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Glazed Creosote Removal

Regular chimney sweepings are an excellent way to make sure your fireplace and chimney are working safely and efficiently. However, if your chimney sweep discovers glazed creosote, you may be at a loss as to what to do.

While glazed creosote is a serious issue, it can be removed and prevented. Homeowners should take into account these special considerations when dealing with glazed creosote.

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What is glazed creosote?

Creosote is a sticky brown or grey substance created as a byproduct of fuel burning fires. Creosote is usually fluffy or flaky and can be removed with a stiff bristled chimney sweep brush.

Glazed creosote, however, has a more tarry consistency. When hardened, it creates a black, shiny glaze that can coat the inside of a flue, much like burnt sugar on a metal pan. Because of this, glazed creosote can be much more difficult to remove.

What causes glazed creosote?

Glazed creosote is most commonly caused by burning green or freshly cut firewood. Green firewood has an extremely high moisture content. Because of this, the fire must burn the water in the wood first, creating a fire with a low temperature and burn rate. These low and slow fires create far more creosote than burning seasoned firewood.

Additionally, glazed creosote can be caused by an improperly sized flue. When changing fuel types or installing an insert into an existing firebox, it is extremely important to ensure that the flue fits the size of the heating appliance. If the flue is too large or too small, the creosote in the flue may be able to cool too quickly, causing it to glaze. This can also be caused by incorrect damper positioning while the fireplace is in use.

The dangers of glazed creosote

The primary danger of glazed creosote is accidental chimney fire. Errant sparks from a fire could easily ignite the flammable creosote, causing a chimney fire. Left unchecked, these fires can spread to the roof or the rest of your home, causing thousands of dollars in damage and endangering the lives of you and your family.

Even low burning fires are dangerous to burn when glazed creosote is present. While a low burning fire may seem like a good way to continue using your fireplace, these fires only contribute to greater buildup of glazed creosote. Instead, stop using the fireplace altogether until the glazed creosote can be removed.

Glazed creosote removal

The removal process for glazed creosote can be difficult and complicated. While regular creosote can be easily removed with a traditional chimney brush, glazed creosote must be remove using specially designed chemical products. This painstaking process often requires a great deal of patience, but the glazed creosote can usually be successfully removed.

Unfortunately, glazed creosote may be hiding underlying chimney issues such as broken tiles in your flue liner. If any cracked or broken tiles are found, it is recommended that the chimney be relined as soon as possible.

If you discover that your chimney has glazed creosote, contact Guaranteed Chimney Service today. Our expert staff of chimney sweeps can work to remove the glazed creosote and get you back to enjoying your fireplace as soon as possible.

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