Creosote is a naturally-occurring byproduct of fire. When you burn fires in your fireplace all winter long and some during the spring and fall, this can cause a large accumulation of creosote, soot, and smoke to get released into the flue. Small amounts of these materials are deposited onto the sides of the flue with each fire. As efficiency decrease with your fireplace, more creosote is accumulated in the flue. Eventually, creosote can cause a buildup and blockage in the flue if not regularly and properly removed.
The Problem With Creosote
Creosote is a byproduct of organic fuel fires including wood, fossil fuels, and tar. It is mostly made up of tar, and it is glossy and flaky in appearance. Creosote builds up quickly if not cleaned regularly. As it builds up, it is also affected by the heat in the chimney. In fact, as temperatures rise, the creosote heats and moisture evaporates. This leaves behind a hardened, glazed mass that is a high concentration of tar. This is called glazed or third degree buildup. It is highly flammable and dangerous and interrupts airflow, which further decreases the efficiency of your fireplace.
Prevent Creosote Buildup
You can prevent creosote buildup in your chimney while also enjoy your fireplace. The key is to continually maintain your chimney with proper care. When you schedule chimney sweeps regularly, your creosote level will remain low. During a routine chimney sweep, creosote and soot is all cleared away using brushes and a sophisticated vacuum system. Our chimney sweeps are also trained in glazed creosote removal. This include using special tools or special chemicals designed to absorb and remove the glazed creosote.
When you schedule a chimney sweeping with Anderson’s Chimney, ask about power cleaning and Poultice Creosote Remover (PCR), and a chimney expert can help you determine which is best for you.
Schedule Inspections Annually
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) both recommend annual inspections to keep your chimney safe and efficient. During an inspection, your technician visibly assess the system from top to bottom. They look closely at your flue and look for possible obstruction.
You should only burn wood in your fireplace that has been cut and set aside to dry. Otherwise, the wood is filled with water. The water makes it difficult to light fires and to keep a desired temperature. This also produce more creosote inside your chimney. Seasoned firewood should be allowed to dry for six months before being used to burn.
In order to protect your chimney for a long time, you should schedule maintenance and burn proper fuel. If you have concerns about your chimney system, call a professional at 717-975-3526 now! Then your fireplace will be ready for a fire when fall arrives.