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Removing Hazardous Glazed Creosote

Glazed creosote is an extremely dangerous fire hazard in your home. It is therefore important to remove creosote from your chimney before it reaches its hard to remove, glazed stage.

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Creosote builds up in your chimney naturally, as hot gases rise and hit the cooler walls of your chimney. This temperature change causes condensation which turns into creosote. Creosote buildup is generally categorized into three stages. In the first stage, the creosote appears powdery and fluffy. In the second, it is more crumbly. The third stage is when creosote becomes glazed. Glazed creosote is created when a liquid layer of creosote is unable to harden before another layer of the sticky liquid is added. This process is repeated, eventually forming a thick, hard glaze.

Besides smelling bad and being dirty, a buildup of creosote is problematic because it will cause your chimney to become less efficient. The passage way of smoke and gas out of your house is blocked by creosote, creating more creosote and possibly causing your chimney to overheat. Furthermore, creosote is highly flammable and can easily cause a chimney or house fire as reported by the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

Glazed creosote is especially dangerous because it will continue to build quickly since it effectively blocks smoke and gas from exiting your chimney, creating a greater chance for condensation. The more glazed creosote in your chimney, the more likely you are to have a fire. Not only that, but it is tough to remove and should be handled by a professional.

The easiest way to avoid creosote buildup is to have you chimney regularly swept by professionals. If glazed creosote does build up, however, you should have it removed as quickly as possible. Glazed creosote is difficult to remove and can’t be simply scraped off without ruining your chimney. Guaranteed Chimney Service will use chemicals to remove the glazed creosote without damage to your chimney.

While creosote buildup occurs naturally, there are many possible errors that can be made in tending to your fireplace which will increase your risk of creosote buildup.

  • Make sure your chimney is working efficiently. If your fire is burning at too low of a temperature, the wood will not burn completely, increasing creosote buildup that dries slowly, allowing for glazed creosote to form.
  • Make sure you only use seasoned cordwood and avoid burning wood that is wet or moist. Burning wood with a high moisture content will create dirtier smoke as well as burn at a lower temperature which will increase the amount of creosote created.
  • You should also be sure to completely open your chimney damper to prevent smoldering, which can increase glazed creosote buildup.
  • If you still have creosote building up quickly after taking these steps, the problem may be in the way the fireplace or stove was installed. Your chimney might be too large for the vent opening, causing smoke and gas to exit slowly and become more likely to create creosote.

Call Guaranteed Chimney Service not only for help in removing the glazed creosote, but to help you determine the best way to prevent creosote buildup in the future.

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