift and leave a different byproduct. Below are the three stages of creosote build up you’ll see in chimneys:
- First stage:
During this stage, the creosote buildup is mainly a soot-like substance and can be brushed away easily by a chimney professional.
- Second stage:
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.
- Third stage:
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.
How To Tackle Creosote Buildup
There are a few precautionary measures you can take to minimize fire smells. You can opt for well-seasoned hardwoods to burn rather than wet or softwoods. Keeping up on maintenance such as clearing out soot in the fireplace chamber is crucial to promote clean burning environments. Cleaning regularly can minimize the post-fire smoky smell, too. Completing these small steps will help, but it doesn’t replace a regular maintenance plan which will prevent the dangers of creosote buildup. A regular maintenance plan should include annual inspections and chimney cleanings by licensed professionals.
In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) strongly encourages homeowners to conduct annual cleanings to take care of the dangers of creosote buildup in your fireplace and prevent your chimney from getting to the third stage of buildup.
Get Started and Call Ye Old Brit
At Ye Old Brit, we have the tools to take care of even the worst creosote buildup. Our chimney sweeps are certified chimney professionals. We can perform chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, flashing repair, chimney crown repair, and, if necessary, masonry rebuilds, and more.
We are reliable and trusted to ensure your chimney and fireplace are in the best shape. Call today at 909-880-2120 to schedule chimney services or fill out our online contact form.