Nothing beats the feeling of warming up in front of a wood stove or fireplace in the wintertime. And as you’re getting warm and cozy in your living room, chances are that you aren’t really focused on the state of your chimney. Unfortunately, this can lead to some major safety hazards, which is why we recommend scheduling chimney cleaning before you use your chimney in the upcoming season.
Creosote is a substance found in chimneys that can seriously threaten your home, potentially leading to a chimney fire. We’ll go over the basics of creosote in this guide.
What Is Creosote?
Whenever you burn wood, the combustion process will produce certain by-products. This includes gases, water vapor, hydrocarbon, and smoke. Your chimney is designed to allow these by-products to vent safely, so that you and your family aren’t breathing these in and so that the fire burns properly.
However, these contaminants cannot always evacuate the chimney. Condensation occurs inside the chimney flue as the fire burns. The by-products of combustion stick to the condensate lining the flue, and this creates a substance known as creosote. This black, tarlike substance is highly combustible, meaning it can ignite easily given the right circumstances.
Preventing Creosote Buildup
There are certain conditions in the chimney that make it easier for a creosote to form, such as improper airflow and using the wrong type of wood or wood that has not had time to dry. A technician can help you determine if there is a problem with your chimney making it easier for this to happen. But ensuring the proper conditions will not stop creosote from developing completely.
You must schedule annual chimney sweeping with a professional early on in the season if you want to significantly decrease the likelihood of a chimney fire. If you’re in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN area, contact the friendly professionals at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.!
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