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Creosote Removal

Your chimney works constantly while there is a fire burning. Whether you burn a fire every day, or infrequently, it still releases byproducts that coat the inside of your chimney. Every fire releases soot and creosote into the chimney to be vented. These fine particles stick to the walls of the flue liner because of their sticky composition.

What is Creosote?

Much like soot, creosote comes from every organic fire. It’s made up mostly of tar, which makes it sticky and flammable. A fine coating of creosote can quickly become a dangerous buildup. This is due to the nature of creosote sticking to itself and reacting to heat. When it is left unchecked it becomes a dangerous level 3 buildup, also called glazed creosote.

Glazed Creosote and Fire Risk

When creosote is subject to high temperatures, it melts from it’s solid form and evaporates. It then leaves behind a highly concentrated, glazed fuel. Glazed creosote is not only highly flammable, but extremely hard. It also disrupts airflow and causes further creosote and soot buildup within the flue. When the airflow is compromised and the chimney’s efficiency drops, the hot air and sparks slow in the flue. This ignites the creosote, thus resulting in a creosote fire!

Creosote Fire Versus Flue Fire

When creosote ignites, it is in the flue, so it’s referred to as a flue or chimney fire, but a creosote fire is far more serious than any flue fire. Because of the concentrated fuel present in the glazed creosote, the fire burns at such a high temperature and intensity, it can crumble and destroy mortar, can shoot fire out of the chimney and onto the roof, crack or warp flue liners, and flames can quickly spread to the rest of the house causing fire and smoke damage.

What You Can Do

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), most flue fires go unnoticed. They end up dying out, because of a lack of oxygen or fuel. This is an ideal scenario, but is not the case if there is creosote in the chimney. Creosote adds fuel to the fire! You can prevent a creosote buildup by scheduling a regular chimney sweep with your trusted chimney professionals. At Magic Sweep, our technicians are experienced and trained to clean every chimney until it’s safe and clean.

When a Magic Sweep technician comes into the home to sweep your chimney he will use drop cloths to protect your floors. Also, use a state of the art vacuum system to protect your belongings and air. Using hand tools and brushes, the chimney is swept clean of soot, creosote, and debris. If there is a buildup of glazed creosote, the removal is slightly different. It requires a chemical treatment to transform it into a brittle, easily-removable substance. This process is the easiest way to prevent a flue fire, keep your chimney working at its best, and keep it working longer.

You should not depend on amateurs or chimney sweeping products to clean your chimney! Not to mention, any store-bought product stands NO chance against glazed creosote.

Let the sweeps that put your safety and comfort above all else. Call Magic Sweep today at 757-523-2400 or schedule your sweep using our convenient online appointment manager!

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