Firesafe Keeps Chimneys In MA Safer By Removing Dangerous Creosote Fast & Without Noxious Chemicals

When wood burns in your fireplace or stove, it produces minerals and particles that are carried up into the chimney via the flue gases and smoke. As these flue gases cool in the chimney, they can leave behind deposits in the form of creosote.

Creosote is a tacky or shiny tar-like substance that sticks to the flue liner or stove pipe and smoke chamber — and while this isn’t a problem initially, over time it can build up and cause serious issues. How so? This byproduct settles and cool as a black or brown deposit, and as it builds layer by layer, it becomes harder, stickier, and more flammable. As it thickens and hardens, it becomes known as glazed creosote.

Glazed creosote is dangerous for several reasons:

  1. It is highly corrosive, so if it isn’t removed, it will damage the liner, the smoke chamber, and any other surface it’s found on.
  2. It’s highly flammable, so if it isn’t removed, it can easily cause a chimney fire. Chimney fires can spread to other areas of the home quickly, especially if the liner is failing, damaged, and unable to contain the fire.
  3. Glazed creosote can limit the passage of air in the flue, which can reduce the efficiency and negatively impact the performance of your stove or fireplace. This can also lead to smoke problems and even more creosote.

What Can You Do To Prevent The Buildup Of Creosote In Your Chimney?

So now that you know what creosote is and why it’s considered incredibly dangerous, what can you do to prevent creosote buildup?

  • Fully open the damper before lighting a fire in the fireplace. If your damper isn’t fully opened, smoke will exit the chimney slower, which means it will have more time to settle and cool in the chimney.
  • Burn seasoned wood. Make sure that, if you’re buying your firewood, you only ever buy properly seasoned wood. If you’re chopping and storing wood yourself, be sure to cover the wood and allow it time to fully dry out. If you’re not sure what seasoned wood looks, feels, and sounds like, or if you’re unsure of how to properly season and store firewood, check out the CSIA’s helpful tips on selecting and storing firewood.
  • Warm the flue. A hot flue will naturally promote draft and reduce the amount of time smoke lingers inside. So how do you make sure your flue is properly prepped and warmed? Before lighting the fire, roll up a newspaper, light it up, and hold it into the flue for a few moments. A top mounted damper can also keep cold air out of the flue when the fireplace is not in use, so that when you do go to enjoy a fire, the flue is naturally warmer than it would be otherwise.
  • Avoid overstuffing the firebox or stove with firewood. We all want bigger, better fires with less work, but overloading your firebox or wood stove is not beneficial. This can cause even more creosote to form by creating more smoke and byproducts than your chimney can effectively and quickly remove.

Is Creosote Removed During A Chimney Sweeping?

You may be wondering, “Is creosote removed during a chimney sweeping?” It can be if the team has the right experience, products, and tools for the job. Glazed creosote cannot be removed with standard sweeping brushes. While some companies choose to use hazardous chemicals to remove glazed creosote, here at Firesafe, we use Poultice Creosote Remover (PCR).

PCR is a non-toxic product that, once applied to the creosote coated surface, works to break down and absorb the creosote. As the product dries, it flakes off of the surface, taking the glazed creosote with it. Afterward, we can use other tools and techniques to brush off and remove any remaining residue. This creosote removal product and technique is fast, effective, and it won’t fill your home with noxious odors and chemical fumes.

Schedule An Inspection Today & Find Out If Creosote Is A Problem In Your Chimney

Do you have creosote buildup in your chimney? The best way to find out and determine if it’s time for PCR and a chimney sweeping is to schedule an inspection. We’ll evaluate the buildup and make recommendations for a safer, more efficient fireside experience. Ready to schedule your inspection and sweeping? Call us at 413-436-7946 or fill out our online appointment request form today. We’re here for you when you need us.