Creosote.  It’s no fun to deal with and you need to know the scoop to keep your family safe.  It is understandable that you will have questions, and thankfully the Winston’s Chimney Service staff has highly educated professionals for all of your chimney needs.

Q: What is creosote?

A: Creosotes are a sticky substance that is produced when your fire burns, especially if you are using untreated wood.  This will eventually cause clumps that will begin to block your chimney.

Learn more about how creosote can compromise both performance and safety.

Learn more about how creosote can compromise both performance and safety.

Q: What can creosotes do to harm me?

A: Creosotes can have many harmful effects on your health.  If your children or pets play around the fireplace, they may come into contact with creosote and ash, and then get it in their mouths.  If the clumps of creosote get big enough and begin to block your chimney, it can cause the bad air that needs to exit to be trapped inside of the chimney.  This will keep gases like carbon monoxide inside of your living space.  If you are exposed to too much carbon monoxide, it can cause symptoms ranging from headache and nausea to chest pains and fatality.  Lastly, the clumps of creosote will hold extra heat, which allows the unit to be more likely to experience a chimney fire.  These get so hot that they can cause small explosions and take homes within minutes.

Q: How do I get rid of creosote?

A: The best way to get rid of creosote is to have your annual chimney sweep.  However, if you use your chimney frequently, you might want to look into having two sweeps as you will have a higher amount of build-up.

Q: How do I hire a chimney sweep?

A: You always want to make sure tat your technician is reliable.  Your family, neighbors, and friends can also recommend people in the area.  It is also important that they are Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified.

Q: How can I prepare my home for the sweep?

A: Your chimney sweep will actually have everything covered when he or she gets to your home.  They do ask for safety purposes that you do not burn a fire for over 24 hours to let the chimney cool.  Next, move all furniture and valuables a few feet away so that they do not risk getting dirty.  Also, make sure you lock up your pets for both their safety, and the safety of the technicians.



Winston's Chimney Service
11301 Industrial Road
Manassas, VA 20109