Our Company Blog

What Is Creosote Deglazing?

When our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps from Weststar Chimney Sweeps clean your chimney, we take great care to remove every bit of creosote from its interior walls. However, sometimes it takes more than just a typical chimney sweeping to get rid of this flammable residue. Creosote evolves through three different stages, and when it gets to the third and final stage, it becomes glazed on the walls of your flue. Glazed creosote can be very difficult to remove because it is like a thick shell of chocolate stuck to your chimney walls. It is impossible to remove with our regular chimney sweeping tools, so we will need to give your chimney a professional and detailed mechanical cleaning. Creosote deglazing is very important to keep your chimney safe from dangerous hazards, and we would like to tell you more about this service and why it is so essential.

Hazard of Creosote Deglazing  - San Diego Ca - Weststar Chimney Sweeps, Inc.-w800-h800
What exactly is creosote, and why is it so hazardous?

A compound that forms naturally during the combustion process of burning wood, creosote sticks to the inner walls of your chimney and can accumulate into large deposits. If these deposits become large enough, they can block your flue and even ignite a chimney fire if the internal temperature of your flue reaches a high enough point. As the CSIA says, chimney fires can be caused by dirty chimneys. This is why the CSIA and other national fire safety organizations recommend that a chimney should be professionally swept annually.

What causes creosote to become glazed?

Although creosote occurs naturally when you burn wood, there are some precautions you can take to keep it from reaching the glazed state. The most important thing you can do to prevent glazed creosote is to always burn only seasoned wood, or wood that has been dried for at least six months. When you burn freshly-cut, wet wood, your fire burns at a lower temperature because it is too busy trying to burn off all of the excess moisture. This cooler temperature causes more creosote to form and dry at a slower pace. New layers of creosote begin to form over layers that are still wet, which leads to the development of glazed creosote. Another important thing to always do when you use your fireplace is to be sure the damper is completely open, which prevents the fire from smoldering and producing more creosote.

What is a creosote deglazing?

A detailed mechanical cleaning, creosote deglazing involves our trained technicians using a mechanical high-speed, half-inch drill and a 24-inch wizard whip to be able to safely remove the glazed creosote by breaking it down so that it will not damage the interior walls of your chimney.

Have you scheduled your annual chimney sweeping yet this year? Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to arrange a visit from our CSIA-certified sweeps to see if you will also need a creosote deglazing treatment.

By Mike O'Mara on March 29th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , | Leave a Comment

Your Chimney Flue Is Vulnerable to Damage

When you have an older masonry chimney, you may believe that it is immune from any damage because it is constructed well enough to last for a lifetime. However, a masonry chimney can suffer from both exterior and interior damage. You may have seen a chimney with cracked and missing bricks on its exterior, which is most likely caused by erosion from weather elements. The inside of a masonry chimney can also be damaged, and this type of damage is much harder to see. Most masonry chimneys were built with clay tile flue liners, and these tiles can also crack and even fall from the chimney wall. This can lead to a hazardous situation, including carbon monoxide leaking through the cracks and gaps into your home. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps from Weststar Chimney Sweeps have years of experience of inspecting and repairing clay tile liners. We would like to tell you more about clay tile flue liners and how we can repair them so that your chimney works safely.

Chimney Flue Vulnerability - San Diego CA-Weststar Chimney Sweeps, Inc-w800-h800
How does a clay tile liner work?

When the chimney is being built, masonry workers will stack clay tiles upon each other, and according to Inspect-a-Pedia, refractory cement is placed in the joints in between these tiles to create a continuous smooth walled vent. There should be a space of one half of an inch to one inch in between the flue and the masonry surround because when the flue is heated, the liner expands outward and lengthwise.

How does a clay tile liner become damaged?

The most common reason behind the damage done to clay tile liners is water penetration. This type of damage can be prevented with the installation of a good quality chimney cap, along with a customized flashing system. Chimney fires can also cause a lot of damage to clay tiles. And, of course, these tiles can crack and break apart over the years as normal wear and tear.

How can Weststar Chimney Sweeps repair my clay tile liner?

We are proud to offer chimney relining and restoring services with HeatShield, a specially formulated cerfractory sealant. Our chimney technicians have been trained and approved to use this revolutionary product that allows us to restore and repair clay tile liners in a much easier way than retiling the flue. If your flue is mostly damaged by weakened mortar joints, we can use the HeatShield Joint Repair system, and if your flue has more widespread damage, we can use the HeatShield Resurfacing system. We also can use the HeatShield Sleeve Relining System to restore a clay tile liner that has been damaged significantly. You can trust us to inspect the condition of your liner to know exactly which HeatShield system to use.

If you have seen broken pieces of clay tiles in the bottom of your fireplace, you most likely have a damaged liner. Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to schedule an appointment for an inspection of your clay tile liner. We will be able to show you photos of the damage within the flue and make repair recommendations to make your chimney safe to use again.

By Mike O'Mara on March 15th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment