Now equipped to beat Creosote in chimneys
Flamecheck have invested in the latest equipment and cleaning chemicals to eradicate creosote in chimneys – which is a major contributor to chimney fires.
Flamecheck offer a two visit system – firstly where the chimney is initially swept and the creosote chemicals are applied to the chimney, and then we return two – three weeks later to sweep again.
If you burn damp wood in your fireplace or wood stove, or burn the wood inefficiently (with lack of adequate air supply) there is a potential for creosote to develop on the lining of the chimney.
When wood burns, substances exit through the chimney, which is cooler, and condensation occurs. Condensation of wood-burning byproducts results in highly flammable creosote on the walls of your chimney liner. Creosote is mostly tar and is brown or black in color. The substance takes several forms because it has three distinct stages, all of which are dangerous because they can cause hazardous chimney fires.
Creosote – Stage 1
First stage creosote is mostly ashy soot. This creosote is the easiest to remove because a chimney professional’s chimney brush can typically get the job done. This type of creosote is formed as a result of the combination of:
- Relatively good wood combustion and
- Relatively high temperatures in the chimney flue.
This scenario fits with a traditional open fireplace. The logs on the fire have plenty of air during the combustion process, and heat pours into the chimney. This is a description of the best chimney conditions, as related to creosote.
Creosote – Stage 2
In the second stage or degree of creosote, cleanup is not as easy as in the first. The combustion byproducts are in the form of shiny black flakes. A good description of how they look is to imagine hardened tar the size of corn flakes. Stage two creosote doesn’t simply brush away, but it can be removed. Restricted air is the burning attribute that best describes how stage two creosote is formed. Burning logs in fireplaces and wood stoves with glass doors typically results in this form of flammable creosote.
Creosote – Stage 3
Third degree creosote is extremely concentrated fuel and looks like tar running down inside the flue. As the creosote hardens, it is often repeatedly recoated.
The following are the conditions or combination of conditions which result in stage three creosote:
- The air controls on wood stoves are significantly turned down.
- A chimney is un-insulated or for some other reason cold.
- Unseasoned / green firewood is being used.
- The flue is too large / oversized for the appliance it is attached to.
- A sufficient amount of combustion air for the fire cannot be drawn because the house is too airtight.
Things can really get dangerous and complicated with third degree creosote when there is a chimney fire. The creosote partially boils and can leave a dried-out “sponge”, which can more easily be removed. But if the substance is not removed in this state, the sponges can fill up with more third degree creosote. Ultimately, more creosote could build up in the chimney, creating tremendous danger in the event of a chimney fire and causing deterioration of the chimney lining.
Primary Dangers of Creosote
The two primary threats caused by creosote are chimney obstruction and chimney fires. If a chimney is obstructed, the result can be that toxic gases, including carbon monoxide, can enter the home. Everyone with a fireplace or stove should have a carbon monoxide detector in the home, since the gas is odourless, invisible, and tasteless.
Chimney fires can damage a chimney lining and catch the home on fire or cause a rooftop fire. Stage three creosote is the most hazardous since the tar-like fuel is stuck like glue to the chimney lining, which feeds the fire continuously.
Flamecheck now offer a chemical cleaning service to thoroughly remove creosote deposits from the chimney.
Call our chimney experts now!