2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog : Archive for the ‘Chimney Flue Liner Cleaning’ Category

What Is Creosote?

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Combustion heat always creates byproducts – some of them toxic – whether the combustion is in a simple fire pit in your backyard or a fireplace insert in your living room. Combustion byproducts can be gases, vapors, fumes, ash and soot, but there is one byproduct that can lead directly to chimney fires: creosote.

What Is It?

Creosote is a sticky, corrosive and highly flammable substance that is created when the noxious gases and vapors from combustion cool below 250 degrees. When the gases cool to this temperature level, they liquefy, combine with soot and ash, and become the substance known as creosote. The sticky nature of creosote allows it to cling to the inside of your chimney, creating a highly flammable, dangerous build-up that can ignite.

Stages of Creosote

When a professional chimney cleaner assesses the level of creosote build-up in your fireplace, he/she will refer to the build-up as being Stage One, Stage Two or Stage Three:

  • Stage One – Stage One creosote is the easiest and least problematic as it is mostly comprised of soot; this means it is also the easiest to remove.
  • Stage Two – Stage Two creosote is black and flaky, and this is because the tar in the creosote has hardened. This level of creosote build-up can cause air restriction and pose the risk of a chimney fire.
  • Stage Three – a Stage Three creosote level is a very serious situation. This level of creosote looks and acts like a layer of tar and is very hard to remove; it is also extremely flammable and likely to cause a chimney fire. It may be necessary to replace the lining in a chimney that has Stage Three creosote.

Schedule Annual Chimney Cleaning

Preventing chimney fires is one of the most important reasons to schedule an annual chimney cleaning in in Carver County. If it’s been more than 12 months since your last chimney cleaning and you are having problems with drafting, soot and ash, call the experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.

Call Us Today! 612.922.9600 or 1-888-PIXLEYS

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Why St. Croix County Residents Should Inspect or Replace a Flue Liner When Upgrading a Heating System

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Despite how they look, most chimneys in St. Croix County can not of handle all forms of exhaust. In fact, when you get your chimney serviced, it is vital to perform chimney flue liner cleaning, and if the chimney flue does not look capable of handling a few more winters, replace it. Here are some details on why this is so important and how you can ensure your family and home are safe with your current chimney.

Condensation and Flue Gasses

If your chimney liner is older and has not been updated in some time, then it is likely not optimized for high efficiency gas boiler or furnaces. Chimneys are designed to do one thing – vent flue gasses. However, since heating systems have become so much more efficient in recent years, they now release flue gasses at much lower temperatures as more heat is extracted from the exhaust.

The result is that gasses being released into your chimney or exhaust pipes are often just barely over the dew point, meaning they will cool in the chimney and condense into liquid – often containing dangerous, corrosive acids that can eat through the flue liner and start to leak through the external structure.

In a single hour of operation, a 150,000 BTU furnace can produce over a gallon of liquid lined with various acids that can eat right through your flue liner and cause damage to your house and present health problems to your family.

Proper Inspection and Upgrade

Not only can an increase in efficiency cause problems, but changing the type of exhaust can as well. Switching from gas to oil for example results in different exhaust and can create a problem with older flue liners.

For all of these reasons it is very important to have your current flue liner inspected for damage and to make sure it is sufficient for a new heating system. If it is not, it should be replaced immediately to ensure it will be enough to handle the gasses being released during combustion.  Please call 2nd Generation Chimneys with any questions.

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