What Is Creosote & Why Is It Dangerous?

If you have a fireplace, then you have likely heard of creosote. Unfortunately, many homeowners aren’t totally clear on what this substance actually is. They know it forms in their chimney, but with no real way to check it out, many are left in the dark on what it looks like or how quickly it forms. Well, there are actually a few different types of creosote and, depending on how you run your fireplace, it can form differently.

If you build your fires appropriately, using only seasoned wood and good airflow, then the creosote that forms in your chimney should be light, flaky, and easy to get rid of. Other times, creosote becomes sticky and tar-like, which may take a bit more time to eliminate, but can still be removed with traditional chimney sweeping techniques.

Finally, there’s glazed creosote, which is hard, shiny, and glossy in nature. This is most commonly seen in chimneys that are not regularly maintained and that do not undergo recommended practices when burning fuel. Glazed creosote (or stage three creosote) requires the use of special products to remove and, if a sweep tries to tackle it using basic tools and strategies, they could cause damage to your chimney.

Because of this, it is imperative to leave creosote removal in the hands of certified professionals. Our team has the training, experience, and know-how to get the job done right. No matter what type of creosote (or how much) you are facing, Chimspector Venting Specialists can handle it.

What Risks Accompany Excess Creosote?

So, now you know what creosote is, but why is removing it so essential? Well, this substance is very flammable and, the more you have of it, the higher your chances will be of experiencing a chimney fire. Chimney fires are typically quiet events that cause a lot of damage to your chimney as flames and heat are spread throughout your masonry. Unfortunately, because they are not usually loud and obvious, many continue using their fireplace, not knowing that anything is actually wrong.

Using a chimney that is damaged in any way poses a lot of threats and, since chimney fires are especially rough on your structure, they can trigger numerous risks. Flames, smoke, and carbon monoxide will be able to easily travel through the cracks, gaps, and holes that are now in your structure, putting your family in harm’s way, and the more time that passes the worse these issues will become.

All in all, investing in annual inspections will decrease your likelihood of experiencing issues, and the sooner you get any necessary repair work done, the better!

Why Turn To Us?

If you live in Columbia or any of its surrounding communities, we urge you to call on us for any of your creosote removal needs. Communication, customer service, honesty, excellence, and education are just some of our core values, and our certifications and memberships with the CSIA, the NCSG, the SEHPBA, and more ensure we are knowledgeable and up-to-date on it all. Call today – we’d be happy to set something up!