Cleaning your chimney is routine maintenance for any operating chimney, it’s main purpose is to prevent chimney fires and prevent costly damage to the inside of the chimney
Last year over 13,000 fires could have been prevented from a simple chimney cleaning and inspection
What is creosote and why is it dangerous?
Creosote comes from what most people think of as ‘smoke’ is better termed ‘flue gas’. This ‘smoke’, or flue gas is released by the initial fire: the ‘primary combustion’. Flue gas consists of steam, and vaporized unburned carbon based by-products (vaporized creosote).
As the flue gas exits the fireplace or wood stove, it drafts upward into the relatively cool flue where condensation occurs, like hot breath on a cold mirror, the cool surface temperature of the flue causes the carbon particles in the warm vapor to solidify. The actual cause of creosote condensation is the surface temperature of the flue in which the flue gas comes in contact. This resulting carbon based condensation which materializes inside the flue is creosote.
There are three different stages of Creosote
- Fine black dust called soot
- Porous, Loose and Crunchy
- Glaze: tar-like; drippy and sticky when warm but hardens when cool
All forms of creosote can occur in one chimney system. Whatever form it takes, creosote is highly combustible. If it builds up in sufficient quantities – and ignites inside the chimney flue: the result is a volcanic chimney fire. This can all be prevented by a simple chimney sweep to remove the dangerous creosote.