Minneapolis Chimney Cleaning FAQ: What Is that Black Stuff in My Chimney?

Posted by David Pixley

When you enjoy the warmth, comfort, and pleasure of a fireplace, you need to make sure that it is in good shape year round. One of the most common question we hear from customers throughout our Minneapolis is concerning the black stuff in your chimney.  Creosote is the name for that tar-like substance that accumulates on the parts of your fireplace and chimney. It’s imperative that you have your chimney cleaned on a regular basis to keep your fireplace running smoothly. Let’s take a look at creosote. For superior Minneapolis chimney cleaning service, call the experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys today!

  • What is creosote? Creosote is that dark brown or black, and often foul-smelling substance that builds up in your chimney.  Its composed of unburned wood particles mixed with condensed flue gases. It is one of the major reasons to have your chimney cleaned. It is toxic and carcinogenic.
  • What causes it? Creosote is typically caused by three major things: incomplete combustion of firewood, cool surfaces within the chimney, and wet firewood. The latter cause is easy to avoid: use only seasoned dry hardwood to build your fires. Depending on your stove or fireplace, there are some things you can do to make sure that your fuel is combusting properly. Use small amounts of wood and stoke often to decrease smoke density in an airtight stove, and make sure you avoid constant smoldering. Burn your fire hot regularly.
  • So what? Our reason for alerting you to creosote is because it poses a potential hazard to the safety of your home. While creosote tends to affect wood stoves more than fireplaces because the former’s exhaust gases tend to be cooler, creosote is an issue in any wood-burning device. As creosote accumulates within the chimney, it can become thick and begin to close in on the draft opening. When such accumulations thicken enough, they can actually ignite; chimney fires can disturb the masonry or metal chimney, but they can also lead to house fires when the framing heats up enough.

We hope this gives you some idea about creosote. For comprehensive Minneapolis chimney cleaning, call 2nd Generation Chimneys today! 

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