Our Company Blog

The Dangers of Chimney Creosote

Has your chimney been inspected this fall? If you have a wood-burning appliance, you likely know the importance of having your chimney swept and inspected every fall before you light a fire, to ward off a potential chimney fire. You also might have heard the term “creosote” bandied about by your sweep or in reference to chimney fires. But what exactly is creosote? How does it form? And why is it so dangerous?

What is creosote?

Creosote is a natural byproduct of burning wood. It’s a tar-like substance that sticks to the walls of your chimney and builds up over time. Creosote can be sticky and brown or smooth and black.

How does creosote form?

Every time you burn a wood fire in your fireplace, creosote builds up on the walls of your chimney. As smoke travels up your chimney, it cools, and condensation forms on the walls of your chimney. That condensation contains all of the chemical elements put off by your wood fire. As your chimney continues to cool, the condensation hardens into creosote.

Why is creosote so dangerous?

The No. 1 danger associated with creosote is chimney fire. Creosote is highly combustible, and when it builds up to a measurable degree within your chimney, it poses a major fire risk. Creosote caked on the walls of your chimney can ignite either when the temperature within your chimney spikes to high enough temperature, or when a stray ember from the fireplace makes its way into the chimney. Ultimately, creosote is considered the primary risk factor for a chimney fire.

Creosote does come with some health risk factors, as well, but because the average homeowner using a wood-burning fireplace doesn’t come into contact with creosote, the health dangers of creosote are generally negligible for those who aren’t handling it. Creosote can irritate eyes and skin upon contact, or it can aggravate the lungs if inhaled. Ingesting creosote can cause stomach pain or even liver or kidney damage.

How can you reduce the dangers of creosote?

You probably know that the best way to reduce the dangers of creosote, namely the dangers of a chimney fire, is to have your chimney swept and inspected regularly. As those in the chimney industry are fond of saying, “Clean chimneys don’t catch fire!” In between sweepings, you can reduce creosote buildup in your chimney by burning dry, seasoned firewood. Seasoned firewood burns hotter and more cleanly, while wet firewood lets of more smoke and steam, leading to a more rapid buildup of creosote in the chimney.

Keep your home safe from the dangers of creosote by having your chimney swept and inspect before you burn a fire this fall! If you’re due for a chimney sweeping, call Your Chimney Sweep to schedule an appointment today!

By Joe Sauter on October 26th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Choosing a stainless steel chimney liner

If you have been told you need a new chimney liner, you could be left feeling a little overwhelmed. It sounds like a big job, but a chimney liner is crucial for keeping your choosing-a-stainless-steel-chimney-liner-img-indianapolis-in-your-chimney-sweephome safe from the dangers of a chimney liner. Fortunately, when it comes to chimney liners, there’s a safe, durable and easy-to-install option that’s right for nearly ever chimney: the stainless steel chimney liner.

Why you might need a new chimney liner

It can be hard to justify relining your chimney. After all, the liner is out of site and out of mind. A chimney liner, however, is what protects your home from the heat and flames of your fireplace. Without it, heat and smoke can damage your home’s structure or, even worse, spark a home fire. Following a chimney inspection, your chimney sweep may tell you that your chimney needs a new liner because the existing liner is cracked or damaged. In some cases, especially old homes, the liner is missing altogether. A new liner also may be recommended if the existing chimney liner is improperly sized for your heating appliance or incompatible with your fireplace’s fuel type.

Why you should choose a stainless steel chimney liner

If you have been told your chimney liner needs to be replaced, you should be talking to your chimney sweep about installing a stainless steel chimney liner. In nearly every case, a stainless steel chimney liner is a good and viable option for chimney relining. There are several reasons stainless steel chimney liners are the industry gold standards.

  • Versatility. Stainless steel chimney liners work for virtually every chimney relining project. They work with all types of heating fuels, including gas, wood, pellet and oil. They come in all sizes, and can be flexible or rigid, which means a stainless steel chimney liner can be found to fit any chimney shape or size.
  • Ease of installation. Stainless steel chimney liners are easy to install into an existing chimney. Where replacing a tile liner can involve dismantling and rebuilding a chimney, a stainless steel liner can be easily inserted into most existing chimneys.
  • Durability. Your new stainless steel chimney liner will last for decades. They are rust resistant, so they won’t degrade because of exposure to moisture or the corrosive byproducts of a fireplace. They also can contain the extreme heat of a chimney fire, which keeps your home safer should your chimney ignite.

Why you should call Your Chimney Sweep if you need a new liner

If you are in need of a new chimney liner, or if you are due for a chimney sweeping and inspection, call Your Chimney Sweep to schedule an appointment today! Our chimney experts understand the importance of a durable, high-quality chimney liner That’s why we install top-of-the-line stainless steel chimney liners from Ventinox and HomeSaver. Our certified chimney technicians can recommend the right liner for your chimney and have your chimney relined and ready for this winter’s fires.

By Joe Sauter on September 5th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment