Got a Smelly Chimney? It Could Be Creosote

By Doug Hetsch

April 10, 2018

Chimney Sweep

Warmer weather is starting to arrive here in the Louisville area, and you have finally finished your spring cleaning routine. Just when you think it is time to relax and enjoy the weather, you notice a strong odor coming from your fireplace. If you neglected to include having your chimney professionally swept on your spring maintenance checklist, that smell is most likely creosote. Not only is this natural compound quite stinky, it is also a dangerous fire hazard. For over a decade, All American Chimney Service has provided professional chimney sweeping and inspection services, along with all types of chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs, to the residents of Louisville. We would like to tell you more about creosote and why it is so important to have it removed each year from your chimney.

What exactly is creosote and why is it inside my chimney?

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, creosote is a fact of life. A residue that develops naturally, creosote forms from the byproducts of combustion as they leave the cooler upper walls of the chimney. Varying in appearance, creosote can be black or brown in color, and its texture can range from crusty to sticky to shiny and hardened. No matter what creosote may look like, it is always highly flammable. In fact, creosote is named as a leading cause of chimney fires by theChimney Safety Institute of America(CSIA). If the internal temperature of your chimney gets hot enough, it can ignite any of the accumulated creosote deposits stuck to your inner chimney walls into flames. This is why the CSIA, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and other national fire safety organizations recommend having your chimney professionally swept at least once a year.

What can I expect from a professional chimney sweeping from All American Chimney Service?

When our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps arrive at your home, we will start by protecting the area around your fireplace to keep your home as clean as it was before we arrived. We will lay down drop cloths and set up a high-powered vacuum to collect the dust and dirt we will be sweeping from the chimney. As we are sweeping your chimney, we will use specialized tools such as rotating brushes on extended rods to remove every bit of creosote from the inner walls. If we find that the creosote is glazed, we can use a Poultice Creosote Remover (PCR) to be able to safely and properly scrub it off the interior chimney walls. You can trust us to make sure that your chimney will not be a fire hazard and that your home will smell fresh and clean throughout the spring and summer months.

Are you dealing with a smelly chimney?Contact ustoday at All American Chimney Service to schedule your appointment for our professional chimney sweeping and inspection services.

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