Creosote is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it.  Not only is it dirty and can cause a stink if left long enough, but it can actually be a fire hazard to your home.  While creosote is unavoidable, it can be removed by a chimney sweep if taken care of in enough time and not be as much of a nuisance to your home.  To learn more about chimney sweeping, or to ask other questions about your chimney, call the professionals at All American Chimney Service, LLC.

If you leave more than a year between chimney sweeping, you may be allowing flammable creosote to build up.

If you leave more than a year between chimney sweeping, you may be allowing flammable creosote to build up.

 

What is creosote?

Creosote is released from burning untreated firewood.  These byproducts will overtime clump together and cause blockages inside of the chimney.  When the clumps get big enough, they will eventually begin to change the draft through your chimney, which can cause the smoke and harmful gases to be trapped inside of your home. This can lead to Carbon Monoxide poisoning, which can have symptoms ranging anywhere from headache and nausea to chest pains and fatality.  Creosote can also be the cause of chimney fires.  Creosote clumps are easy to heat up, so when the heat rises from the fire it can begin to spark.  These fires can spread and have your home in just minutes due to their high heat.

How do you get rid of creosote?

The number one way to get rid of creosote is to have a chimney sweep.  You need to have at least one a year, but it is recommended that if you use your chimney often you have two.  One should be after the burning season is over to remove anything that has built up over time, and also one before to make sure you get anything out that may have gotten in through the summer.  One thing to always remember is that your technician should always be Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified.

How do you prepare for your sweep?

  • Do not burn any fires for at least 24 hours before the sweep to let the workspace cool down.
  • Move all the furniture and other valuables away from the unit to prevent it from getting dirty.
  • Lock any pets you may have in another room for their safety, and the safety of the technician.