What is Glazed Creosote?
When a fire burns it produces natural byproducts in the form of ash, soot, creosote, and smoke. Creosote is made up primarily of a tar-like, sticky substance and is extremely flammable! As the soot and creosote coat the inside of the chimney, it continues to buildup on the liner. Consequently, resulting in a possible blockage and dangerous hazard called “glazed creosote.”
Creosote and soot are not a serious issue, as they’re a natural byproduct of the fire. Also, can be easily removed when you schedule routine chimney sweeps. The problem arises when the creosote transforms into level three creosote buildup – or glazed creosote. This creosote buildup is still subject to the heat in the chimney system, despite it’s place in the flue. As it heats, it melts, much like tar. Afterwards it evaporates, condensing into a more concentrated fuel. When it cools, it dries as a hard, impenetrable substance. This glazed creosote is highly flammable, and can only be removed by an experienced professional.
Glazed creosote cannot be removed during a standard chimney sweep. The specialized tools, brushes, and vacuums cannot brush away glazed creosote. Instead, a certified chimney sweep can use professional-grade products to first treat the chimney. When these chemicals react with the glazed creosote, it leaves a permeable powder that can be brushed away. This is similar to soot and doesn’t compromise the integrity of your masonry or liner whatsoever.
When to Call a Professional
Haven’t scheduled your annual chimney inspection and sweep yet? Well, you can do so now and have your chimney cleaned along with your other Spring To-Dos. The best way to avoid a glazed creosote buildup is to have the creosote removed regularly. This also keeps your chimney functioning properly, and keeps your family safe from a flue fire. Another way to minimize creosote in your chimney is to burn only properly seasoned firewood. Despite all of your best efforts, however, the best way to maintain safety and efficiency is to have your chimney system swept and inspected regularly.
When you call Chesapeake Chimney & Co., you benefit from the expertise of one of our certified chimney professionals. Protect your family and property by scheduling an assessment with one of our chimney experts today!