Whenever the fireplace is used, a residue called creosote is deposited in the chimney flue or lining. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), this is a highly flammable material that can be a potential hazard and lead to a house fire. Fortunately, the buildup can be dealt with through the expertise of a chimney services professional.
The Common Causes
One of the most common causes behind creosote buildup is restricted airflow. This happens when you close the glass doors on your fireplace or stove too tightly, which inhibits the natural airflow in your chimney. This can also happen when you don’t open the chimney’s dampers wide enough. When the airflow is restricted, it prevents the smoke from leaving and increases its residence time, leading to creosote buildup.
Having an oversized flue will also lead to creosote buildup, especially if you have an older fireplace insert or a hearth-mounted stove that’s vented into a masonry chimney. This means the smoke from a fire can remain in the chimney for a longer time, leading to more buildup of creosote.
How It Can Affect Your Home
As local chimney experts, we understand how dangerous creosote buildup can be if not properly cleaned. It does more than reduce the airflow in your chimney as it can become a fire hazard that can put your home and your family in danger. It only takes a spark to turn the material into a hot chimney fire and can engulf the roof and the rest of your home.
Creosote buildup is also toxic for your home as it can affect indoor air quality. This can make a big impact on your family’s health. It can cause respiratory issues, eye irritation and skin itchiness. Long-term exposure can even lead to cancer as some studies show that creosote is carcinogenic.
Getting rid of creosote isn’t a simple task that can be done on your own. The safest way to do it is to call a professional, and at Batts’ Chimney Services, our team is ready to ensure your chimney looks and functions the way you want it to. Call us today at (205) 956-8207 if you’re from Jefferson County or (256) 660-1338 if you live in Northeast Alabama. You can also fill out our online contact form.