What is Creosote?

January 16, 2017

maryland chimney cleaning

If you own a fireplace or wood stove, you’ve heard of creosote before, and if you haven’t you need to know about it. Creosote is a by-product from burning wood that is dangerous for your home if not properly removed. That said, what exactly is creosote and why is it so bad?

What is Creosote?

Creosote is a term used to describe the tar and soot build-up on the walls of a wood-burning chimney. When wood is burned, it produces various byproducts which make up the smoke floating out of your chimney. When the smoke hits the cooler air of the higher parts of a chimney, the byproduct particles start to condense and attach to tits walls. This is what is called creosote.

What Causes Creosote Build-Up?

Creosote build-up is caused because the chimney, no matter how well constructed, eventually leads outside to colder air. What causes the build-up of creosote is how quickly the hot smoke from the fire meets the cooler, outside air and condenses. This is why it’s important to partner with an experienced Maryland fireplace installer; there are many factors which go into the correct flow of air up and out of your fireplace chimney beyond simple design aesthetics.

Why is Creosote so bad?

Creosote is bad because it is a combustible material which could cause a chimney fire. Additionally, creosote is also a toxic substance you do not want to breath in or have so close to home. Lastly, creosote build-up itself is bad because it insulates the chimney making it even cooler at the upper reaches of the chimney—and as we know a cold chimney means more creosote. Eventually, this could lead to extremely poor fireplace ventilation.

How do I Get Rid of Creosote?

We strongly recommend all of our fireplace and chimney clients have a yearly chimney inspection from a certified and experienced chimney sweep. We suggest setting a schedule of a yearly visit right at the end of the burning season, which is typically sometime around April in Maryland. This will ensure your chimney is working to the highest standards and will afford you the peace of mind to use your fireplace all through the burning season.

For more information on fireplace chimney creosote, how to get ride of creosote, or how you can prevent creosote, get in touch with Fireside Stone & Patio. Fireside Stone & Patio is Maryland’s leading indoor and outdoor fireplace sales, installation, repair, and maintenance company. Give Fireside a call today at 410-203-2876 or fill out the contact from on our website.