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The Importance of Creosote Removal

Homeowners can safely tend to various matters inattentively, but creosote removal is not one of them. The joys of wood fires come with a risk in the form of tar-like deposits in the chimney flue. Highly flammable creosote poses two kinds of deadly threats. Here are more details on the importance of creosote removal.

chimney fire in college station txChimney Fires

The more creosote there is inside of your chimney, the more dangerous a simple floating ember becomes. All it takes is one ember to ignite a chimney fire, and the blaze is fed by the creosote in the lining. It is normal for a raging chimney fire to completely destroy a chimney liner, resulting in a life-threatening house fire. The following are clues that there is a chimney fire in your flue liner:

  • A loud popping or crackling noise can be heard coming from the chimney.
  • Large plumes of thick smoke coming from the fireplace or through the chimney.
  • Flames can be seen coming out of the flue pipe.
  • There is a strong, intensely hot odor.

If a chimney fire doesn’t have much fuel or air, it will burn slowly and could go undetected. Yet, the fire still reaches extreme temperatures that can damage the flue and other parts of the chimney structure. Continuing to use a fireplace in which an undetected chimney fire has destroyed the lining is a huge threat to safety.

Toxic Fumes

When creosote removal is neglected, layer upon layer of creosote builds up inside the flue. Eventually, creosote blocks the chimney. As a result, the toxic fumes from a wood fire enter the home instead of escaping through the chimney. Among those fumes is carbon monoxide, known as “The Silent Killer.” Carbon monoxide is invisible, tasteless, odorless, and doesn’t cause symptoms in those who are exposed until it is usually too late to escape the danger.

Excessive Creosote Buildup

It is unsafe to simply assume that creosote removal is not needed as opposed to scheduling routine chimney services. In some cases, excessive creosote buildup occurs, speeding along the danger created by the black, sooty substance. The following situations result in increased amounts of creosote being deposited in the chimney flue:

  • Burning unseasoned firewood, which means that the firewood contains too much moisture. When wet wood is burned, the energy of the fire is directed toward burning out the moisture, and the resulting creosote is a mess that heightens dangers. The most important reason to store stacks of firewood is to allow the wood to dry out over a six-month to about a one-year period.
  • If there is a weak draft, smoke exits too lethargically. The cooling and depositing of the carbon-rich chemicals increases, multiplying the amount of creosote deposit in the lining.

creosote build up in spring tx

Three Types of Creosote

Another complication of creosote is that there are three kinds and only one is easy to remove using a basic professional chimney sweep brush. Stage 2 and Stage 3 creosote is more difficult to remove and provide more fuel for chimney fires. Stage 3 creosote is like tar has been poured into the flue, and it can be impossible to remove. Oftentimes, homeowners with Stage 3 creosote are forced to install a new chimney liner so that the creosote buildup that won’t come off is no longer a danger.

Contact Guardian Chimney Sweeps Today

The CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at Guardian Chimney Sweeps are experts at creosote removal. With the Houston chimney sweep company’s 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can be confident of reliable chimney sweep services at competitive prices. Schedule creosote removal today and enjoy peace of mind as you warm yourself by cozy wood fires this winter. Guardian Chimney Sweeps is also the place to call for chimney inspections, chimney repair, masonry repair, flue liner replacement, and all of your chimney and professional heating appliance installation needs. Contact Guardian Chimney Sweeps today at one of the numbers below.

Toll-free: (888) 306-6069

Conroe: (936) 271-9781

Houston: (713) 401-2011