The Dangers of Creosote

When you own a home with a wood-burning fireplace, having your chimney professionally swept and inspected every year is crucial. Not only for efficiency reasons but also to make sure there are no safety hazards lurking within the chimney. One of the most common hazards is creosote deposits. They are so highly flammable that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has named them as a leading cause of chimney fires. When the CSIA-certified chimney sweeps from Chim Cheree The Chimney Specialists come to perform your chimney maintenance tasks, we make sure to remove every bit of creosote from your chimney. We would like to tell you a bit more about creosote and why it is so dangerous.

What exactly is creosote?

As smoke, gases, vapors, and other byproducts of combustion exit your home through the walls of the chimney, condensation occurs. During this process, these byproducts transform naturally into creosote, which is a residue that sticks to the inner chimney walls. Its appearance varies, depending on the stage of the creosote. It can be brown or black, and its texture can be crispy and flaky, sticky and tar-like, or if in its worst stage, shiny and hardened.

Why is creosote so dangerous?

No matter what stage creosote may be, it is always very flammable. According to the CSIA, a chimney fire can result if the accumulation of creosote is large enough and the internal temperature of the chimney gets hot enough. Creosote can also build up to the point of blocking the flue. This could force toxic gases of combustion, including carbon monoxide, back into your home.

How can I avoid the dangers of creosote?

Chim Cheree The Chimney Specialists recommend having your chimney swept at the end of the winter season. This process will have all of the creosote that has built up inside your chimney removed. This will prevent the possibility of a chimney fire occurring, and we can also make sure that your flue is free of any blockages. You can also reduce the amount of creosote that develops inside your chimney by only burning seasoned firewood and by opening your glass fireplace doors during a fire to allow a sufficient amount of make-up air.

Avoid the dangers of creosote by having your chimney professionally swept and inspected every year. Contact us at Chim Cheree The Chimney Specialists to schedule an appointment today with our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps.

By David Kline | Tagged with: Tags: , , |