There are lots of things that can threaten the structural integrity of your chimney and fireplace. Water damage, cracks and crumbling, and broken down parts are just a few of the many things sweeps check for on a regular basis. Yet, there’s something else, as well, that often gets underestimated, but plays just as big a role when it comes to causing your chimney undue stress – creosote.
Creosote is a highly flammable substance that builds up inside of your chimney as you burn fires. It forms especially fast when proper wood-burning techniques are not applied, such as burning unseasoned wood, restricting airflow, and overloading the firebox. That being said, even homeowners who burn as cleanly as possible need to have their system checked for creosote on a regular basis.
There are many forms that creosote can take. When your chimney is regularly swept, most creosote should remain flaky and fairly easy to remove, but the longer it goes without being addressed, the more sticky and tar-like it will become. In the worst cases, the creosote will become hard, glazed, and glossy, and special tools and products will need to be used to effectively and safely remove it.
Why Is It Dangerous?
As we stated earlier, creosote is highly flammable. If the built-up creosote inside of your chimney were to catch fire, it would trigger a chimney fire. The more creosote you have inside of your system, the higher your risk is, which is why regular inspections and cleanings are so important. If you’re overdue for your inspection, be sure to call in our sweeps right away, so that we can check things over before fall and winter come in full swing.
All About Chimney Fires
So, how does a chimney fire damage your system? Well, the high temperatures cause cracking and crumbling to occur, breaking down your brickwork and mortar significantly. As these pieces continue to deteriorate, pathways are made that can allow smoke, harmful gases, and flames to escape the chimney and enter your home.
House fires and carbon monoxide exposure are both things that need to be taken seriously, as they can bring great harm to friends and family members within the home. If you’ve experienced a chimney fire, it’s vital that you call in a professional to assess the situation before building any more fires.
Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t even realize that they’ve experienced a chimney fire. Most assume that a disaster of this magnitude would be loud and obvious, but most occur unnoticed by anyone, meaning fires are still being lit without the families realizing that they’re at risk. This is another big reason why investing in an annual inspection is so important!
Call On Us Today
Whether you need repair work completed, a sweeping done, or just a quick inspection to ensure everything is working fine and ready to go, our CSIA certified team of experts is here to help. Give us a call today, and we’ll set up an appointment. You deserve peace of mind this fall, and we’re here to offer just that. Thanks for counting on us!