A Quick Guide in Removing Creosote
One of the most common issues to arise when your home has a chimney, is the formation and buildup of creosote in the chimneys. As you may already know, creosote is one of the many chemical byproducts of the burning of wood. When it accumulates it becomes highly flammable and therefore a potential danger in our homes. And we wouldn’t want that to happen.
Every day our friendly team here at White Glove Chimney keeps on receiving questions and inquiries from various homeowners asking about tips on how they can remove creosote from their fireplace. So we finally decided to give you guys a short guide in the art of creosote removal. But before we get to that, you need to understand one thing, creosote formation has three levels:
- First Degree – this is a type of creosote buildup that is mainly made-up of soot. This is also the easiest to remove among the three levels.
- Second Degree – the creosote buildup here becomes a bit thicker and is generally in shiny black flakes. It is a bit more difficult to remove compared to the First Degree buildup, but still relatively removable.
- Third Degree – this is basically the worst among the three levels. It generally occurs when there are low flue temperatures and there is incomplete combustion. It appears in the chimney as a tar-like coating and is the most difficult to remove among the three. You’ll need a professional chimney sweep to do this.
So now we’ve established the three different levels of creosote buildup. Next we have the different ways you can remove the creosote buildup in your chimney:
- Chimney Brushes – used during your annual chimney cleaning. They are most effective in removing first degree creosote buildup and in some cases may also be used with some second degree buildup.
- Special Equipment – there are other, more expensive materials such as the flat wire brush and the rotary loop which may be able to remove second degree creosote buildup.
- Chemical Removers – these chemical creosote removers are reserved for extreme cases of second degree and generally used for the removal of all third degree creosote buildup. Store bought “creosote remover” is typically not effective and can actually do more harm than good.