Not all Creosote is the same; Creosote is the wood-burning byproducts that build up in your chimney liner every time you burn a fire, it's one of the most important reasons to get an annual chimney inspection and cleaning. How easy or difficult removing the creosote depends on what stage your creosote stage is from the combustion byproducts inside your chimney.
The first stage of creosote is composed largely of soot and can be easily removed using a standard chimney brush. This is definitely the type of creosote you want the chimney sweep to find in your chimney. In large part, it's up to you whether it is. When seasoned wood is burned, the fire gets the needed air, and the heat of the fire warms the flue, first-stage creosote is what is produced. Seasoned wood has low moisture content and produces good combustion, meaning that wood components are burned up rather than going up the chimney.
Second-stage creosote looks like shinny black flakes, it is usually produced when air is restricted, and wood stoves and fireplaces that have glass doors commonly cause this. The flakes of second-stage creosote contain hardened tar, and this combustion by-product does not brush away easily. It's important to remove the creosote because of the potential for a dangerous chimney fire.
Third-Stage creosote looks like tar coating or black ice and could appear to be running down the inside of your chimney, and it's extremely flammable. The creosote hardens and is repeatedly recoated when the fireplace or wood stove is used, If the creosote in the liner catches fire, it could jeopardize the integrity of your chimney i.e. cracked flue tiles, partially blocked flues, and even spread to the home. No matter which level of creosote is in your chimney, our chimney technicians have the skill, knowledge, and tools to remove it for you.
Third-Stage residue often burns up, leaving a lightweight "sponge" a chimney fire is very dangerous and the creosote usually does not burn up. There are chemicals that do remove third-stage creosote, but the best course of action is often to replace the liner. The following are some conditions that cause this problematic build-up:
* Burning unseasoned firewood.
* Oversized Flue.
* An insufficient amount of combustion air to the fireplace.
* The flue is not warmed sufficiently.
* Overloading of wood in the fireplace.
* Inconsistent flue gas temperature.
When a chimney fire occurs in a masonry chimney- whether the flue is older, unlined, or tile-lined to meet current safety codes, the high temperatures at which they burn (around 2000 degrees Fahrenheit) can "melt mortar, crack tiles, cause liners to collapse and damage the outer masonry material". Often times you may have a series of small chimney fires and never even know it. These fires may be weakening structures and blocking passageways. 8 signs you've had a chimney fire.
* 'Puffy or ' Honeycombed" creosote.
* Discolored and or distorted rain cap.
* Evidence of smoke escaping through mortar joints of masonry or tile liners.
* Creosote flakes and pieces found on the ground or roof.
* Cracks in exterior masonry.
* Cracked or collapsed flue tiles or tiles with large chunks missing.
* Roofing material damaged from hot creosote.
* Warped metal of the damper, metal smoke chamber connector pipe, or factory-built metal chimney.