One of the more common problems with wood burning fireplaces is the accumulation of creosote in the chimney and flue. Creosote is mostly composed of carbon, but it also consists of ashes and other byproducts from the burning fire. This substance builds up in chimneys and flues while the fire is burning and an excessive build up of creosote can be a fire hazard. It is recommended that fireplace owners have their chimney and flue cleaned at least once a year to avoid a chimney fire.
Creosote appears in three different consistencies. The first is the flaky soot-like creosote, which can be easily removed by using a chimney brush. The next type is a harder more brittle type of creosote which will probably require some hard scrubbing along with brushing to remove. The final type of creosote is the glazed variety. This type of creosote is not only the toughest to remove, but it is also the type that poses the greatest risk of fire.
How to Remove Creosote From Your Chimney
When it comes to removing creosote from a chimney, it will depend on the type of creosote build up that is present. To avoid the build up of glazed creosote, a homeowner should try to clean their flue and chimney regularly. This can be done by simply using a wire brush to remove the flaky creosote before it builds up.
Once it gets beyond being the flaky soot-like creosote, you will probably need to use chemical cleaners that will loosen up the creosote. This will require the individual to allow the cleanser time to loosen up the creosote and then they will probably have to engage in some scrubbing.
In some cases, the buildup of creosote might be so caked on to the inside of the chimney that commercial cleansers will not be able to remove all of it. In these situations, the homeowner will need to obtain the services of a chimney specialist.
An important part of fireplace safety is keeping your chimney free of creosote. This material is highly-combustible which makes it a serious threat for causing a household fire. Fireplace owners should brush-out their flues and chimneys regularly to keep them in good working order. Even if you maintain a clean fireplace and chimney, it is still recommended that you have your chimney inspected and cleaned once a year by a chimney specialist. If you are looking to get away from a fireplace with a chimney and purchase a gas fireplace, insert or stove, here are some options!