Last week we looked at what creosote is and where it comes from, this week, we’re looking at it’s buildup in your chimney, and how it’s removed.
Did you know that (according to the Dept of Homeland Security) 73% of heating fires and 25% of all residential fires in the United States are caused by failure to clean out creosote buildup?
There are 3 stages of creosote build-up, an inspection is required to determine what removal technique will work best. Stage one creosote is light and dry-what most people would think of as soot, and is easily removed with standard brush cleaning. Stage two creosote looks like flakes of shiney black tar and sticks to the chimney with tenacity. Removing stage 2 creosote requires the use of specially designed rotary loop that is turned by a drill. Removal of stage two creosote is more costly than stage one, so it pays to get your chimney swept regularly rather than waiting and needing a more costly and complicated cleaning.
Stage three creosote is bad news, it’s looks like a coating of tar inside the chimney and puts you at very high risk for chimney fires. If it does catch fire the honeycombed residue left behind is easy to clean, but the risk presented by a fire in the chimney isn’t work it! Often the chimney liner must be replaced, which is much more expensive than getting your chimney inspected.
If you haven’t had your chimney look at by a professional in the last year, it’s time to give us a call!