2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Creosote’

What You Must Know About Creosote

Monday, October 15th, 2018

chimney-fire-top-bottomFireplaces are safe to use, provided that you use them right. That means more than being careful when building up your fire, stoking it, and cleaning out the hearth. It also means having your chimney cleaned regularly by trained, qualified professionals. Why? Because if you ignore this vital service long enough, it’s not just the performance of your fireplace that will suffer. It could also very well be your safety. We are not just saying this to alarm you.

We are going to talk a bit about creosote today, so that you understand what it is, why it builds up, and why you need to have it cleaned out of your chimney. Failure to do so can put you and your family in a dangerous situation, and it won’t be the fault of the fireplace. It will be user error, if not total negligence. So read on, contact us with any questions that you may have, and remember that you can count on our team for great chimney cleaning services in Minneapolis, MN.

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

Monday, May 6th, 2013

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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Minneapolis FAQ: What is the Difference Between Creosote and Level 3 Creosote?

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Many of our customers in Minneapolis have asked about level 3 creosote and how it differs from normal creosote build-up, so we’ve created a helpful post to explain the difference and how to prevent level 3 creosote. Don’t hesitate to call 2nd Generation Chimneys any time if you have further questions. We’re here to provide you with all your Minneapolis chimney needs, so call today!

What is Creosote?

Creosote is a natural by-product of burning wood inside your fireplace or wood stove. Any type of wood-burning application will create some level of creosote build-up inside the chimney flue. Depending on the type of wood you use and the ventilation inside your home, creosote can build up quickly inside your flue lining. Regular chimney cleanings should take care of any normal build-up, but if your chimney hasn’t been inspected or cleaned in a while, the creosote creates a thick, gummy substance that is more difficult to get rid of. This is categorized as “level 3 creosote,” and it can cause potential fire hazards and corrosion of your chimney liner.

Ways to Prevent Level 3 Creosote Build-up

Annual chimney and fireplace inspections are a good way to prevent level 3 creosote. Scheduling an inspection before the heating season begins is ideal for a few reasons, namely because our chimney technicians can detect and clean out any Level 3 creosote from inside your chimney. In many cases, using chemicals is one of the only ways to get rid of this type of build-up. Ask your technician if you have concerns or questions. In addition to fire hazards, moisture inside the chimney is a common problem, especially if your masonry chimney has cracks, or your chimney cap is not properly installed. When moisture gets inside your flue liner and mixes with creosote build-up, it can create a chemical that can start to corrode the lining.

Wood-Burning Tip

Another important tip to remember is toburn the right type of wood. If you are burning “green” or wet wood, it can create more creosote build-up due to the nature of the unseasoned wood. “Seasoned” wood is wood that has been dried out for at least six months in a proper location. Always try to dry your wood in a covered area, where moisture cannot penetrate the wood pile. If you have questions, call us.

Contact the Minneapolis chimney technicians 2nd Generation Chimneys today to schedule your next chimney inspection. We can help prevent safety concerns with a Level 1. 2. or 3 inspection. Call us any time to schedule an appointment.

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