Were you aware that the CSIA recommends scheduling at least one chimney inspection per year? These inspections play a vital role in your chimney’s overall health and functionality. By scheduling inspections, you give chimney experts the opportunity to search for any damage and necessary repairs, and decide if you are due for a sweeping.

While this routine maintenance may not seem important, it actually makes a huge difference in the health of your chimney, home, and family down the line. One of the main hazards a sweep will check for is creosote build-up and, should there be dangerous amounts present, it will be properly and efficiently removed.

Learn more about the dangers of creosote build-up below!

Creosote & Chimney Fires

One of the biggest threats a creosote-filled chimney faces is chimney fires. Fires can do large amounts of damage to the interior of your chimney and cause various parts of the structure to wear down at an alarming rate. As these parts deteriorate, your walls, roof, and adjacent woodwork become more and more vulnerable to the flames your fireplace produces. If deterioration occurs, chances of a house fire increase dramatically!

Chimney fires often occur unbeknownst to the homeowner. A hazard this major seems like it would be very blatant, but this is often not the case, making it very important to schedule annual inspections. If a fire has occurred, you’ll have creosote to remove and other repair jobs up ahead before your system can be put to use again.

What Encourages Creosote Build-Up?

Why do some fireplaces accumulate creosote faster and more abundantly than others? There are a few major contributors, and one is due to a lack of sufficient make-up air running through the chimney. This could be caused by a closed or mostly closed damper, closed glass doors, or inefficient airflow through the home.

Another major cause of creosote build-up is homeowners burning objects other than properly seasoned wood in their fireplace. Garbage, unseasoned wood, leftover wrapping paper, paper plates/cups, and similar items all send up harmful toxins through your chimney and contribute to a greater accumulation of creosote.

Lastly, smoke may be too cold. This relates to the unrecommended practice of burning unseasoned wood in your stove or fireplace. Unseasoned wood takes up more energy due to the extra moisture it contains, which makes smoke and fireplace temperature cooler. These cooler temperatures lead to creosote buildup in your chimney.  Seasoned wood is always your best bet when it comes to fueling your fire!

Schedule A Sweeping With Us!

Winston’s Chimney Service has been serving the Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, and southern Maryland areas for almost 40 years, so you can rest easy knowing we know our way around a chimney. Depend on our certified sweeps for all of your chimney and fireplace needs. Call today!

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